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Thread: Sears water softener eats rotors

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    Default Sears water softener eats rotors

    Just wondering if anyone else here has had this problem, and any ideas of ways to prevent it. I have a 9-year-old Sears water softener, and seems like every 3 years or so it stops making soft water. When I have done some troubleshooting, turns out it doesn't make suction to pull the brine into the resin tank. Replacing the rotor and disc (which has become scored very shallowly) fixes it for a while. I use silicone grease on the disc surface and seals, but wondering if there's anything else to do to prevent the scoring from happening?

    Thanks

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    DIY Senior Member Hube's Avatar
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    Have you made sure the nozzle and venturi are also cleaned periodically?
    Also, make sure the venturi 'screen' is clear of any crud that may block the 'regeneration' flow.

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    Good thoughts, but screen and venturi nozzle have always been clean as a whistle. Replacing rotor disc has been the only fix so far.

    I did an internet site and someone posted that the rubber gasket below the venturi nozzle can wear out and decrease suction during brining, so I'll probably go ahead and replace that, too.

    I did just have an expansion tank put in between the softener and water heaters; any chance this will somehow reduce wear on the rotor disc?

  4. #4
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking It will nickle and dime you to death

    never had any luck with sears products , couldent ever find the parts in a timely manner. Their service people arent very good either, usually about 95 bucks to walk into our door. They are not the quality you think that they are.

    the same goes for culligan, connectico, rainsoft, GE, Water Boss and jsut about anything you might stumble upon in any hardware store.

    Honestly you are very lucky that you are capable of fixing it yourself , or by now you would have coughed up a pretty penny for service to that unit.
    You are 1 in 100, because no customer I have ever met has ever fooled with those units and actually won.

    We get calls every week from people that wont let the Sears repair man back into their house, on units that are only three years old.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I dont know what region of the countyr you are in, but after while, that controll head and the spring loaded cams inside it just sort of wear out...due to scaling and high water pressure ect,,ect anythiing more than about 15 years is not too bad a life span for any brand out there. (at least in the mid west).. Though some last literally forever if they have low water pressure.

    HIGH WATER PRESSURE KILLS WATER SOFTENERS....The spring loaded cams inside them just cant take the strain forver . Keep the water pressure at 70psi or under and the unit will probably crank on forever and ever.

    Get it above 100 ++and it will sound like a 747 jet flying over when it re-generates. Most of the units have a max pressure range of 125.

    check your water pressure, install a pressure reduceing valve at the softener if necessary, to kick it down to under 70.psi It will either cure the problem completely or extend the time dramatically between repairs.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I shouldent bring this subject up, especially to a guy that can actually make repiars to his sears unit,
    Think about a new unit, and not a sears or any of the others mentioned.. It sounds like youi are a pretty handy guy and the best unit I know of is one that has an AUTOTROL controll on it..they are made under many different brands , but they literally last forever and just about anyone can work onthe unit.

    If you are moving sometime soon, and dont want to shell out the money for a new one, another route is just to LEASE one from someone in your area for about $20 permonth..

    just for fun , if you want to see one go to this link

    http://www.affordableh2o.com/softener/268info.html


    good luck.

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    Master Plumber Mark,
    Great info! I had wondered about the effect of water pressure. I do have a pressure-reducing valve and have it set at 60 PSI. Maybe the water expansion tank will help a bit.

    I think you're right on target about the quality of these units (unfortunately!). I have a soft spot in my heart (or head?) for Sears products, but I've seen a number of complaints on the 'net, where replacing the rotor and doing a seal kit might cost $300 if you call Sears! That's a lot, for a $400 unit, every 2-3 years! I am glad that I am handy enough, at least, to take the control valve apart.

    I've bookmarked the site you sent. Next time this thing acts up, I'll go for a unit with an Autotrol control valve.

    Thanks for sharing your expertise!!

    Steve Wengel
    Omaha, NE

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