Jon, I have a similar situation where our water has also become hard. After reading your thread I disassembled the softener valve (again) but did not see the blue balls or white balls that you and the others have spoken of. I did take the brine tube out to check the suction and did confirm that I do have suction, not sure how strong the suction is supposed to be as it seemed kind of low to me. Can you or anyone else provide a diagram that shows where these balls should go? or let me know if you have any other recommendations. My system is a KI-MOD-2061(MACH 2060S) installed in 2007 and my valve hardware looks identical to yours when disassembled.