Kenmore Softener Help - Tank stays full


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Old 05-08-09, 06:57 AM
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Question Kenmore Softener Help - Tank stays full

I'm not a plumber by any stretch, but I'm trying to fix my Kenmore Softener (model: 625.388460). My problem is that I can't get the water in the salt tank to go down/flush.

I've cleaned the venturi filter (nothing seems brittle, clogged or dirty). I've opened the motor casing, and the rotor (which turns fine) seems smooth with no ridges. I ordered and replaced the seals, as a few seemed warn and were flaking a bit. I also ran a broomstick down into the salt in case there was a salt bridge (never head a hollow knock, but tried anyway).

I've followed the kenmorewater.com animations (very helpful), and I checked that there is some vaccuum action on the venturi hose (not overwhelming, but it's there). I also took the brine valve assembly apart. By opening/closing the bypass, the hose does suck up water (not superfast, but it does) and it also pushes water out when bypass is in correct position for it (opposite vaccuum but I can't remember off hand which is which). I tried to flush out the parts of hte assembly I could flush,hoping I would find some salt blockage, but no such luck.

I've even scooped out a lot of the standing water in case there was just too much to suck up. I've tried running the brine cycle several times (as well as just a full regen), and it just doesn't flush out the tank. The system runs and I can see water being flushed out, but I'm assuming it's fresh water, as the water level doesn't go down (even after unplugging in brine mode for 2 hours).

Any ideas beyond calling a tech? I'm stumped.
 
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Old 05-08-09, 07:33 AM
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The venturi has a flow control in it. Take out that flow controller. Throw it as far as you can. Why they put that there is beyond me. Place unit in a draw cycle and unplug for 1hour then plug back in to finish cycle.
 
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Old 05-08-09, 10:08 AM
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The regen is still in process, but the tank definitely emptied once the flow controls were removed from the venturi. I'm figuring it may be good to go now!

Thank you biermech!!
 
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Old 05-08-09, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by toddintampa View Post
The regen is still in process, but the tank definitely emptied once the flow controls were removed from the venturi. I'm figuring it may be good to go now!

Thank you biermech!!
I hope you meant 1 flow control. The one under the venturi must be in there. It's the one that is in the venturi you should get rid of.
 
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Old 07-06-09, 12:42 PM
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If the water level didn't lower to about 3" low after servicing, some problem happened in the brining stage (salt water didn't get sucked into the rasin tank for recharging).

I got the similar problem with my GE softener (similar to Kenmore design). Even after cleaning the venturi assembly several times, it just worked for a short period of time, then returned to ground zero . I then figure out a way to work around the problem in a "semi automatic" (supposed to be fully automatic) way . I would like to share my experience as follows:

Normally, the water softener works in cycles of FILL -> BRINING -> BRINE RINSE -> BACKWASH -> FAST RINSE.

1. you need to get a timer (similar to Heavy-Duty Grounded Timer | Canadian Tire). Those pair of pins are for turning the timer on/off. Just use the one which will turn the timer ON.
2. whenever you feel the need of soft water (or you can do this every 2 or 3 days), you need to perform a manual recharging by pressing and holding in the "TOUCH HOLD" button (in my GE, yours might be different). It will start the FILL and then BRINE stage (you can wait or come back around x min depending on the preset "Fill Minutes of Regeneration"). This is where the problem starts.
3. normally, the softener will stay in the Brine stage for x amount of time to have the salt water sucked into the basin tank for regeneration, but it won't. Press the "TOUCH HOLD" button once to advance to Brine Rinse stage, but turn off the timer "right away" by using the manual override switch on the timer. Dial the timer to have it turned on after 1 hour. For instance, if you have the pin, which will turn the timer ON, set at 2am, dial the "day of time" to 1am. The softener failed to suck salt water "right at" the Brine stage; it works however if the rotor turns just a bit off the Brine stage. Design fault?
4. then you are all set. Let the softener be in Brine stage with the power off for one hour (salt water should still keep being sucked into the rasin tank slowly).
5. after one hour, the timer will turn itself on, and the softener will continue the rest of the service stages.
6. check to see later (one hour or few hours later) if the water level gets lower to around 3" low. If yes, then it is working.

This is my workaround to get my softener working in a semi automatic way. I set my softener with 5 min for "Fill Minutes of Regeneration" and one hour of Brining is enough to have the salt water lowered to 3" low (being sucked into rasin tank). The main point of solution is to have the softener stayed a bit off at the Brine stage for x amount of time to have the salt water sucked into the basin tank. You can't get the system stay a bit off unless you turn the power off. And this is where I introduce the timer to turn the system back on as in step 3.

And if this is too much for you, then it is time to move forward, throw away your Kenmore softener and get a new and better system other than Kenmore or GE since they share the same faulty design . Good luck.
 

Last edited by rayq66; 07-06-09 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 07-06-09, 05:28 PM
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Forgot to state in my previous post that you need to turn OFF all the day timer of the softener. Only set the Fill Minutes of Regeneration at your need. You need to perform manual recharge whenever you feel you need soft water or go by the day timer you set before.
 
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Old 07-07-09, 07:58 AM
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When the unit wont draw brine in the brine cycle but will by turning the rotor a little, the rotor shat is twisted and the rotor needs to be replace.
 
 

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