No Recharge, no drain, no clue?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by hystiker, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. hystiker

    hystiker New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Hi There-
    For the past few months I have noticed a terrible calcium type build-up on everything from the kitchen sink, to the shower curtain, to dishes that come out dirtier than they go in. It then occurred to me that I had not put any salt in the softener for a good 6+ months.

    • I confirmed the tank was still full of salt
    • I confirmed the valve was not in bypass
    • I drained the entire tank and vacuumed every last piece of salt and drop of water out
    • I then disassembled and reassembled the venturi assembly (everything looks in order)
    • I disassembled and cleaned the float assy
    • I ensured the drain hoses are clear
    • I confirmed that when I hit recharge the gear on top of the unit rotates to the recharge cycle

    I put one bag of salt in added a little water and hit recharge. It went into recharge mode, filled with water but it never drained. There is about two feet of standing water in the tank and as far as I can tell it hasn't run in 3-4 weeks since I've done this. Additionally the salt level hasn't dropped.

    A few years ago I replaced the entire venturi as the seals/gaskets were badly deteriorated.

    It's an all-in-one Kenmore 625.38490 and if I'm reading the date code it's from 1998.

    Any other ideas on what I can troubleshoot before I toss the whole thing?

    Thanks,
    Jake
  2. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,493
    Location:
    Alaska
    How is water pressure in the house with the system in service?

    Could be that the GE or Kenmore or Sears has the upper very fine screen at the top up the upper basket is loaded with say sand or some thing that is cutting down the flow enough that the venturi is not working correctly...
  3. hystiker

    hystiker New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Water pressure is unaffected whether in service or bypass.
  4. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,267
    Location:
    Maine
    A suction leak in the brine line.
  5. hystiker

    hystiker New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Where does one find the "brine line"? The only line that enters the tank is the one attached to the float assembly. Is this line dual purpose for adding and removing water from the tank? If so, I can draw suction with my mouth without losing pressure and when I disconnected from the venturi I could hear the seal break, so I'm assuming those o-rings are working ok.
  6. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,267
    Location:
    Maine
    The line puts water in the brine tank and sucks the brine out and delivers it to the resin tank, well the line technically doesn't but yes, it serves two purposes so common suction problems are usually, and I'm not up on sears stuff where the line connects to the float assembly and where the line connects to the valve. You can manually put the valve into the brine draw position, disconnect the line at the float and you should feel suction at the line. If yes, check all the fittings on the float and tank, if no, check the Venturi and whatever o rings they may have there.
  7. hystiker

    hystiker New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    I don't think my unit has the capability to manually put it into brine draw without going through the recharge cycle.
  8. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,267
    Location:
    Maine
    Ok, so do that.
  9. hystiker

    hystiker New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    I ran the recharge last night and it fills up with water, it seems to tick like a clock for a bit while it regenerates and then nothing. I tried checking the brine line for any sort of suction and there wasn't a faint draw, nor any sounds of anything occurring.
    The line is attached with a compression nut which had worn a groove in the line, so I cut off an inch to give it a clean surface to compress and put a little Vaseline on the o-rings that attach the valve assembly to the head unit.

    Still nothing. Anything else I should check before abandoning ship?
  10. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,267
    Location:
    Maine
    Yep, check the venturi and its seals also IIRC Sears website has an animated video of how to troubleshoot and repair their stuff which is also whirlpool and GE I think.
  11. hystiker

    hystiker New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Before posting I went to the sears web site, which actually has a very nice step-by-step troubleshooting video. Unfortunately, just as you requested previously, after cleaning and inspecting the venturi assembly it asks me to manually select brine draw and I believe my model is too old to have that feature. Thus I've turned here.

    As I stated earlier, I replaced the entire venturi assembly 2-3 years ago, so the components are in relatively good shape.
  12. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,267
    Location:
    Maine
    if your're not getting brine draw (suction) or very weak suction it can only be a couple of things and though you rebuilt the venture a few years back, I would start there and work my way to the brine tank. the smallest of suction leaks will keep the unit from drawing. Low water pressure in the house can also cause it but IIRC, you already addressed that issue.
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