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View Full Version : Kenmore 350 water softener leaking at O-ring



Bob Turner
04-18-2010, 10:32 AM
I have a Kenmore Model 350 water softener with a persistent leak at the discharge-side O-ring on the diverter valve. I have changed the O-ring and applied silicone grease but the connection continues to drip. Any suggestions?

Akpsdvan
04-18-2010, 10:56 AM
Is it leaking at the out of treated side of the bypass? or the piston with in the bypass to have either treated or untreated water in the house?

Skip Wolverton
04-18-2010, 12:02 PM
Are you referring to the bypass? If so, replace the bypass. Look in each port. You might see a line in the side that leaks.

Bob Turner
04-18-2010, 01:27 PM
The leak is at the treated side of the bypass where it inserts into the softener. It's only a dripping leak but it will collect at the top of the unit and eventually find its way into the brine tank. The problem is usually allignment but the O-ring should account for a bit of mis-allignment. I have tried alligning and re-seating the O-ring but the dripping persists.

Akpsdvan
04-18-2010, 01:33 PM
Ok, now I know where you are talking about, and depending on the age of the unit and the length of time that the two have been out of allignment it is possible that the female part of the valve is no longer in true round.
If the O ring is still good and not cracked, torn.. then it can no longer handle that miss allignment, you could try a hardware store that has lots of different O rings in the plumbing and see if there is an O ring that is a little bit thicker and lub with the silicon and see if that works to stop the leak.

Skip Wolverton
04-18-2010, 03:30 PM
The very end of the bypass (port where it attaches to valve) is a pressed fit piece (sonic welded). You will be wasting your time trying to fix it. Replace the bypass. Trust me. I've tried everything you are thinking or about to think. If you look in the port a lot of times you will see a brown ring. This is where the water is seeping.

Bob Turner
04-23-2010, 04:38 AM
At the present time the problem looks like finding an O-ring that is the proper dimension (thickness) to match the original as supplied with the unit. About a year ago I ordered several and they look to be a bit thinner than the non-leaking side. The leak is small but over time can be problematic by leaking into the brine tank. I have ordered more through Sears and requested the same spec for the replacement O-rings. Time will tell.

Skip Wolverton
04-24-2010, 05:33 AM
At the present time the problem looks like finding an O-ring that is the proper dimension (thickness) to match the original as supplied with the unit. About a year ago I ordered several and they look to be a bit thinner than the non-leaking side. The leak is small but over time can be problematic by leaking into the brine tank. I have ordered more through Sears and requested the same spec for the replacement O-rings. Time will tell.
I'm telling you it's not the o-ring. Replace the bypass.

Bob Turner
05-02-2010, 07:11 AM
The problem was eliminated by replacing the bypass (thanks, Skip) by fabricating one with CPVC piping, valves, etc. and running directly into the main valve. No leaks, much better connection. Thanks again. Nice to have soft water again!

Wally Hays
05-02-2010, 04:51 PM
Good call there Skip, well done.

Skip Wolverton
05-03-2010, 07:05 PM
It drove me crazy until I figured where the damn leak was. Glad you got it fixed. Thanks, Wally

tebaldi7
10-04-2013, 01:15 PM
The problem was eliminated by replacing the bypass (thanks, Skip) by fabricating one with CPVC piping, valves, etc. and running directly into the main valve. No leaks, much better connection. Thanks again. Nice to have soft water again!

Hey Bob, could you send me a picture of your new fabricated bypass? I ran through the same problem, i've tried a bunch of o-rings and I can't stop the water leak. If you could send me a picture or explain how you made your new connection I will highly appreciate. My email is tebaldi7@gmail.com. Thanks!

Noyzee1
10-04-2013, 02:28 PM
Hey Bob, could you send me a picture of your new fabricated bypass? I ran through the same problem, i've tried a bunch of o-rings and I can't stop the water leak. If you could send me a picture or explain how you made your new connection I will highly appreciate. My email is tebaldi7@gmail.com. Thanks!

Just want to say...
I had the same problem with the original (<10 years old) bypass valve that I also believe was out of round.
I made a temporary fix (until you get another one) by wrapping the offending o-ring with Teflon tape (tightly!) as needed for a snug fit, then greasing with silicone grease.
These Sears/Ecowater bypass valves are very cheap and seem to be one of the problem areas. You may be able to get another "parts unit" off Craig's List like I did for around $50, which solved that problem.
Thanks for viewing,;)
JIM