View Full Version : Salt Taste in Water After Regen

09-08-2009, 06:48 AM
I would appreciate any comments on this question.

I am a new softened water user. I noticed this morning that the water has a noticeable salty taste. The controller indicates that the unit went into regeneration last night.

Should the water have a noticeable salty taste after regen? I suspect the only true way to determine if the water does contain salt is to have it tested for sodium levels before and after regeneration.


09-08-2009, 07:17 AM
Four things

Crap in the brine line flow control

Crap in the brine valve

Timer ain't cycling

The injector is plugged up

09-08-2009, 11:48 AM
Thanks for the info. I'll try to offer those suggestions to my softener company. They are coming by to take a look.

All they could suggest is shutting off the ice maker every night. They suspect the ice maker is calling for water when the unit is in regeneration. Does that sound possible.


09-08-2009, 04:01 PM
Yes, but pretty rare

09-08-2009, 04:11 PM
Ok, but for some reason I seem to remember them saying when the unit is in regeneration, if there is a water demand from the house, the controller only provides un-conditioned water.

As an example, if a toilet was flushed when in regeneration, the water going to the toilet would be straight well water, not softened. Not that it would matter.

What type of water is the softener supposed to provide when the unit is regenerating?


09-08-2009, 04:35 PM
They are correct. So put the ice maker on a timer.

09-08-2009, 06:20 PM

Put the ice maker on a timer? Sorry, but you have lost me with that statement.

Maybe I was unclear with my initial comment. The ice maker/water dispenser is part of a KitchenAid refrigerator. How exactly am I supposed to time when ice maker calls for water?


Since this is a single tank system with Autotrol valve/controller for the softener, there should be no noticeable saltiness to the water after regeneration. Unless there is a problem with the AutoTrol valve/controller, correct?


09-08-2009, 06:31 PM
Ernie, ya didn't say that it were an AutoTrol and we still need the model. Read post above. BTW, AutoTrol has a pretty good trouble shooting guide. You can Google it. Oh and yes you can get a timer operated valve (plugs in) that you can mount behind the fridge.

09-09-2009, 05:17 AM

I'll check the internet for troubleshooting help with the valve. I do have the AutoTrol 255 owner's installation, operation and maintenance manual. There is a troubleshooting guide in the back but nothing on the salt taste issue.


Since this is my first softener, I'm still learning about their pros and cons. Your statement about salty water when the unit is brining seems strange to me. All someone would have to do is flush a toilet, wash their hands (or icemaker call for water) when the unit is brining and that would enable salty water to enter the plumbing system? Is that really how the system works?

Sure the icemaker could be switched off at night, but stopping all water usage at night for fear of salty water entering the system does not seem logical to me.

I'll add you troubleshooting suggestion to my list of question for the water treatment co.



09-09-2009, 05:33 AM
You are not using ice during the night so the icemaker should not have to replace any. The night time regeneration is a suggestion so you do not get unsoftened water into the piping and water heater, but you could have it regenerate any time you want to, therefore the softener is supposed to be "off line" during its regeneration with raw water going into the house. Your unit is not flushing itself properly after the brining cycle.

09-09-2009, 05:56 AM
The softner company should send a competent service man that will take care of the problem and he should tell you what the problem was when he is finished...

09-09-2009, 06:10 AM

Thanks for your suggestion. Another one added to the list for the service tech.


I totally agree.


09-09-2009, 04:50 PM
Thank you for everyones help on this issue. I will let you know if the issue is fixed.


Gary Slusser
09-09-2009, 06:45 PM
There has to be salt water in the resin tank to be able to get it out into the house water lines.

The slow rinse/brine draw cycle position is usually from 40 to 75 minutes long and the brine is sucked out of the salt tank in the first 10-20 minutes and flushed through the resin out the drain line and then the slow rinse continues for the remaining time.

The next cycle is a backwash and it is done after the brining cycle to get rid of all the salt water. Then a final rinse is done after the backwash to compact the resin bed, not to remove salt water.

So to have salty water at fixtures the backwash cycle is not long enough to flush all the salt water out of the tank. That could be due to too much salt or a reduced drain line flow.

Gary Slusser
09-10-2009, 08:53 AM
All simplex (single tank) systems will produce untreated water during its regeneration with a normal by-pass. Some commercial units will shut off service water, prohibiting any water through that particular unit during regeneration. Duplex (and triplex, etc.) systems will provide treated water even during regeneration, so they can regenerate anytime day or night.
A no hard water bypass is internal to the control valve, not external as with a regular softener by pass valve. A NHWBP type control valve is very rarely to never used in residential softeners.

There is a regular two tank (as some call them simplex or single tank) softener control valve that regenerates at any time of day or night and it is aslo delayed regeneration to a set time of day; usually 2 AM. I've been selling it for years.

I can also use it for twin tank applications with water through both tanks or not, with immediate and/or staggered delayed regeneration to a set time of day, and it has a softened water purge rinse to get rid of the stagnant water in the tank in Standby before it goes in Service. Currently there is no twin tank softener on the market that has its features and programming options; although the Fleck TwinFlo 100e has the purge rinse of the Standby tank.

09-10-2009, 05:37 PM
Ok guys, you are starting to get way beyond my knowledge level in water softeners, but it's still interesting reading.

I plan to ask the Co. to have the water tested for sodium levels. This should be the best way to determine if the softener is malfunctioning or incorrectly set-up, tanks wise or control settings. Taste can be somewhat subjective. Tastes salty to me, doesn't taste salty to me.

How exactly do you control the time of the units cycling stages? The only setting I see are for salt dose and regeneration days. Are those times set by the manufacturer or selectable by the installer?

I was also wondering if you periodically re-test the water for hardness or whatever you are trying remove from the water? As a previous swimming pool owner, water testing was a weekly routine. I know pool water has many environmental factors affecting the water quality, but that may not be for ground water.

09-10-2009, 06:52 PM
Ground water quality can change, too. Especially, if it is a shallow well, surface conditions can affect it. Road salt, contaminents, etc.

El Paso, TX gets its water (mostly) from really deep wells. There's salt water underneath the fresh, and they're approaching the salty layer since they've had uncontrolled expansion and poor water conservation. Kind of tough in the desert, but it happens more often than it should.

Just got back from an Alaska vacation. Found out that the fresh water melt from the glaciers is often so strong that you can drink the fresh water on top of the salt in many places before it mixes. Lots of animals drink from the bay, which would normally kill them with the salt.