Kenmore Series 300 Water Softener Float Valve assembly

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by Joe Pelayo, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. Joe Pelayo

    Joe Pelayo New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Texas
    Hello. I've recently experienced a problem with my 300 series softener. During regeneration, the water no longer fills into the brine tank. I didn't notice anything until I noticed that the tank appeared to be very dry one evening. I manually went through regeneration and noticed no water fill. I poured a few buckets of water to manually fill the tank to get the cycles working again, but now I'm noticing I'm not getting soft water. Brine draw from the tank is slow now. I went through the Kenmore animation troubleshooting and it wants me to remove the Float Assembly to see if the fill and brine draw are working. How do you remove the Assembly? According to the animation, it should just pull out straight up, but it doesn't. Is it stuck, or is there a screw or value holding it down and how do I get do it? I'm hoping I don't have to drain the tank and disconnect from the plumbing in order to accomplish this task.

    Thanks.
  2. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,487
    Location:
    Alaska
    If you tried to pull the assembly up and out of that black tube and it would not move, it should move real easy. Take about a gallon of really HOT water and poor down that tube as there is most likely a salt crust that is holding it and blocking the flow of water either in or out of the inlet at the bottom of that assembly.
  3. Joe Pelayo

    Joe Pelayo New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Texas
    Thanks for the quick reply. I just tried your technique but it still won't budge. I may have had too much water in the tank so the hot water was probably diluted by the existing colder water. I did run the the brine draw cycle again into a bucket and managed to get a few gallons of water out of the tank. Once I get the water a little lower I'll try the hot water again. It must be really crusted down there.
  4. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,487
    Location:
    Alaska
    To get what ever water that you can out you might dry a wet dry shop vac to remove the water from the salt tank area.

    Remember that your system puts water into the salt at the start of the regeneration.

    Are you using salt or potassium chloride?
  5. Joe Pelayo

    Joe Pelayo New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Texas
    I just recently switched from potassium to salt about 3 months ago.
  6. Servallwater

    Servallwater In the Trades

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Joe Pelayo beat me to it. Potassium may have created the problem. I know in our are we try to keep customers away from potassium unless absolutely necessary. Potassium has a big problem solidifying in the brine tank and around the float. Unlike salt potassium is very difficult to break up after this happens. It sounds like you may have potassium stuck in float preventing brine fill. If you disconnect the white nut on the right side of your valve where the float connects during refill you should get have water coming out. If you have water at this point but not after the float then your float needs to be cleared or replaced. Let me know if this works or if you need further assistance.
  7. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,864
    Location:
    Ontario California
    The majority of the potassium problem can be solved with the use of Brine Fill First programming. Potassium Chloride has a much higher ability to be dissolved in differing water temperatures. In installation locations where the temperature varies by more than 10 degrees day to night, potassium will cycle in and out of solution causing it to form a cake layer. 25 ounces of potassium chloride will dissolve in one gallon of water at 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
    28 ounces potassium chloride will dissolve in one gallon water at 60 degrees Fahrenheit, over a 10% increase in only 10 degrees. If your softener is installed in a garge in Vegas, the temperature could be 35 degrees at night, and 95 in the day. The 7000SXT is easily programmed for Brine Fill first (fill 1 to 2 hours before regen) which leaves the brine tank nearly empty until the next regeneration. If your system can be programmed for Brine fille firts, try that, it should help.
  8. Joe Pelayo

    Joe Pelayo New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Texas
    Ah. You learn something new everyday. Thanks for the replies. The way my house was originally plumbed with the water softener before I moved in was that both of my outside spigots use water running from the softener. I use potassium during the summer to not harm my lawn during watering, and since it's been mighty dry the last 2 summers around here, I've had to water a lot. I switch back to salt in the winter because of the cheaper cost of salt over potassium. I didn't know about the potassium cake build up due to temperature changes before you guys mentioned it. My softener is in the garage on concrete and during the winter, the temperature can vary greatly. One possible solution that I just read is to insulate the bottom of the tank to maintain the same temperature, and to have the softener regenerate more often. It's just my wife and me, so we probably don't use much water.
  9. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,864
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Correct, minimizing the temperature change in the brine tank will help.

    This is the only time I would recommend keeping the salt level low in the brine tak, or regenerating more frequently.

    The best solution is to have the irrigation bypassed.
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