Water softener leaking from control head (softener valve): Solutions

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Written By John Roe Stephen

Water Softener leaking is the major problem in the system. The leakage may cause serious damage to the whole system also the application installed nearby. The primary reason for the leakage is the faulty water softener head.

Another reason is the failed O-Ring. Over time the O-Ring gets depleted, which causes the Water Softener to leak. 

How does a water softener control valve work?

The control valve is the little knob that dealings the amount of water passing from side to side of the mineral tank. You can increase or decrease the water supply using the knob. The hard water coming from the mainline is passed through the control valve and enters the water softener for processing.

The hard water flows through the mineral tank and reaches the resin beads, where the water is in an exchange with the sodium ions to remove the hardness ions.

The process reduces the hardness of the water, and the minerals are trapped in the resin beds. The clean or the lighter water is passed through the water softener and directed to the home. 

The control valves also track the mineral trap in the system.

Before the beads become overloaded with the calcium and magnesium ions in the water, it activates the regeneration cycle automatically. 

Generally, the regeneration is already programmed in the system.

Some track the water units and initiate the regeneration process as soon as the specific amount of water is passed through the control valve. 

On the other hand, the date mechanism gets activate after the pre-set days are crossed.

Control valves run on the preset instruction to activate a certain process to keep the water softener running. The control valve plays a crucial role in managing the efficiency of the system.

Which are the Water Softener Control valve parts?

The water softener control valve is made of several parts. Failure of the single part could result in the shutdown or leakage in the valve.

Therefore, you must understand these small parts, so if anything goes wrong, you can immediately replace them with a new one and keep your water softener fully functional.

  1. Bypasses
  2. Yokes
  3. Meters
  4. Brine valves
  5. Injectors
  6. Piston assemblies
  7. Drives and motors
  8. Timers and controls
  9. Drain line flow controls
  10. Seal and spacer kits

How to deal with Water softener leaking from the control head?

There are few reasons why your water softener is leaking from the control head. The most common reason is the failure of the mechanism. The water softener control head is made of different parts.

All of them are combined to create a water seal. If any one of them is broken, the water finds the way out, and the water softener will start leaking. 

The rotor valve is the most common part of the softener that gets broken. If the system is too old, then there is the possibility that the rotor valve is damage.

The rotor valve is a seal to prevent water from leaking. If you do not find any crack on the rotor valve, then look for the broken seal. Fix the rotor valve, and it will solve the leakage problem. 

O-Rings are used in the control valve to protect the metal from friction and to get damage. The O-ring is made of rubber or flexible material that creates the natural seal around the moving parts in the valve.

O-ring prevents the water from leaking from the gap. O-ring works under more pressure, and sometimes it gets broken. There will be a crack in the O-ring. The damage to the O-ring may cause the water to leak between the gap. 

Replace the O-ring, and the problem of water softener leakage will vanish. You can change the O-ring by yourself if you have the required tools. However, if you have never handled any hardware before or tools, then take the help of the professionals. The mechanism is simple but requires proper installation after you are done with the O-ring replacement. 

The mistake in placing the wrong equipment may cause the whole system to leak. In the worst case, the valve may break due to the high pressure of the water passing through the valve.

Be careful when you decide to repair the control valve. Also, after repair, monitor the valve for several days to confirm there is no leakage anymore.

How can I stop leaking from the control head of the water softener?

The first thing that you need to do is to shut down the whole system. The water leakage may damage the system also. If there are appliances near the system, the water may damage them as well. The next step is to identify the cause of the leakage. 

Normally, the broken rotor valve or the O-ring is the cause of the leakage. When you separate the control valve, check each small part to ensure they are in good shape.

Whatever is broken, keep them aside and replace them with new parts. Fix the control valve back to the position and check if the problem is solved.

How do you clean a water softener control valve?

Before you decide to clean the control valve by yourself, you should understand the machine used in the system. The control valve is made of small parts, and they have to be placed in the right order to make the system work properly. 

If you fix the parts in the wrong position, the control valve will not work. As a consequence, the water will leak from the control valve.

Once you have clear about the mechanism, the next step is to bring the tools near the system, so you do not have to go back in search of the right tool to open the control valve. The control valve system is straightforward. 

It uses the screw that needs to be open. Separate the parts and keep them in a safe place near the system. Clean each part with a soft hand.

Do not put much pressure on it as most of the small parts are fragile. If you put the broken parts back to the valve, you will experience a Water softener leaking from the control head. 

Some control valves will have grease on them. When you wash them with water, ensure that you apply fresh grease to the valve to require smoothness.

Without the grease, the valve will contact other parts, and friction will be created. 

What are the ways to Water softener control head replacement?

The water softener head generally lasts for 10 to 20 years. After the control head becomes old, it starts leaking, and most of the time, the mechanism will fail.

It is an indication that you have to replace it with the new one to keep your water softener functional. 

Here is the step by step guide to control head replacement

1) Shut off water

2) Remove the old valve from the system

3) Unscrew old valve piece by piece

4) Remove the old distributor tube from the resin tank.

5) Screw the new valve on to resin tank.

6) Attach By-Pass or Piping Yoke.

7) Reconnect

8) Turn the water on.

9) Startup valve

Can I turn off my water softener?

Yes. Water softeners are built with the additional knob called the bypass valve. It is used when you want to disengage your water softener from the system. You can turn off the water supply to the water softener.

The water will not move through the bypass valve. Once the bypass is turn on, the hard water will not get cleaned. 

Do plumbers repair water softeners?

Yes. The plumbers can repair the water softeners. Before you hire the plumber for the job, consult with them and tell them about the job that you want to get done.

The inexperienced plumber may not have the right tools and knowledge of how a water softener works.

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