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Rick, Construction Supervisor
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 20753
Experience:  Licensed Master plumber with 40+ yrs. experience.
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I have a water softener model WHES40. Here is what happened

Customer Question

I have a water softener model WHES40. Here is what happened and my questions:
- Bypass valve plastic cracked at the outlet (inlet is fine) where the threads are located. This led to a flooding of our basement. I have since shut off the water to the softener and utilized a plumbed bypass to repair the softener.
- Salt tank is now filled to the emergency drain with water. I cannot tell if this was caused by the break or contributed to the break.
(1) When I manually put the softener into regeneration mode to drain the water from the tank, no water leaves. I checked the venturi pump, motor, drain hose, rotor disc all showing no signs of clogging or residue.
(2) Upon inspection of the drain plug, I find that is no drain plug. Not sure if this is a problem.
Looking for clues as to how to drain the water and to see if the cracking caused the problem or is a symptom of a larger problem. Thanks!
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Rick replied 10 months ago.

Welcome to Just Answer, my name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help you with your issue. If my initial response doesn’t answer your question then let me know and we can continue our conversation.

These units don't have a drain plug. The likely reason the brine tank is full is because the float valve in the tank which controls the water level in the tank has failed or the float is hanging up. The float could be hanging up due to a bad valve mechanism or some obstruction (but this is rare). You can either rebuild or replace the valve

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Is this likely failure of the float valve capable of causing the bypass valve failure (crack)?I just don't want to replace the bypass valve only to have this all happen again.
Expert:  Rick replied 10 months ago.

Float valve failure is just coincidental. I don't see any mechanism where the bypass failure could have caused a float valve failure.

Expert:  Rick replied 10 months ago.

Or the other way around

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Could the float valve failure cause the lack of draining when I force the softener into the regeneration mode? I've put the softener into fast drain mode and I get no water coming out of the system.
Expert:  Rick replied 10 months ago.

No, the bypass is always under pressure and nothing in the softener mechanism can affect it.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I am understanding that a failed float valve could cause the tank to fill beyond normal levels.Where I am at a loss is why the softener does not drain when forced into fast drain mode as well as what could have caused the initial crack of the bypass valve.
Expert:  Rick replied 10 months ago.

Nothing in the softener mechanism can affect the bypass. They are entirely separate and independent. The fast drain mode failure could be due to an internal softener valve failure which may require a softener valve rebuild so if the unit functions under normal circumstances I'd let the fast drain thing slide given what it would take to fix it. The bypass is basically just a cheap plastic valve. Any strain on it (possibly from the piping or an impact to the piping) could cause it to crack.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
how can I drain the water out of the tank prior to connecting the water again? I would rather not hook up the water from the house, turn on the system, and then have the tank overflow.
Expert:  Rick replied 10 months ago.

You have to siphon or pump it out.

Expert:  Rick replied 10 months ago.

Do you have any more questions?