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Water Softener Salt Tank Has Brown Water In The Bottom?

My water softener tank has a dirty brine in the bottom. I understand there has to be water in the bottom, but this water is very dark brown – looks muddy. It has been that way since I moved into the house, but I’ve never had time to look into what, if anything, I should do about it. Anyway, the softener is due for salt, so I thought this would be a good time to clean it if I need to.
Should it be cleaned and if so, how do I go about it? Thanks.

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  1. Comment by jbyingto
    August 11, 2009 @ 2:51 pm

    The brown sludge is from the lubricants used to help release salt pellets or blocks from their press molds. It accumulates over the years.
    Turn off the softener just to ensure it won’t start while your cleaning it. Then, bail-out as much water as you can and get rid of it. Finally, add clean water and swish around with a broom. Remove all of this water and re-fill the salt tank to the approximate level the sludge water was before you cleaned it. Then add salt, turn the softener back on and let it regenerate.

  2. Comment by mike
    July 14, 2015 @ 8:47 am

    is the brown water harmful???

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