Kenmore 350 water softener leaking at O-ring

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by Bob Turner, Apr 18, 2010.

  1. Bob Turner

    Bob Turner Bob T.

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Venice, Florida
    I have a Kenmore Model 350 water softener with a persistent leak at the discharge-side O-ring on the diverter valve. I have changed the O-ring and applied silicone grease but the connection continues to drip. Any suggestions?
  2. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,487
    Location:
    Alaska
    Is it leaking at the out of treated side of the bypass? or the piston with in the bypass to have either treated or untreated water in the house?
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2010
  3. Skip Wolverton

    Skip Wolverton In the Trades

    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Ocala, Fl
    Are you referring to the bypass? If so, replace the bypass. Look in each port. You might see a line in the side that leaks.
  4. Bob Turner

    Bob Turner Bob T.

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Venice, Florida
    The leak is at the treated side of the bypass where it inserts into the softener. It's only a dripping leak but it will collect at the top of the unit and eventually find its way into the brine tank. The problem is usually allignment but the O-ring should account for a bit of mis-allignment. I have tried alligning and re-seating the O-ring but the dripping persists.
  5. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,487
    Location:
    Alaska
    Ok, now I know where you are talking about, and depending on the age of the unit and the length of time that the two have been out of allignment it is possible that the female part of the valve is no longer in true round.
    If the O ring is still good and not cracked, torn.. then it can no longer handle that miss allignment, you could try a hardware store that has lots of different O rings in the plumbing and see if there is an O ring that is a little bit thicker and lub with the silicon and see if that works to stop the leak.
  6. Skip Wolverton

    Skip Wolverton In the Trades

    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Ocala, Fl
    The very end of the bypass (port where it attaches to valve) is a pressed fit piece (sonic welded). You will be wasting your time trying to fix it. Replace the bypass. Trust me. I've tried everything you are thinking or about to think. If you look in the port a lot of times you will see a brown ring. This is where the water is seeping.
  7. Bob Turner

    Bob Turner Bob T.

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Venice, Florida
    At the present time the problem looks like finding an O-ring that is the proper dimension (thickness) to match the original as supplied with the unit. About a year ago I ordered several and they look to be a bit thinner than the non-leaking side. The leak is small but over time can be problematic by leaking into the brine tank. I have ordered more through Sears and requested the same spec for the replacement O-rings. Time will tell.
  8. Skip Wolverton

    Skip Wolverton In the Trades

    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Ocala, Fl
    I'm telling you it's not the o-ring. Replace the bypass.
  9. Bob Turner

    Bob Turner Bob T.

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Venice, Florida
    The problem was eliminated by replacing the bypass (thanks, Skip) by fabricating one with CPVC piping, valves, etc. and running directly into the main valve. No leaks, much better connection. Thanks again. Nice to have soft water again!
  10. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    Good call there Skip, well done.
  11. Skip Wolverton

    Skip Wolverton In the Trades

    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Ocala, Fl
    It drove me crazy until I figured where the damn leak was. Glad you got it fixed. Thanks, Wally
  12. tebaldi7

    tebaldi7 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Newburgh, Indiana
    Same issue with water softener

    Hey Bob, could you send me a picture of your new fabricated bypass? I ran through the same problem, i've tried a bunch of o-rings and I can't stop the water leak. If you could send me a picture or explain how you made your new connection I will highly appreciate. My email is tebaldi7@gmail.com. Thanks!
  13. Noyzee1

    Noyzee1 New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    SoAz
    Just my 2¢

    Just want to say...
    I had the same problem with the original (<10 years old) bypass valve that I also believe was out of round.
    I made a temporary fix (until you get another one) by wrapping the offending o-ring with Teflon tape (tightly!) as needed for a snug fit, then greasing with silicone grease.
    These Sears/Ecowater bypass valves are very cheap and seem to be one of the problem areas. You may be able to get another "parts unit" off Craig's List like I did for around $50, which solved that problem.
    Thanks for viewing,;)
    JIM
  14. tiredtech2

    tiredtech2 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    ca
    Water leaks at bypass softener valve is not the o-rings and turns out to be a small crack found inside, topside at the o-ring junction of inlet side of the bypass valve(old part number stamped on bottomside was 625.34372). After over 18 months of leaking, I tried many o-rings and with padded teflon tape, it helps the leak until it got worse. I have Kenmore Ultasoft 100 water softener for over 10 years, then started leaking. The five Sears part stores in the LA area, always had stock inventory of the new bypass valves 7129871 indicating to me a common replacement part whereas the mating valve body always had to be special ordered. Replacing the Bypass Valve solved my water leak problem.
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