Under normal operation only the brine well should be full of salt water for the cleansing of the resin beads. As you can see in the picture of the interior of the NSC30UD/NST30UD North Star automatic water conditioner(water softener), the brine tank is also half full of water!
My first impulse was to call for a repair man to fix it, but I figured that would cost at least $100 and likely more. It turns out I was able to fix it myself in less than 15 minutes by just reading the owner’s manual. It took longer to find the manual than fix the water softener.
Something called the Nozzle and Venturi was the culprit. This piece is responsible to help form the suction that pulls the brine water out of the brine well and into the resin chamber. The brine water cleans the some 53 pounds of resin beads. These beads become coated with “the hard minerals” magnesium and calcium as part of the water softening process when the hard water passes through the resin beads.
In the picture below, the hole that you see was once blocked and the reason the water level rose in the brine tank. Understand that the brine tank is only supposed to be full of salt during normal operation, NOT Water! It is the brine well that is supposed to contain the brine water that cleans the resin bead which in turn convert hard water to soft water.
As you can see in the picture below, the capped housing for the cleaned Venturi Nozzle is connected to a tube which suctions freshly dissolved salt water from the brine well and into the resin chamber. As mentioned, this brine water will remove the calcium and magnesium that his built up on the resin beads. This ion exchange process will get the resin beads ready to remove the magnesium and calcium from the hard water when the North Star water softener is in the service mode and making the water in your home home soft for longer appliance life and much better for your skin when you shower and bath.
How do you know your water softener is not working? The water does not feel as slippery when you are showering and you can see mineral deposit buildup on your dishes after your dishwasher cycles.
It took around 7 months of service before we needed to clean the Venturi Nozzle, which is just a hole in the red plastic piece you see in the picture above. Cleaning out the obstructed hole was just a matter of rinsing with warm water. We also rinsed the metal screen which was not that dirty or blocked to begin with.
Save yourself some money by fixing your water softener yourself. Your owners manual will show you where Venturi Nozzle Housing is. No tools required. You can twist off the white plastic cap you see in the below picture and be finished with the task in less than 20 minutes while saving yourself an unnecessary cost on a repair visit!