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Thread: no soft water even when regen seems normal.

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member bngo's Avatar
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    Default no soft water even when regen seems normal.

    I have a Kenmore Ultrasoft 100. Did not have soft water for a year so I started to troubleshoot. Salt was used up regularly so I suspect resin problem. Cleaned the venturi, changed the resin but still no soft water. I opened up the valve assembly to see if parts are OK. Everything looks fine. Did the diagnostic test as shown on the manual to see if regeneration is normal. Indeed goes through the whole regen cycle. I even observed the normal regen cycle to see if things are normal. It is. When in service, I checked by opening a tap to see if water is going through the softener, it does. I know because when I shut off the softenerís output valve, the water from tap stops flowing. An electronic diagnostic test donít seem to show water flowing through turbine.

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member Bob999's Avatar
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    Do you have a well or city water?

    Do you have iron in your water?

    If you have iron do you use a cleaner regularly?

    Given that you replaced the resin and confirmed that the softener is drawing brine it is very likely that something internal to the valve or resin tank is broken and the water is not being drawn through the resin.

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    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    Make sure that if there are any other valves that should be closed are closed so that untreated water does not get to the treated water.
    Make sure that the bypass is fully in the service or soft water mode and not just a little bit out of place.

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    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    If you haven't done so, go to kenmorewaterdotcom and go through their troubleshooting routine.

    In my Kenmore water softener, the rotor disc would go bad about every 2 years which would make the unit not draw brine properly. If the rotor has concentric ring scoring, it needs to be replaced.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by bngo View Post
    I have a Kenmore Ultrasoft 100. Did not have soft water for a year so I started to troubleshoot. Salt was used up regularly so I suspect resin problem. Cleaned the venturi, changed the resin but still no soft water. I opened up the valve assembly to see if parts are OK. Everything looks fine. Did the diagnostic test as shown on the manual to see if regeneration is normal. Indeed goes through the whole regen cycle. I even observed the normal regen cycle to see if things are normal. It is. When in service, I checked by opening a tap to see if water is going through the softener, it does. I know because when I shut off the softener’s output valve, the water from tap stops flowing. An electronic diagnostic test don’t seem to show water flowing through turbine.

    Thanks for any help.
    If the unit does not show water flow, the turbine or the meter cable is bad. It must show water flow in order to know when the regen.

  6. #6
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    The meter will not be able to read water flow if the water is not going through the softener.

    I suspect that is what is happening and could be caused by a leaking by pass valve o-ring or the o-ring on the distributor tube in the resin tank.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member bngo's Avatar
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    Thanks for everyone's input.
    The electronic diagnostic test from the manual asked to turn on the tap to see if water is going through the turbine. The display shows "000 --", I think the 000 number should be changing as water is passing, but it doesn't. Manual also asked to take the sensor out and use a magnet to pass through it, but the number remains at 000. The turbine must be spining because water is going in and out of the softener. Is there another way to test the sensor of malfunction? Even if the sensor is not working, I can still do manual regen and should get softwater? So, there must be some mechanical problem causing the water not the pass the resin? I tooked all the parts out to observe and things look fine from my inexperienced eye. Any other diagnostic test I can do that is not on kenmorewater.com or the manual? Some way of testing the valves for defect?

    Thanks again guys.

  8. #8
    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bngo View Post
    Thanks for everyone's input.
    The electronic diagnostic test from the manual asked to turn on the tap to see if water is going through the turbine. The display shows "000 --", I think the 000 number should be changing as water is passing, but it doesn't. Manual also asked to take the sensor out and use a magnet to pass through it, but the number remains at 000. The turbine must be spining because water is going in and out of the softener. Is there another way to test the sensor of malfunction? Even if the sensor is not working, I can still do manual regen and should get softwater? So, there must be some mechanical problem causing the water not the pass the resin? I tooked all the parts out to observe and things look fine from my inexperienced eye. Any other diagnostic test I can do that is not on kenmorewater.com or the manual? Some way of testing the valves for defect?

    Thanks again guys.
    If the turbine is spinning there will be a change on the board if the board is working.

    make sure that the wires that go from the sensor are furmly on the pins of the board.

    If the bypass is all the way in for soft water and there is no other valve open that would let untreated in to the treated water line and one is still getting untreated or non soft water, then there is A)leak in the valve head or the dist tube is broken above the resin bed.

    There also could be a leak in the bypass that is letting the water cross over there and not move the meter.

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member bngo's Avatar
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    Got the sensor to sense the water usage, so the turbine is working and the board is working fine as well. There was a loose ground wire from sensor to board. I have a 3 valve bypass system. Confirmed that the bypass valve is not leaking; when 3 valves are closed, no water is running in the house. When the bypass is opened, water returns. Therefore, something internal is causing the water not to go through the resin. Would a seal kit work? Maybe some o-rings are defective, not sealing correctly, causing water to go right out to outlet valve?

  10. #10
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Since you got the meter to count down, there's probably nothing else wrong now, so do a couple regenerations one after the other and you should have soft water.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member bngo's Avatar
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    Thanks, I'll try a couple of regens. Just took apart the valve assembly again to obersve the o-rings and seals. Looks normal, but I do not have a new set to compare with. If a couple of regens still no good, then I'll try the seal kit. Possible that the seals or o-ring might enable untreated water to bypass the resins and go directly out the output valve.

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