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    September 08, 2022 2 min read

    Will Brine Water From Water Softener Damage A Sump Pump?

    water softener damage a sump pump

    it shows in most manuals not to do this because the salt will eat the bolts on the pump, if not the pump itself.

    Household water softeners remove calcium and magnesium -- the major mineral constituents of hard water -- at a central unit that treats incoming water from the municipal water supply. A regenerating softener utilizes a process that includes a mineral tank to remove ions of calcium and magnesium from water, and a brine tank that periodically flushes the accumulated minerals away with a concentrated salty solution. After regeneration, the used brine solution is backwashed out of the system and fresh brine is created for subsequent regeneration.

    Because some municipalities prohibit draining brine from the water softener into the sewer, other discharge alternatives must be found. Some homeowners elect to divert the brine discharged from the softener into the basement sump pit that collects common ground water, then automatically pumps it outside where it soaks into the soil somewhere in the backyard.

    Manufacturers of sump pumps discourage the use of sump pits to discharge brine from the water softener. Sump pumps and associated components such as float switches are not designed for exposure to salt water. The corrosive action of salt water may damage rubber seals as well as the cast-iron pump body, the stainless steel pump shaft and the pump impeller. In addition, discharging brine from the water softener into a sump basin often voids the warranty on the sump pump.

    Look for pumps with plastic and/or stainless steel components in contact with the water for best results. Typical cast iron housing pumps could have corrosion issues with salt containing water, but realize the salt level in the softener discharge varies in salt content during discharge, it varies from high to low salt content. The last cycles in softener regeneration are the fast rinse and refill cycles, both of which would discharge low levels of salt, really, if any, and this water if left in the sump basin should have little corrosive effect on a pump standing in it.

    How do I dispose of brine water from my water softener?

     

    Is water softener discharge bad for plants? Can I drain my water softener outside? First, Check if your water softener discharges to your sump pit. If so, then the salt will accelerate corrosion of your sump pump. Especially if it is cast iron or stainless. I don't know about all plastic. Most sump pumps have warnings about water softener brine corrosion.

    Also some municipalities don't want water softener discharge to sewer. And the salt can damage your lawn or plants. So it should discharge to storm drain if possible.

    When in doubt, contact your local plumber or Try your local municipality for info.