Well, I know I'm a little late on the responce, but, I have been diagnosing and repairing Kenmore water softeners for friends, neighbors, parents and aunts and uncles for a few years now. The water in Ventura is extremely hard. It is municiply treated well water that tests at 45 grains of hardness, Yikes! I had a few cases where the softener is only softening the water half as much as it should. I knew this because I have a water hardness test kit and the water would test at 24 grains of hardness no matter how many times you ran the softener through a regeneration cycle.
The common problem I've found on these units after about 5 to 7 years is the distribution tube O-ring either splits apart or the distribution tube slips down and then the O-ring falls off. My parents had unregulated water pressure(about 100 psi) and their distribution tube pushed down into the lower distribution screen assembly. I pulled out the tube and lower distibutor assembly and pulled the tube up until it snapped back into its correct position. Then I reinstalled the assembly and installed 2 new O-rings instead of 1 on the tube above the upper distribution screen below the valve head assembly. Yes, the Kenmore parts diagram calls for 1 O-ring, but there is enough room for 2. This splits the load of each O-ring and gives twice the sealing surface area. After this repair, I installed a new water pressure regulator on my parent's house and the softener has been working trouble free for 5 years now.
I had another Kenmore softener that the same O-ring split and fell into the upper distribution screen assembly. I also installed 2 of these O-rings to fix the problem.(Kenmore part #7170254) or obtained locally; O-ring size: 13/16" x 1-1/16". This particular softener had regulated water pressure at about 65 psi, so the distribution tube was still intact. These proceedures require separation of the valve head from the resin tank.
I hope this will help those die-hard Kenmore water softener customers. I personally like the simplicity, service and value the Kenmore softeners provide. Good Luck.
I have installed a softener (40,000 grains) at tha mains of a nightclub. Although the water softens without problem (I use a HANNA KIT with drops and the hardness falls from 300 ppm to 40 ppm) my client gets a bitter taste at his drinking water. This did not happen for the first month after installation. Taste became bitter after this month of function.
Please note that I have set as follows my softener: 20 mins backwash, 30 mins brine, 20 mins refill). My device is Water Softener (CSIII H 1035) from Shanghai Canature Environmental Products Co.,Ltd. (http://www.ecvv.com/product/1793575.html). Unfortunately I do not get any answers from them... I have also installed a sediment big blue 20" filter before water enters the softener and a CTO big blue 20" filter after the softening of the water.
PLEASE ADVICE AND THANK YOU VERY MUCH IN ADVANCE.