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Thread: Kenmore water softener

  1. #16
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking Rugged --waht would you have charged?

    It just wonderful that this fellow repaired
    his water softerner himself......

    changed the resin in the unit too, I guess....

    fixed the rotor......47c....

    probably no one working at SEARS would be competent enough
    to actually come out and do this same feat.......and GUARANTEE IT

    for a decent price --that is... I doubt anyone would guarantee it...


    I wonder what a normal price would have been for
    someone that hasnet got a clue what to do to have one 14 years
    old repiared.....???

    I simply tell them that I would be cheating them to even touch it.
    So I dont touch them and they think I am cheating them anyway!!!

    That is the best approach for someone in business THROW THEM OUT
    --its simply not cost effective.

    I dont paly with them becuase no one is going to pay me $85
    per hour for me to fool around with something all day that old....

    If it takes me all day, then what do you charge??

    No matter what I do ---you are gonna SQUEAL LIKE A PIG
    when you see the bill.


    this guy should go into business repairing these things
    for a nominal fee

    or do charitywork for people in his area....
    untill he gets the idea about what a
    small business mans time is worth.
    Last edited by master plumber mark; 04-05-2006 at 04:31 AM.

  2. #17
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Sounds like a problem you created while working on the unit.

    That problem is very hard to see from here.

    I am glad that you found the problem.

    I hope your unit lasts for another 14 years.

  3. #18

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    Rugged,
    I see that you're in the Cinn. area. I'm in Columbus, so just tell me when you have one to repair in the Columbus area. I have the tech sheet on this softener. It tells exactly how it works as far as the different cycles, so it was just a matter of time before I narrowed down what was wrong. Like I said, I can walk up to the unit, take it apart as far as needed to replace the rotor and seal kit,and clean the venturi and put it back together in 10 minutes. Not exactly rocket science.

    Master,
    Yes, I did replace the resin with 3/4 cu ft of Purolite C100E. Took just under an hour. I didn't need to replace the rotor, I just give it a thin coat of lube every time I happen to have it apart. I only had to replace a common o- ring that can be purchased at any hardware. I actually lied about the $.47 for the o- ring. They only came in a package of 10 for $1.35, so really it was only $.14.
    I guess if you couldn't tear one of these "junk" softeners down, put a rotor and seal kit in less than an hour, I see why you don't want to work on them! I own a one man Corvette Body Shop, been restoring them for 29 years now. I'm pretty handy when it comes to repairing things. I originally was looking for someone that might have had experience working on Kenmore type softeners and would share their knowledge. I was going to do the work myself. I'll take all the "junk" softener customers that you can send me for $60/ hr.

    Cass,
    Yea, you're probably right. I can't see how that drain plug could have fallen over by itself while it has spring tension on it. When it's not in place with the o-ring, then it partially bypasses the resin bed. The thing that gets me is, that the first symptom was water that was not quite as soft as it should be. I checked all the obvious causes (enough salt, salt bridge, venturi) and found everything working as it should. At this point I hadn't taken the valve cover of for nearly a year. That being said, I don't see how it could have worked all that time if the o-ring was missing. But whatever, it's working fine.

  4. #19
    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    Congratulations on your troubleshooting and fix! It inspired me to take another look at mine, since lately it's been putting out hard water. I ran through the diagnostics in the manual and discovered it wasn't filling the brine well. I cleaned the flow plug under the venturi, and now it's working great again. Took about 10 minutes total, and no parts cost.

    Over the last couple years I've wrestled with the decision to keep fixing vs. replace the unit with one with a Fleck controller. I can understand why the pros would recommend replacement. Like you, however, I feel comfortable tearing one of these down, so it's not a big deal for me to spend a little time troubleshooting and fixing. It might very well not be worth a pro's time to do that.

  5. #20
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking it all depends

    its like re-building a gas motor with 550k on it......


    it has to be a hobby or a labor of love.....

    or nothing else better to do,

    or just a personal best kind of thing....



    all I am saying is if I did this job , most likely in a few weeks

    their would probably be other issues that could arise that I would

    be expected to warranty ....for free.....
    Last edited by master plumber mark; 04-06-2006 at 07:04 AM.

