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Sears Water Softener Problem


Mallard's Avatar
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10-02-06, 06:18 AM   #1 (permalink)  
Sears Water Softener Problem

My Sears demand softener (8 years old) has stopped providing soft water. I have done my usual maintenance on the nozzle and venturi, and run thru the manual advance check that confirmed that the water was flowing per the manual. I then replaced the resin under the premise that that the softener had ingested a lot of silt in the first 6 years before I added a whole-house sediment filter (I'm on a well).
The only other thing I can come up with is that the rotor valve that's part of the timer assembly may not be turning, and therefore keeping the water supply from passing thru the tank.
Does anyone have any other ideas before I resort to a service call or new softener?

 
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10-02-06, 08:06 AM   #2 (permalink)  
If you initiate a manual regeneration can you see (or hear or feel) the rotor valve "step" through the different stages? If yes then the problem is elsewhere. Is the softener using salt?

By any chance is the softener in bypass? Just thought I'd ask the obvious.

8 years of service from a Sears softener on a well is outstanding. If it were me before I invested any money in the Sears softener I'd be looking at a new "industry standard" softener that would be more reliable, easier to fix, and have more reasonably priced parts.

If you're a DIYer here's a great place to start ...

www.ohiopurewaterco.com (you have to copy & paste as HTML is turned OFF on this forum)

 
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10-02-06, 10:04 AM   #3 (permalink)  
I can see the cam on the top moving, so the rotor should be moving unless it slipped on the shaft. I'm going to open it up tonight to see. It appears to be using salt, but I expected "instant" results from the new resin regardless.
And no, it's not on bypass, but it didn't hurt to ask...
Thanks for the info.

 
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10-02-06, 10:28 AM   #4 (permalink)  
You should get "instant" results from the new resin. The new resin should soften right out of the box (bag).

It seems that the service water is NOT being routed through the resin tank so the cam-rotor is the place to look.

These links might be helpfull ...

http://www.kenmorewater.com/website/animations/product-animation/index.htm

http://www.systemsaver.com/morton-website/index.html

http://www.systemsaver.com/morton-website/instructions/index.html

You have to "copy & paste" as HTML is turned off on this forum

 
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10-02-06, 12:53 PM   #5 (permalink)  
Industry standard?

By the way, justalurker, in case I end up looking for a new unit, what's the definition of an "industry standard" softener? Is it a 2-tank system, or what? I don't expect to be in this house more than a couple more years, so I can't justify going high-end, but didn't know what you meant by that term. TIA

 
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10-02-06, 01:47 PM   #6 (permalink)  
An "industry standard" water softener would be one assembled from the top quality parts. A Fleck or Autotrol or Clack control valve, a Structural brand resin tank and resin from Purolite or Ionac or Sybron.

Basically a softener that is not "pre-assembled" and sold in a big box store. "Real" softeners last a lot longer than a pre-built softener and are easier to repair with less costly parts and are often the same price as the lesser quality Sears (Morton, North Star, Waterboss et al) softeners.

Not knowing the specifics of your water or your plumbing and daily water usage (depending on hardness capacity required) any of these would do nicely ...

http://ohiopurewaterco.com/shop/customer/home.php?cat=179

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Last edited by justalurker; 10-02-06 at 01:57 PM.
 
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10-02-06, 03:46 PM   #7 (permalink)  
Two things to check on the Sears softener.
When you changed your resin, did you make sure the two O-rings between the valve and distributor top was properly installed?
To make sure your rotary valve is rotating properly and don't have excessive torque, remove the motor and rotate the cam manually. You should be able to rotate it clockwise without too much effort. If it doest not rotate propery, you have to remove the valve cover and examine the rotor surface and condition of all seals. After 6 years, they may require replacement seals and new rotor.

 
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10-09-06, 12:30 PM   #8 (permalink)  
I was unable to find the problem and called a service tech, who also had a hard time. He took a guess and replaced the rotor (valve) but this didn't help. Not wanting to get into a game of guessing which part to replace next, I ended up buying a new unit. I haven't decided if I'll take the time to do a post-mortem on the old unit to see if I screwed something up when I replaced the resin.

 
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10-09-06, 01:33 PM   #9 (permalink)  
Mallard: "I ended up buying a new unit."

Mallard, curious ... did you buy another Sears softener?


Last edited by justalurker; 10-09-06 at 02:10 PM.
 
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10-11-06, 06:49 AM   #10 (permalink)  
Yes, I bought a Sears. It was the simplest solution, since it used the same manifold interface that was already plumbed in, and I won't be in this house more than a few years. All I had to do was slide it in place of the old one.

 
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09-26-10, 06:52 AM   #11 (permalink)  
Sears Dir

I have had a sears dir for over 10 years and the only probs I have had is the drive motor for the timing mechanism stripped gears once about 5 years ago and this am.
Not cheap but easy. (the repair, not me, I am cheap and easy!)

 
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