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How To Clean A Water Softener Salt Tank in Tampa Bay


How To Clean A Water Softener Salt Tank in Tampa Bay
How To Clean A Water Softener Salt Tank in Tampa Bay

If you have hard water in your home in the Tampa Bay area, a water softener is an essential system. Water softeners remove minerals like calcium and magnesium from your home's water supply, preventing hard water buildup and residue.

However, like any system, water softeners require maintenance to keep operating efficiently. One critical maintenance task is cleaning out the brine tank, where salt is stored to regenerate the softener resin beads. When the brine tank gets dirty, it can clog softener components and prevent proper brine solution mixing.

Below, we'll cover everything you need to know to clean your water softener salt tank properly. With just a few simple steps and household materials, you can have your system running like new again.

Why Clean The Salt Tank?

Before jumping into the how-to, let's look at why brine tank cleaning is essential:

  • Prevent Clogged Flow - Dirt, debris, and muck in the tank can clog softener valves or lines, blocking the brine solution flow during regeneration. This leads to hard water due to an improper backwash.

  • Remove Salty Sludge Buildup - A salty "sludge" or muck often accumulates along the bottom of the tank over many months of use. This waste takes up space meant for salt, reducing efficiency.

  • Extend Softener Lifespan - Regular cleanings every 6-12 months will significantly extend the life expectancy of your system. Salt tank contaminants can corrode valves or resin beads over time.

  • Improve Water Quality - Cleaning gives you peace of mind that filthy tank water isn't degrading the purity of your home's softened water.

Now let's look at the recommended process for getting your brine tank sparkling again.


How To Clean A Water Softener Salt Tank

Cleaning your brine tank is a straightforward DIY task that takes 30-60 minutes. Below are the step-by-step instructions:

Supplies Needed

  • Bucket

  • Water hose or pump sprayer

  • Old towel or rag

  • Rubber gloves

  • Eye protection glasses

  • Soft plastic scraper (or wooden paint stir stick)

  • Mild detergent or salt tank cleaner solution

Step 1: Disconnect Power & Water Lines

Start by unplugging the softener unit and closing the shutoff valves for the brine tank refill line. This ensures no water flows unexpectedly during cleaning.


Step 2: Remove Salt Bridge

Check the salt level inside the tank. Oftentimes, a hard "salt bridge" forms across the top, blocking water contact with salt below. Use your scraper to break up and remove this salty crust layer.


Step 3: Scoop Out Debris

Use your bucket to remove as much loose sediment or debris sitting at the tank bottom as possible. Liquid may start to drain out; you can let it flow to a floor drain if available.


Step 4: Scrub Interior Walls

Mix your detergent with water in the bucket or fill your sprayer reservoir. Use a brush and rag with the solution to scrub mineral stains or scale off the interior walls. Let the cleaner soak if needed.


Step 5: Rinse Thoroughly

Use your hose or sprayer to rinse away all cleaner residue and remaining debris from the tank walls and bottom. Flush until the water runs clear.


Step 6: Check Components

Inspect the float, probes, screens and other internal parts for damage before refilling. Clean or replace parts as needed so your system runs efficiently.


Step 7: Refill With Salt

Add new salt pellets to the tank, filling to the "Full" line. Reset the refill shutoff valve to the open position, reconnect power, and run a manual regeneration to flush clean brine solution.

And that's it! With an annual brine tank cleaning, you can keep your AquaLux Water Softener or other system running smoothly for years before replacement is needed.


DIY Vs. Professional Cleaning

While a DIY salt tank cleaning is straightforward for most homeowners, some situations call for a professional service call:

Consider Professional Help If:

  • The tank buildup is thick and rock solid

  • Corrosion damage needs tank replacement

  • Resin beads are fouled and need replacing

  • The softener isn't functioning properly


Our technicians at Aqua-Wise Water Treatment Solutions have specialized salt tank cleaning equipment, resin bed revitalizers and expertise to handle severe buildup or restore softeners to full operation.