  6. #21
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    For the 18 years I did local water treatment, I made a LOT of money repairing and/or upgrading softeners/filters. Upgrading is replacing the control valve with new or rebuilt. I always built/assembled my new stuff so I knew what and how to do it. I also learned how to rebuild all types of control valves. Anyone with enough gray matter can if they have the desire.

    I have the tank adapters to upgrade Sears, GE, North Star, Whirlpool and Morton softeners to any Autotrol, Clack, Erie or Fleck control valve but.. by the time that is done, the person will spend 2/3rds or more of the price of new if they buy over the internet and install it themselves. Today I only do internet sales but I always go over what their present softener is or isn't doing and talk about the 'cures' and if they don't want to do it or to call for service, they usually buy new from me. I've helped many guys fix their softener etc. and the next time it fails, they call and buy new from me. In my opinion, it's the only way to do business.

    If they are going to hire the install done, then it's a bit different.

    Because I offered to repair or rebuild when it made sense as compared to a new piece of equipment, I also sold more new equipment. But to not offer the repair or rebuild and only suggest replacement.... you're losing sales of both types because most everyone will want repair rather than new, even if they aren't prone to being a DIYer.

    And if you don't do it right, you should go back free of charge and make it right. That will cause you to learn how to repair the new stuff you sell and also provide you more sales and if you look at your cost to acquire a new sale, you'll see you'll probably save money. And then learn how to do it right the first time. As someone said, this isn't rocket science.
    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. #22
    DIY Junior Member borispog's Avatar
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    Default New Kenmore water softener odor problem

    Hi,

    I have a different problem with Kenmore water softener. I purchased new Kenmore water softener in 2000 and it added some metal/plastic smell to water. Call to Sears fixed the problem by replacing the unit, but I still have old unit that technically is fine and working. I just moved to another house and decided to give it another chance and installed it.
    Result is the same as first time and I have odor back in my water. Can you think of anything that can correct this problem like replacing resin?

  8. #23
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Yes the odor can be from the resin.
    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.

  9. #24
    DIY Junior Member borispog's Avatar
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    resin replacement didn't work.

  10. #25
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking how much did the resin cost you???

    just out of curousity ...
    how much did the resin cost you
    and how much time did it take
    to do this??

  11. #26

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    I am curious to know if the original poster's problem was the resin itself.
    (I realize that he found a faulty 0-ring) but this appeared to be caused by a mistake in the re-assembly)

    I, too have a 1/2 working Kenmore softener unit that is about 15 years old.
    The valve motor is OK, is moving through the cycle properly.
    I am experiencing hard water than normal, with a high level of iron.

    I have NEVER had this thing apart.

    The venturi is clean, and the brining process appears to be functioning properly.

    I am on a city water line, and I fear that the 15 years of chlorination has deteriorated my resin bed, to the point of failure.

    I am considering attempting a resin-replacement, rather than purchasing a new unit, due to my poor financial status.

    Any advice, OTHER THAN BUY A NEW ONE!!!

    All of the mechanical/electrical seems to be OK.

  12. #27
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Replacing resin is fairly easy with a two tank type softener but not so with your cabinet model. You need to get the resin out without removing the resin tank from the salt tank (wet shop vac) or remove the tank from the salt tank and then dump the resin. You'll need a funnel to put the new resin in.
    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.

  13. #28

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    Thanks for your input Gary.

    My luck, I just recently filled up the tank with salt.
    I will have to empty it out, I assume in order to make removing the resin easier.

    I found a local supplier that will provide the resin 1 ft3 for $90.

    I figure, there is not much to this thing. I will try it, and if unsuccessful, the only other thing can be the control valve assembly.

    Would my unit have gravel in the base, or is it just resin?

    Any other input?

  14. #29
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    No gravel in any big box store brand softeners...

    You should fully troubleshoot your softener before buying new resin.

    Click on Animations at the link below to learn how your softener works, then troubleshooting to find out what is wrong with it.

    www.kenmorewater.com
    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.

  15. #30

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    Gary, thank you very much for the excellent website link.

    That is about the best information I have seen, for any tutorial on technical information.

    I am an electrician, and I have lots of training....but that is amazing what they are doing with the 3d animation.

    I will take a closer look at everything this weekend, and let you know my findings.

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