Water Softener Resin Tank Leaking From Bottom: Solutions

Water softener resin tank leaking from bottom: reason and solutions Resin Tank is a container equipped with resin beads. The ion exchange process happens here, enabling the conversion of hard water to soft water.

Water softener resin tank leaking from bottom reason and solutions
Water softener resin tank leaking from bottom: reason and solutions

The name Resin Tank comes from the resins crammed inside the tank in the form of tiny spheroidal beads. Polystyrene-type gel resin is the widely accepted resin in this industry. The structure of this resin is skeletal and very porous. The bead size ranges from 0.3mm to 1.2mm, holding moisture of 45% approximately.

The negatively charged resin beads attract the positively charged ions from the water, allowing the removal of the hard minerals from the water. This process helps the conversion of hard water to soft water, which is then allowed to flow further into the main water supply.

Water softener resin tank leaking from bottom: Reason

The main reason for water leakage in resin tanks from the bottom side may be because of cracks in the tank. The damage can be at the edges of the tank or in one of the connection lines.

Water softener resin tank leaking from bottom Reason
Water softener resin tank leaking from bottom: Reason

This problem can happen in most of the water softener systems which have been working for years. The older resins can break, unable to block the water which flows through the crack or hole and drips on the floor.

Replacing the resin or resin tank can cost up to $500 or more! If your system has completed 10+ years, purchasing an entirely new water softener system will be a good decision.

Water softener resin tank leaking from bottom: Solution

You will have to look at the problem closely by emptying the tank and cleaning it thoroughly to decide whether you can fix it on your own or need professional help. You can fix small cracks by applying epoxy to seal them. 

If the leak originates from the connection point of the resin tank, tightening the connection may work. Else ensure the O-ring is perfectly working. If not, replace it. Another solution is replacing the resin bead or resin tank or the entire water softener system. It all depends on the water quality in your area and how hard it is.

How long does a water softener resin tank last?

Typically a resin used for a water softener system has an average life of ten years. After that, it has to get replaced with a new one. The resin’s age significantly depends on the hardness of the water in any particular area.

How long does a water softener resin tank last
How long does a water softener resin tank last?

In the case of free chlorine levels exceeding 1.0ppm, the life span of the resin is reduced to 50%, lasting only approximately five years. The presence of iron in the water can also reduce the lifespan of resin beads as it covers the beads with iron coating, making it difficult to absorb water for ion exchange.

Another reason for reducing the life span is the excess force of water which hammers down the resin beads, damaging them eventually.

How do you drain a water softener resin tank?

Drain the resin tank whenever the resin beads get clogged with impurities from hard water and stop performing optimized water softening. So, to clean the resin tank, you will have to drain out the entire water from the tank.

How do you drain a water softener resin tank?
How do you drain a water softener resin tank?
  • Using Bucket: Collect water from the resin tank by placing a bucket below the resin tank
  • Wet-dry vacuum: If you have a vacuum made especially for wet conditions, you can use it to collect water from the resin tank.
  • Turning off the water supply: Next, find the pipe which supplies water to the resin tank and turn off the valve to stop the water supply.
  • Opening drain valve: The drain valve is at the bottom of the resin tank. Open it and let all the water flush out from the tank.

How do I know if my resin beads are bad?

Symptoms to identify that resin beads are bad:

  1. Stops giving out soft water.
  2. Runs out or regenerates soft water in a short duration.
  3. The water softener system stops using salt at an irregular rate.
  4. A problematic valve head can stop the recharge of the resin bed with brine water.

How to prevent the resin tank from getting clogged?

  • Sediment filter installation: Installing a sediment filter will prevent clogging of the resin tank, as it will block most of the sediments from the natural water.
  • Distilled water usage: Distilled water is a great way to remove minerals beforehand. It will help to prevent the resin tank from getting clogged.
  • Regular cleaning of the tank: Clean your resin tank regularly to prevent clogging of the resin beads.

How to replace resin in a water softener?

You may try to wash the resin from the resin tank first by completely draining out the water. Despite cleansing the resins does not solve the problem, you will need to replace the resin. You can do it on your own and save some money.

💧What will you require?

  • New Resin.
  • 4-in-1 screwdriver.
  • Resin funnel.
  • Gravel (if your water softener system requires it).

💧Measure how much resin will be required?

You will need to check what amount of resin you require for your resin tank. First, calculate the diameter and the height of the resin tank.

You will get the diameter by dividing the circumference by 3.14. (Diameter = Circumference / 3.14). Then refer to the following chart to get the required amount of resin.

How to replace resin in a water softener
How to replace resin in a water softener?
Size of tankRequired resin (cubic.ft.)
8” x 35”0.64
8” x 44”0.75
9” x 35”0.75
9” x 48”1.00
10” x 35”1.00
10” x 40”1.00
10” x 44”1.25
10” x 52”1.50
10” x 54”2.00

(source: https://www.familyhandyman.com)

Alternatively, you can get the info from your water softener’s instruction manual or simply call the service representative of the water softener company. Order the amount of high-quality resin that you need.

  • Detach the unit: The next step is to initiate the manual regeneration, which will flush out all the internal water pressure. You can do this by shutting off the main valve. Detach the resin tank by removing all the connections and hose pipes attached to the unit.
    • Pull the resin tank away from the plumbing and electrical system. Keep a note of the O-rings/seals so that while fixing them to their original state, you fit them in the same place. While unscrewing the valve head, you might need an additional helper who can hold the resin tank while you unscrew the unit.
  • Flush out all water and the resin: You can now drain all the water and resin from the tank by opening the valve at the bottom. Then clean out the entire tank with freshwater.
  • Resizing of the riser tube: Ensure the height of the new riser tube matches exactly with the old one.
  • Filling up the new resin: Position the resin funnel and strap off the riser tube. Start pouring some gravel into the funnel and let it settle by shaking the tank. Pour all the remaining resin into the funnel with the helper’s help.

Now you can again attach all the connections and enjoy the soft water. The entire process will take about 4 hours of yours from start to end. If you are unsure about how to do this or don’t have time, you can always get professional help and get it done at a cost.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much does it cost to replace resin in a water softener?

General charges for these services are around $150 to $200. You can save this amount if you can do it by yourself. Pay only for the other materials like new resin, new rise tube, resin funnel, and gravel if required.

How often should you change the resin in a water softener?

On average, the resin in water softeners has a lifespan of ten years. Then it needs to be replaced. The areas where water carries more impurities can reduce the lifespan of the resins. But if you follow the practice of cleaning the resins regularly, the lifespan of resins may increase.

How often should I clean the resin in my water softener?

Depending on the hardness of the water in your area, cleaning the resin 4 to 6 times per year is recommended.


Water softeners are essential systems in your home. The resin tank is one of the crucial parts of the water softeners, as it is the one that plays a significant role in softening water by the ion exchange process.

Clean the resin beads and resin tank frequently. It will increase the life of the resin tank and the water softener. The resin tank may crack at the bottom, which you should attend immediately. If the crack is not significant, you can repair them by yourself. Else calling for a service representative is the best alternative.

On average, the resin has a lifespan of about ten years, but if the water hardness in your area is more, it could reduce to five years. You can replace the resin on your own and save some money. But it is a tedious task and takes away around four hours of yours.

Resin replacement should be done at least after every ten years. In case of a high percentage of water hardness, change it every five years. Follow the practice of cleaning the resin 4 to 6 times per year for a longer life of your water softener.