GE GXSF30V Water Softener problems


Old 01-22-19, 01:37 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 63
GE GXSF30V Water Softener problems

House with TWO people. NOT huge water users. We have had soft water for years. Our previous softener worked. Eventually it had to be replaced, and was replaced with a GE GXSF30V about 6 months ago.

The softener SORT-OF softens the water. It recharges and for a couple days the water is soft - at least it goes down to about 1.5 grains from the unsoftened 25. But, after 2 or 3 days the water is hard and the softener doesn't recharge for some number of days. Once it does the cold water is soft, but of course since the hot water tank is full of hard water by the time IT gets soft the softener isn't softening.

The local water company SAYS the hardness here is 18 grains. We STARTED with it at 18. Then went to 20, then 22 and NOW at 25 grains. Still the SAME problem.

I'VE CLEANED the venturi and nozzle. I had to do this on the previous softener about once/year so I'm familiar with the procedure. This one, when I pulled it apart showed NO clogging, grit, anything plugging anything - NOTHING. Clean. Manually recharged when done.

I'm GUESSING about when it recharges 'cause it doesn't TELL YOU when it recharges. I'm going by the "days until empty". It'll go down 1 day per day, then drop somewhere between 6 and 10 days, so I presume that means it recharged the night before.

In the salt tank there's a large tube with a float in it. Putting a yardstick into that tube, past the float to the bottom shows just UNDER 3" of water in the bottom. It APPEARED to be just under 3" when the hardness was 18, and it's STILL just under 3" with the hardness at 25.

I've manually run it through the recharge cycle and verified the slow drain, fast drain and so on in the various parts of the recharge.

SO, since everything APPEARS to be mechanically working as far a recharging and the hardness SHOULD be 33% HIGHER than the local water SAYS is the hardness, why doesn't this thing provide soft water between recharges?

I've been testing daily with test strips (cold water only since the hot water is ALWAYS messed up) and it'll go down to about 1.5 grains for a couple days, then right back to 25 grains until it eventually (at LEAST several days later) finally recharges. And the 25 is a guess since that's as high as the test strips go.

SO, I called GE, stupidly expecting I'd get someone in support who could tell me:
  • The right way to determine the softener has recharged
  • HOW MUCH water should be in the bottom of the salt tank (presuming the amount of salt uses to recharge is determined by the amount dissolved in the water in the tank)
  • and most importantly, WHY it gets hard DAYS before the water softener decides to recharge.

Unfortunately, I got one person that insisted it would recharge EVERY NIGHT. Then transferred to another person that told me I could see when it recharged by PERCENTAGE, but when asked exactly how, put me on hold then came back and told me "oops, that one doesn't do that". Then told me to "Just KEEP increasing the hardness 5 grains at a time 'til it stays soft between recharges"...

When I asked for someone with perhaps a BIT MORE knowledge about these units I was told "There's NO ONE else here that knows anything."

SO, HOPEFULLY somebody here can provide a LOT more help than I just got from the people that made and sold this thing 'cause at the moment it's not working well at all.

What do now?
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Old 01-22-19, 02:25 PM
Akpsdvan's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Alaska
Posts: 1,905
Does your system have the blend valve as part of the bypass?

Make sure that the float assembly is all the way down. Your system fills the salt part first when it goes to clean.

Look for a toilet that is running, even slow will do a number on the softener.

If the raw water has 18-20 grains and no iron or manganese then the 22 should work just fine.
It is also possible that they did not load the tank with the correct amount of resin.

What size tank did they use in this system?
Old 01-23-19, 08:15 AM
biermech's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 2,002
I have not seen where you can program 22 on the hardness. It use to go to 20 then increments of 5 after that. Here are some possibilities:
1. program is not correct in control panel. Could be set for higher capacity system. (Highly unlikely)
2. Hardness is not set properly. Compensated hardness not calculate. (Highly likely)
3. Brine flow partially plugged with debris. (somewhat likely)
4. Partial salt bridge. System not getting required amount of salt per regen. (Somewhat likely)
Old 02-02-19, 06:34 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 63
Sorry to be so long...

I don't know what a blend valve is. As far as I know the bypass is either open or closed. Can you tell me how to figure out if there's a blend valve?

As far as I can see, the float is at the bottom. It's just a styrofoam thing on a wire in the tube in the salt tank. How does it tell the system when there's enough water? It does go up and down, so I presume it's working.

Can someone explain how the whole float thing works and what its supposed to be doing 'cause it doesn't seem to be hooked to anything else... It just sits there in the tube.

As far as either of us can tell, there's nothing running. No toilets or faucets or anything else.

According to the city, the hardness is 18. According to the test strips it comes up in the 25 area, though that's as high as the strip goes, so I suppose it COULD be higher. Though I'm not sure why the city's number wouldn't be correct...

This unit lets me change the hardness setting by increments of 1 up to 25, then it jumps by 5, so we started at 18, went to 20, then 22, then 25 and now 30. So far, it doesn't seem to make any difference. Stays soft for a couple days, then gets hard, then eventually (going by the days-to-empty) it recharges.

I pulled the thing that controls the brine flow off and cleaned everything. I used to have to do this on the old unit about once/year, so I'm familiar with it. It was clean, nothing clogged, no debris.

There's definitely no salt bridge.

The old unit was a 24,000 grain unit and it used to run about every 7 - 9 days depending on laundry and such. And the soft water always lasted.

This thing apparently has a "turbine" in the line, and the only idea I have left is that EITHER the turbine is in wrong (possible), binding and not turning correctly, out of position (?), OR the "magnet" isn't picking up the turbine or not working or some such...

I"m going to try opening it up - pulling the bypass off - and checking, though I'm not sure what I should be seeing. If that doesn't work I'll have to call GE and get someone out to look at it...

If anybody has any other ideas let me know...
Old 02-04-19, 04:20 PM
Akpsdvan's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Alaska
Posts: 1,905
I know that this might sound odd,,,

Could the system have been plumbed in reverse? in on the out and out on the in?
With the upper basket the resin will not show up in the house but the water will not be forced to come into contact with the resin as it would on the down flow through the unit and then into the house.
Just a thought.

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