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Old 11-13-2015, 03:01 PM   #1
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water softener leaking only in winter


I'm stumped on this.

When I moved into this house, there is a water softener. It has a green flexible tube (some kind of drain tube?) coming from the back, that the homeowner had stuck into the drain on the floor of the basement.

Because the water softener hasn't been used in a long time, there is some sort of "mass" of rock hard crystals that have melted into one form, inside of the water softener. I'm guessing it's the solar salt that they had put in there, had condensed into one large yellow lump from years of not using it. At any rate, this mass of rock I can't get out of there, so the softener is toast.

Since the softener is not functional, I haven't used it since I moved in 5 years ago. I just leave it unplugged and turned off.

But every winter (or when weather is colder, like now) water starts dripping out of that green tube. It doesn't do it in the summer. Unfortunately, due to a major clog in the drain in the floor, I had to take the green tube and stick it into a bucket instead of the drain. The bucket fills up every 2-3 days or so and has to be emptied.

I think my cat had been drinking the water in the bucket (which is yellow colored) and ended up having major kidney/UTI problems and actually had to have his.. parts... removed (look up feline PU surgery if you are at all interested.) Which cost thousands. So this damn water softener is a curse.


Due to the cost of the surgery for my cat I can't afford to hire a plumber to take this damn water softener out and re-route the pipes that goes to it.

I'm hoping someone here can offer some sort of solution, or at least tell me why the water softener is doing this. Because it doesn't make sense to me.


What's even stranger, is that the water softener has a "bypass" switch on the pipes that go to it that seem to disable the water that goes to it, and just re-routes the water flow back into the return pipe. I have this bypass enabled, but the damn green hose is still leaking.
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Old 11-13-2015, 03:06 PM   #2
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here's a picture of the setup if it helps

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Old 11-13-2015, 04:23 PM   #3
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Is this a one tank unit? Could you take a picture of the whole thing?

I don't believe the softener is bypassed. It think it should be pushed the other way, unless there's something on it to the contrary.

The green tube is the drain line for the softener when it backwashes. It's full of salt and it's probably what hurt your cat.
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Old 11-13-2015, 04:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djlandkpl View Post
Is this a one tank unit? Could you take a picture of the whole thing?

I don't believe the softener is bypassed. It think it should be pushed the other way, unless there's something on it to the contrary.

The green tube is the drain line for the softener when it backwashes. It's full of salt and it's probably what hurt your cat.
i pushed the bypass switch the other way and now the water is flowing out of the tube at a much higher rate.

Now it won't stop. LOL.
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Old 11-13-2015, 05:07 PM   #5
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Yikes. The bypass probably has sediment making the seals leak. Also sounds like the timer controls are stuck on one of the backwash settings. Depending upon they type of timer, you may be able to rotate it to get the water to stop.
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Old 11-14-2015, 02:53 AM   #6
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I ended up having to call plumber. He just bypassed the water softener with this plastic pipe, making the inlet go into the outlet.

He's been gone for 7 hours now and I just heard the new piping making a "whistling" noise for a few moments. It was a very strange sound, but loud.

So I went into the room to check it and noticed the fitting he installed is leaking slowly. Very slowly, where the bottom of the blue pipe on the right side has a water droplet. I wiped the whole thing dry and the water droplet reappeared. It appears the be coming from one of the brass fittings on the right side.

I think he struggled greatly getting this in place, because we discovered that my main water shut off doesn't work great, and only kills the water flow to 1/4 of full flow. I think he used some kind of putty to stop the flow while he soldered.

Should I be worried about this new wetness, or forget about it? It's not really dripping, but I don't want any surprises while I'm not at home.
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Old 11-14-2015, 05:31 AM   #7
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I would have the plumber come back. He could have used a solder less fitting like a Sharkbite since the water can't be shut off all the way.
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