Try the troubleshooting animations at www.kenmorewater.com and see what you find.
I have a Sears model 625.348491. I am having an issue with hard water. We went about 2 weeks with the same amount of salt in the salt tank, but there was no salt bridge. I figured we should pour a few more bags in the tank because I read somewhere that the more salt you have in the tank, the better results you will get from your softner. Now whether or not this is true, I am not sure, but now the salt seems to be going down at a very slow pace and our water is still quite hard. I have cleaned everything I could get at and am out of options. Is there any advice you can offer?
Thanks for your help,
PS, I uped the hardness number on the softner to see if that helps. I will be monitoring that for the next few days. Was 35, it is now at 40.
I have gone through all the steps on the animation and it says to call a technician. I am pretty good with most plumbing and hands on projects so if I can avoid this with some further guidance I would like to. Any other suggestions?
Not without having a hint at where to look for the cause of the problem but...
You should keep salt in the tank but not fill the tank, or add salt for each regeneration. Salt is dissolved at the rate of 3 lbs/gallon of water that the control valve adds to the salt tank. The animations should have shown you that.
You could do two manual regenerations back to back with no water use until the second one is done. That should regenerate all the resin, and see what it does then.
If that doesn't help, you may have a leak in the bypass valve allowing hard water to mix with the soft water, or the o-ring on the distributor tube is leaking. A kinked drain line, injector, injector screen or loose brine line are all possibilities. Or call their tech support number and see what they say.
So I tried the back to back regen, and it seems as if when it regenerates the water gets even harder. I have checked all possible places inside the house for leaks and also all around the water softener and water heater and there doesn't seem to be any thing leaking.
Obviously you are missing something in the troubleshooting. The only thing I can tell you is to go through each step of a regeneration and make sure it is doing what it is supposed to in each one. If it is, then you have bad or no resin in the tank or internal leakage allowing hard water out to the house.