Your brine tank, or salt tank, should NEVER be full of water. The amount of water that should be in the brine tank depends on if you have a “wet” brine tank or “dry” brine tank.
Why Your Softener Needs a Brine Tank
All water softeners need to periodically clean themselves through a process called “regeneration.” Salt is needed for this process, and is housed in a container called a Brine Tank. This tank is attached to your water softener, and may or may not have water in it.
How Much Water?
How much water should be in your brine (or salt) tank? It depends!
Traditionally, older softening systems have brine tanks with water inside at all times. These “wet” tanks usually have about 3-6 gallons of water in them, which is about 6-10 inches high depending on the dimensions of the brine tank. If you have plenty of salt in the tank, you may not be able to see the water. This is normal! But, if you see the tank half full of water or more, it can mean there is a mechanical problem or a frozen/clogged drain line.
No brine tank should ever be FULL of water!
Newer water softeners, especially those with digital valves, only have water in the brine tank two hours before the softener goes through a cycle. These “dry” tanks should not have water in them between cycles.
How can you know which you have? You can’t tell by looking at your valve. The best way to know is to call the water treatment company who installed it. If you recently purchased a newer system, you might have changed from a “wet” to “dry” brine. That is the latest trend in water softening.
Below are examples of brine tanks: