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Why Is My Water Softener Constantly Draining? (Read This Now!)

Water Softener Constantly Draining

Is your water softener constantly draining during the day? Past its regeneration time?

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The water softener control valve may be incorrectly programmed; check the program timer and control positioning. 
  • Debris may have clogged the water softener valve; inspect the bore and clear the valve of any foreign objects. 
  • The water softener may leak internally. You may have to replace the seals and piston assembly in the control head.  

Continue reading for 7 detailed reasons behind water softener draining continuously with practical solutions. 

🛟Water Softener Keeps Draining: 7 Reasons & Fixes 

First things first: 

Confirm whether it’s the softener that is constantly draining. Bypass the treatment unit from your water supply and see if the flowing sound stops. If yes, we can check if the bypass valve is in the REGEN cycle.

Remember, water draining during the regeneration process is completely normal.

If the unit isn’t in REGEN mode and the water is draining continuously, inspect the possible reason to find its plausible solution: 

Reasons Fix 
Internal leak in the softener valve Replace the seals and piston assembly in the softener control head.
Defective Control SwitchReplace the timer, switch, or entire control head (if possible)
Clogging in valves/water line Clean and Remove any blockage in the line
Wrong Programming Of Control ValveReprogram the timer
Motor Malfunctioning Replace the Drive/Timer motor
Faulty Circuit SwitchReplace or repair broken switch
Low water pressure Install a pressure pump or booster pump
Also Read: How To Reset Water Softener

💧Reason #1: Internal Leak in the Softener Valve

Internal leak in softener valve

What It Is- An internal leak in a water softener valve refers to a situation with water leakage within the valve itself. The valve is a crucial component of the water softener system and controls water flow during the regeneration cycle.

You can confirm it by bypassing the water softener stuck and opening the valve; if water flows out, your softener leaks internally.

How To Fix- 

  • First, start the regeneration and then bypass the water softener.
  • After this, pull out the e-clip and unplug the drain line after the system has slowed.
  • Then drain the excess water into a bucket.
  • Then unplug the power after removing the faceplate.
  • Remove the Drive Bracket, set it aside, and open the electrical connections. 
  • If water leaks, have a bucket handy as you unscrew the drive cap assembly. 
  • Then, lift the piston out and remove the regenerant piston (if there is one) 
  • Take the Spacer stack assembly away and replace the damaged parts.
  • Last, reattach the piston(s) and spacer stack, properly set them back in their original position in reverse order, and tighten them appropriately.

🔦Reason #2: Defective Control Switch

What It Is- Circuit switches play an important role in regulating the behavior of water softeners. If the switch is defective, it may create a problem and prevent the softener from working properly.

A faulty switch may even cause the system to regenerate continuously.

How To Fix- There is only one way to fix defective switches: to replace them with new ones.

🪠Reason #3:  Clogging in Valves/Water Line

What It Is- Clogging  means any blockage that  reduces the normal flow. Clogging of valves and water lines are common issue  you may encounter.

For example, high iron content and low-quality salt in softener clogs water lines.

The brine tank valve assembly may also become clogged with hard water buildup, dirt, salt, and sediment. Hence, it causes your system to get stuck in the regeneration cycle, as it reduces the water flow through the tank. 

How To Fix- The valve and water line blockage can be easily fixed by thoroughly removing and cleaning the dirt.

❌Reason #4: Wrong Programming Of Control Valve

Wrong programming of control valve

What It Is-  This problem arises as your system has reprogrammed its settings or constant regeneration occurs due to small deviations from the normal settings.

The regeneration process of most water softeners usually takes about 2 hours and occurs at 2-3 AM. Disturbance in the reprogramming settings might create noises that are not normally heard. 

How To Fix- in this case, you should look for the timer and reprogram it after reviewing the settings carefully. 

Also Read: How To Set Water Softener Hardness Level

⚙️Reason #5: Motor Malfunctioning 

What It Is- A water softener uses an electric motor to control water flow through the valve.

Malfunctioning the motor from power loss, sudden electrical surge, or hard water mineral build-up results in most systems getting stuck and staying inert. If it regenerates and drains water, it will continue draining it.

How To Fix- To fix this, you need to change the timer/ drive motor to ensure your system is working properly and prevent it from causing any problems.

🔍Reason #6: Faulty Circuit Switch

What It Is- A circuit switch controls how a water softener system behaves, so the whole soft water system may start regenerating continuously when it fails and proposes problems.

How To Fix- Replacing or repairing the broken circuit switch may help you overcome this problem easily.

👇Reason #7: Low Water Pressure

What It Is-  Low Water pressure makes your water softener act differently, making it difficult for the softener to regenerate.


Low pressure causes the softener to be stuck in constant regeneration as it tries to draw enough water into the resin tank. Your water pressure should be at least 40- 50 PSI to work perfectly.

How To Fix- You may install a water pressure meter to check the running water pressure regularly. You can also buy an electric pressure booster to fix the low-pressure problem during water treatment.

Also Read: Why Your Well Water Pressure Fluctuates?

🪣How Do You Stop a Water Softener From Running Water?

How do you stop a water softener from running water

Follow the steps below:

  • First, shut off the water supply using the bypass valve, or you may program the unit to run in bypass mode.
  • Then check the circuit switch. If it seems to be broken, then repair or replace it. 
  • Check the digital meter head next. Verify that it is turned on and functioning; if it is, make sure the screen is free of error messages. And check to see if your programming and timing also appear normal.
  • Water lines might have clogged due to debris. For this, clean the water lines and rinse the salt or sediment out.
  • If the valve leaks internally, replacing the seal and piston assembly in the control head may help address the problem.
  • Reinstall the lines, reassemble the parts, and conduct a manual regeneration cycle. The issue is resolved if a brine draw occurs.

💡Pro tip:

Refer to your softener user manual to locate softener components easily. If the problem persists, call a plumber immediately.

💡Water Softener Constantly Draining: FAQs

How long should a water softener drain line be?

Water softeners work properly when the drain line is concise and low. It should be 30 feet or less in length, and the height of the drain line should stack no more than 8 feet.

How often should my water softener drain?

You should drain your water softener once every three days to one time per week, depending on tank capacity, water usage, daily water demand, and water hardness. If your water softener is old, then it will regenerate frequently.

Why is my water softener leaking from the drain line?

Your water softener is leaking from the drain line because of a plumbing issue. You can replace the faulty drain line DIY, but it’s best to call a professional plumber. Contacting the manufacturer’s customer support can also help.

What does a water softener sound like when it is regenerating?

During regeneration cycles, the water softener makes a low, humming noise (because of the motor) and sounds like water is flushing or moving quickly.

Does a water softener drain itself?

Yes, modern softeners like SpringWell SS1 have automatic regeneration, usually scheduled at 2-3 AM. You can program the settings using the app or manually regenerate by pushing buttons in the softener’s Bluetooth control head.

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