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Avoid This Water Softener Mistake Before It’s Too Late!

If your water softener springs a leak, is constantly draining, or malfunctions in any way, what should you do?

THE SITUATION: You wake up in the middle of the night and you hear water running somewhere in the house. You quickly check around, rush downstairs, and soon enough realize that water is running through the water softener. Perhaps you aren’t sure how long it should be running for, or maybe it seems to be running far longer today than ever before. So, what should you do?

You want to get back to sleep but you want to make sure you do the right thing to avoid any major errors. Your first instinct may be to just unplug the unit, right? Nope, that’s the WRONG thing to do. It will only cause bigger issues. Here’s why…

If the water softener is currently running in a cycle and you interrupt by unplugging it, it will STAY in that same cycle. This means if it’s in a cycle where water is running to drain — which it almost always is during regeneration mode — water will KEEP running to drain at a rate of about 5-8 gallons a minute… forever! Yes, I said FOREVER. That is a lot of water to waste! Trust me when I say, you don’t want that to happen.  

Using a Clack WS1 valve water softener as an example, if I unplug it while it is in its backwash cycle, you’ll see that it just keeps on going! The same thing happens with various other water softener valves, too.


THE SOLUTION: To fix the problem, you would advance the valve out of that cycle by pushing the regeneration (REGEN) button several times until it gets back to the home position, and then bypass it until it’s been checked out. The running water will stop. Problem solved!

PRO TIP: If you can’t advance the valve for some reason, bypass the water softener to minimize wasted water. The video below shows several bypass valves as an example of how to switch from service mode to bypass mode for each one.

NOTE: Some water softeners have a 3-way bypass built around them and can be bypassed that way — click here to see that video demo.


If all else fails? Shut off the water to the house, go back to bed, and call Water Store Midland in the morning!


For more great info and tips about water softeners, click here and I’ll see you there!