Kenmore no brine draw

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by joslinm, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. joslinm

    joslinm New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Illinois
    Replaced every stinkin seal and o ring on the thing and still can't get soft water. Reason being I guess is because the brine will not draw out. The level says constant, about 9 inches from the top. Sears had me remove the flow plug in the venturi and confirmed that I get good suction.
    But it still won't draw out.
    Must be something with the float assembly even though the float seems to work freely?
    Help
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2009
  2. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    I does not take much of an air leak to break the suction. Check the lines where they go into the float valve and the head.
  3. joslinm

    joslinm New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Illinois
    Ok, this is what I've done.
    I disconnected the float valve, so I could feel the suction at the end of the tube. Put on brine cycle and found the suction fine. Put the tube into a bucket and a couple of inches of water sucked right out in minutes. Then all suction stopped.
    Did this a couple of times. Seems to be fine at first then no suction.
    Any ideas?
    Thanks
  4. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Yep, pull the line and clean everything out. Blow through it, make sure it's clear before you put it back together.
  5. joslinm

    joslinm New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Illinois
    Took the drain apart and found nothing blocking it. blew theough very easily.
    After messing around some more I've found that on brine with the hose in a bucket of water, the level goes right down. But put that hose in the brine tube, the suction stops in about 5- 10 seconds. Did it over and over with same result. No air leaks anywhere.
    Totally confused.
  6. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Hair line crack in the brine tube?
  7. joslinm

    joslinm New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Illinois
    Float wasn't on in my experiment. Just the end of the tube put in the brine well. Suction for a few seconds then nothing.
  8. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Perhaps the suction is weak--brine is heavier than water.
  9. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Usually when a float goes up, it shuts off water flow into the tank, not out of the tank. But once in awhile there is one that will go up and clog up and not let water go through it in either direction.
  10. joslinm

    joslinm New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Illinois
    Not sure what my next step should be. Would it be worth all the time it would take to empty out all the salt and water and start fresh?
  11. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You have something blocking the suction in the brine line or the drain line flow control and the blockage is moving. So tear things apart until you find and clear it.
  12. joslinm

    joslinm New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Illinois
    What is usually the problem (material) when there is a blockage?
    Thanks, a million to you and others for being patient with me.
  13. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    It can be anything that got in the works and will prevent water flow or a seal from sealing. Like a piece of rust/dirt or Teflon tape, fibers or hair etc. etc.. From where the water enters the brine pickup tube to the drain line exiting the control valve.
  14. joslinm

    joslinm New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Illinois
    I may have the problem. The reason the suction works fine when in the pail of water is because there isn't crap in it. The reason it stops suctioning when in the well is because it's got lots of salt flakes etc in there. In the process of rinsing a couple times. If that doesn't work, I'll remove all the salt and clean it out completely.
  15. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    That will do it.
  16. joslinm

    joslinm New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Illinois
    I ended up taking the unit out, turning on side and hosed all the salt out. Much of it was caked dust at the bottom. Unfortunately as you know nothing turns out to be easy. All the o rings on the bypass were bad and it wouldn't completely shut off. I've got a kit, but of course, the ones I needed were not in it. Also broke the clips getting the bypass parts apart. Hope I can find those somewhere cheap. (any ideas?).
    3 hours later, all cleaned and bypass temporarily wired back together.
    New salt added and manual regeneration started. Goes on brine and what's that sound?
    Almost nothing because there is such little resistance compared to before.
    We'll give it a couple weeks and see, but I think with everyone's help, it's fixed.
    Thanks, Mike
  17. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    To remove the clips to remove the by pass valve, you have to shut off the water and open a faucet to relieve the pressure, and then pull the clips out straight.

    Solar crystal doesn't cause that salt tank problem; block and pellets do. And solar is less expensive.

    Thanks for the followup.
  18. olgt

    olgt New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Minnesota
    good suction for 5-10 mins and then the suction level is gradually reduced

    First of all, thank you so much for posting a lot of very useful information in this thread. It really helped me and shortened my troubleshooting steps quite a bit!

    I have a similar problem with my Kenmore UltraSoft 275 water softener. After 6 years I've experienced no brine draw into the resin tank and the symptoms were extremely similar to what's been described in this thread: good suction for 5-10 mins and then the suction level is gradually reduced. I've removed all of the old salt from softener but since it sounded like replacing the o-rings didn't help in the case described in this thread I've decided against disconnecting the softener from the water line. I've cleaned it up using a wet vacum cleaner instead. Also, to test it out I've put the brine valve assembly into a separate bucket with the brand new salt and water in it. I then started the regeneration manually and then left the softener in the brine cycle by disconnecting the power supply. Unfortunately the result was similar: the suction level would gradually reduce in 10-15 mins. So just cleaning the softener did not help in my case.

    Here is an interesting twist though - I had to leave home for a few hours so I've decided to leave the softener in the brine cycle but put the manual bypass on to stop the suction. To my big surprise when I switched the manual bypass off later I've noticed that the level of suction would be the highest again!? It would then gradually decrease and would almost stop in about 30 minutes. But if I push the bypass manually on and off right away the suction level will start at the highest level again and will decrease in the next 20-30 mins.

    Any idea as to what might be going on?

    Thanks in advance,
    Paul
  19. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,494
    Location:
    Alaska
    If you have gone through the venturi , gray dome on the left side that has the black 3/8 going down into the salt tank and there was no change, then I would be looking at some parts inside the valve.
    There was another valve that I have worked on that would do great in pulling brine if the system had been put in bypass.. the hole behind the injector throat and nozzle was loaded up with iron. I cleared that and it worked great. There is a spring and plunger and a seal that could be bad inside the valve, check the owners manual back in the parts part for the numbers , they are in the valve body and on the same side as the venturi.
  20. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    741
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    I think you have a blockage in the drain line or the drain flow control. Remove the drain line and put it in the bucket. Put the unit into a draw cycle and see if it stops drawing brine. If it does not, your problem is in the drain. If it does stop again, check the drain flow control.
Similar Threads: Kenmore brine
Forum Title Date
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Kenmore water softner not drawing brine Nov 13, 2011
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Kenmore Brine Tank Delaminating May 2, 2010
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r kenmore flooded brine tank HELP! Aug 3, 2009
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Kenmore Water Softener white 1" Disk Today at 3:43 AM
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Kenmore 350 watersoftner board fix for free! Oct 4, 2014

Share This Page