Kenmore Genius softener no longer softening very well

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Old 03-04-12, 09:55 AM
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Kenmore Genius softener no longer softening very well

My Kenmore Genius has been acting up for a couple months. When I first noticed harder water I checked the softener and found that the salt level wasn't going down like normal and there was excess water in the salt tank. I took apart the valve with the screen for the pickup and cleaned everything. That seemed to fix the excess water situation. Now when it regenerates the tank fills and empties normally. It still wasn't softening well though, so I ordered some replacement parts that typically wear: rotor disk, seal kit, fill flow plug, nozzle venturi. I took things apart and replaced all of these things. The softener seemed to work better for a couple weeks, but now it is back to not softening well.

Throughout this process I've run several batches of cleaner through the system thinking that the resin needed cleaning. That hasn't helped.

This unit is almost 17 years old, so it doesn't really owe me anything, but I've had issues with softeners in the past and the fix is usually pretty easy. What am I missing here? With a system that apparently recharges normally what could cause the lack of softening?

Thanks,
Rob
 
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Old 03-04-12, 10:31 AM
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City water or well water?

Could be that the media is in need of replacement.

City water with the chlorine will break down the softener resin over time.
 
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Old 03-05-12, 12:54 PM
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City water. Very hard city water (25-30 grains).

So, are you saying it is possible to open the resin tube and replace the media? I didn't realize it was replaceable. Or do you mean I'd have to buy the whole resin container, which would probably be as expensive as a new softener?

Thanks,
Rob
 
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Old 03-05-12, 02:06 PM
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You can do what is called a rebed of the softener.
If your system is say a 10x40 tank with that upper basket it most likely will have 1 cubic foot of resin.
That resin can be removed and new resin placed into the tank.
The biggest challenge that you will face is that your system is an all in one, the media tank in the salt tank. When you pull the media tank out, any salt that is in the salt tank will fill the hole left by the media tanks removal.

City water chlorine is a killer to softener resin.
 
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Old 03-05-12, 04:27 PM
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you could remove the resin with a shop vac and not have to remove the media tank
 
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Old 03-05-12, 06:52 PM
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Thanks for the info. My system is an all-in-one, but I've had it apart before so removing things to take the tank apart shouldn't be awful. The tank is 9x40 so that should be adequate with 1 cu ft. It seems like a fairly cheap fix to try that instead of buying a new one, especially since it seems to regen fine and uses salt normally when doing so. I've already put about $100 in parts into it for the seals, rotor, etc.

Thanks,
Rob
 
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Old 03-05-12, 10:40 PM
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The only real challenge is that one could end up spending money on parts chasing a problem and never getting the problem fixed.
It very well could be that the resin is in need of replacement, but the upper part of the distributor could have caved in or the upper o ring is out of place.
just a few more ideas as to possible challenges.
 
 

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