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Thread: Kenmore water softener

  1. #1

    Default Kenmore water softener

    Looking for some ideas/ information. I've got a Kenmore water softener that I've had for 14 years. A few months ago the water started feeling a little hard, so I had it tested. Hard water was 7 grains, softened was 4 grains. I've worked on it through the years replacing seals here and there cleaning out the venturi as needed, so I know how to work on it. It puts water in the brine well OK, and sucks it back out OK, but I only get partially softened water. After inquiring on this and other forums, it seemed that after 14 years that the resin had just wore out. I purchased the correct resin and put the correct amount in after removing the old. Seemingly no change in hardness.

    It's as if some of the hard water is bypassing the resin bed or something. Any one out there real familiar with what might be wrong with it?
    Tanks, Dan

  2. #2
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking its 14 years old

    for one thing its a Kenmore and its a miracle
    you have never had to repiar it at least two or three
    times already.....

    and its 14 years old.....the mineral bed is probably exausted too....


    you are lucky it lasted that long without troubles.


    try another brand this time
    jsut go go get a new Fleck or Autotrol......

  3. #3
    Plumber plumber1's Avatar
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    Default kenmore

    I think it's time to replace.

    Get something better next time, you will see the difference.

  4. #4
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Default

    Do some on-line shopping. Clack is another brand name that gets remarks about being easy for a homeowner to service.

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks all the same, but that was not the advice I asked for. I'm not in the market for a new softener. I want to know what else to trouble shoot to repair this one!

  6. #6
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Go to this site and look up the troubleshooting charts:


    http://www.kenmorewater.com/website/.../ts_index.html


    This information will help you with your situation. Kenmore also has
    tech service to help you with your situation.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  7. #7
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking advice --take it or leave it....

    It might not be the advice you asked for,

    but you are in the market for a new water softener
    wether you like it or not....

    and that is the best advice you are gonnna get.....

    anyone that is willing to come out and try to repair that
    14 yr old piece of junk is simply just cheating you ,

    and will eventually
    ((after you are through getting nickled and dimed to death))_
    sell you a new one.............

    but you will have to find that out for yourself....

    good luck with the repairs...
    Last edited by master plumber mark; 03-28-2006 at 09:18 AM.

  8. #8

    Default

    Master,
    If you would have read my first post, you would know that I've already replaced the resin.

    I've seen the parts list, pricing for my unit, and spending $300 -600 on a new softener doesn't make sense to me. Whatever is letting the water bypass the resin bed is what needs repaired. Probably a seal or the rotor are my guesses.

    I was looking for someone that might have repaired these "junk" softeners. I guess that excludes you.

    Thanks anyway

  9. #9

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    Rugged,

    Thanks for the link, but I'm way past that. As I stated before, the unit obviously works as it's removing 3 grains of hardness. My guess is that something is allowing some of the hard water to bypass the resin bed. When I find that, it'll work fine.

    I've replaced the resin and there's plenty of salt in the tank and I can see it draw the brine into the resin tank, so that only seems to leave a leak of hard water going to the resin tank.

    Thanks anyway

  10. #10
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Every softener has a bypass condition that lets you use water when the softener is treating the resin. You maybe getting bypassing in the controller or somewhere in the tank.

    You might want to consider a new controller that would fit on your existing tank. My experience with Sears suggests that you will not be able to get parts for your 14 year old controller.

    I talked to Craig at http://www.qualitywatertreatment.com..._softeners.htm and he said that a Fleck 5600 Econominder Metered Valve would be available for your tank for $295. You would need to modify the outer shell to make it fit but the apperance of a 14 year old water softener would probably not be degraded much by that.

    The Fleck uses a larger distributor tube but a bushing is available.

    You're on your own from here.

  11. #11
    DIY Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    I also received excellent service and advice from www.ohiopurewaterco.com. Bought an entire system (softener, UV tube and filter system) for less than what a "fuller brush" water softenser salesman wanted to charge for his bottom of the line model.

  12. #12
    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    You sound pretty handy. Have you replaced the rotor? In my experience with my 10-year-old Kenmore softener, the face of the rotor will get very shallow concentric scores on it after about 2 years. Any scoring is considered grounds for replacement of the rotor.

    Some have said, on this forum, that those scores will prevent proper brining but won't affect overall performance of the softener if brine is being produced and sucked out of the well. I'm not completely sure of that -- if you are dedicated to holding onto the unit, and if you haven't replaced the rotor, start there. Do a seal kit while you have it apart.

    Don't discount the Kenmore troubleshooting site -- seems elementary at first, but it does get into pretty good detail as you dig into it.

  13. #13

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    SteveW

    Thanks for the info. You know, on the Kenmore trouble shooting site, where it says you need a trained service technician? I just need the information, not a service man. I can take the entire softener apart down to the last screw. They're not hard to work on at all, no need for special tools. So I just need to know what to fix, replace.

    I'm gonna take a good look at the rotor tonight, that was my thought too ,SteveW. I think either the rotor or it's seal is letting hard water go down the distributer tube instead of out the top distributer thus only some hard water goes thru the resin bed. The distributer was OK when I checked it while putting in new resin. I also put new o rings on the tube and valve assembly. I will find what's wrong.
    Thanks

  14. #14

    Default

    Well, it's fixed. When I took the valve cover off to check the rotor and seals, I found that the drain seal plug had fallen over and the o-ring that was supposed to be on top of it was missing. Put the drain seal plug in place and replaced the o-ring, and all is well. Total cost : $.47. Time spent dis/ assembling: 5 minutes.
    Even counting the resin at $89.95 delivered, I've got less than $100 and an hour of my spare time invested in this "junk" softener. Sure looks better than the $500 for a new one.
    Thanks all

  15. #15
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    dt196 I need you in my area to field all the service calls dealing with water softeners I get here and there. For some reason I just don't want to find time to learn about the ins and outs of these things. I'm down to 3% brain power......gotta conserve when I can.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

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