Schedule a service call for an expert inspection and cleaning if you want to ensure maximum effectiveness.


Salt Tank Cleaning Products

For routine DIY cleanings, we recommend using an all-natural salt tank cleaning solution instead of harsh detergents. Specialized products break down mineral scale quickly without added toxins or fumes.

Two of the leading salt tank cleaning solutions include:

  • Pro-Products SSLT Cleaner

  • CareTree Salt Tank Cleaner

Using hot water also helps dissolve scale or oily residue during tank scrubbing and rinsing.


Preventing Future Salt Tank Buildup

While occasional thorough cleanings are inevitable, you can take a few preventative measures to slow brine tank contamination:

  • Use multi-grade solar salt pellets. The evaporation inhibitors minimize salt "caking" at bottom.

  • Add a brine tank grit guard to catch sediment before it settles.

  • Inspect/clean the tank every 3-4 months to stop major buildup.

  • Have water tested yearly to set optimal system settings.

  • Install pre-filters like an AquaBlue Whole House Filter System to remove contaminants before the softener.

Our water treatment specialists can recommend the right auxiliary filters and salt grades for your home and water chemistry during testing.


Reasons For Salt Tank Leaking

Another common service issue beyond dirty tanks is dealing with salt tank leaks. Some potential causes include:

  • Corroded valves/fittings

  • Cracked tank liner

  • Loose connections

  • Malfunctioning float assembly

Any droplets or pooling water could mean it's time for complete replacement of the brine tank itself. Catch leaks early before major flooding damage occurs.


Water Softener Maintenance Keep Efficiency High

Along with occasional tank cleaning, remember to perform other water softener maintenance for optimal operation:

  • Inspect/replace filters as needed

  • Add resin cleaners during backwash

  • Keep salt stocked to the proper level

  • Test water 1-2 times per year

Setting a reminder to review these maintenance tips seasonal is wise for homeowners managing private well or city water quality.


Over time, influx changes from the Floridan Aquifer can alter the mineral profile. Adjusting softener settings prevents stabilization issues.


Our HydroTech Pro Commercial Water Treatment Systems also need close monitoring to keep large facilities scale-free despite high demand.


Improve Water Quality Beyond Softening

While water softeners handle water hardness concerns effectively, other contaminants may need specialized treatment:


  • Iron & Manganese - Use an OzonePro with an AquaCarbonGuard Catalytic Carbon Filter for the most thorough filtration of metals. Adding a Retention Tank and Chlorine Injection System also helps oxidize iron in more severe cases when using well water.

  • Bacteria Issues - A whole house AquaGuard UV SYSTEM destroys 99.9% of harmful pathogens without chemicals.

  • VOC Removal - Our highly effective AquaRevive Reverse Osmosis System combines carbon block filtration and membrane separation for cleaner ice, steam and carbon dioxide free drinking water right from the tap.

  • Well Water Treatment - If drawing from your own private well, advanced systems like the WellFusion Well Water Treatment line protect from contaminants like sulfur, radium, pesticides and fertilizers.

Start with a free water test and consultation to create a multi-barrier treatment plan matching your home's unique needs. Tampa Bay area well, city or reclaimed water all have their own considerations when customizing solutions.


We realize that upgrading home water systems carries a cost. That's why flexible financing options are available from Aqua-Wise to spread payments over time.

Ask our team about promotions or financing your installation with low monthly payments. Protecting your plumbing, appliances and personal health makes clean, conditioned water invaluable long-term.


Don't wait until you have major water quality issues or equipment failures. Be proactive!


Rely on the Salt Tank Cleaning Experts

Restore your water softener to peak cleaning performance with Aqua-Wise's professional brine tank cleaning services. As leading water treatment specialists serving residential and commercial properties in the greater Tampa area, we have the expertise to tackle salt tank contamination and restore efficiency. Contact our team today to learn more about our water softener maintenance options!

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