Kenmore 150

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by rhetoric, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. rhetoric

    rhetoric New Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    I have a relatively new Kemore 150 that has done a bang-up job since we bought the house. Out of warranty, though -- of course.

    First sign of trouble was if I let the salt get low and then added salt, the water took a few days to soften up.

    But eventually it seemed to produce no soft water.

    So I cleaned out the brine tank which was major league mushy. I'm not sure if it was a salt bridge, but I cleared it out, added a new bag, ran a cycle, and no soft water.

    I had previously cleaned the little venturi gaskets so I didn't check them.

    Read a thread that the basket/screen into the resin tank might be clogged, and it was -- major league. Cleaned it out well, put it back together and no soft water.

    Took the whole thing apart and together again including the cleaning nozzle and venturi. All gaskets look great, (including the figure 8 guy), but I greased them w/ plumbers silicone grease and no soft water.

    Did the Sears troubleshoot thing and no soft water.

    Here's what seems to be working...
    - the valve in the plunger (in the brine tube) does both pump and suck water like it's supposed to (as per the Sears website animation diagnostic)
    - when I remove the little black hose on the venturi I'm getting good suction (diagnostic)
    - the control mechanism works through the cycles in the correct order.
    - water is draining into the sump pump during the brining cycle.

    Things that might not be...
    - the manual says the salt tank should have about 2-3 inches of water when it's done cycling -- mine has about 9 inches. flooded tank?
    - during the fill cycle I can see the water flowing into the brine tank, but the water level never seems to go up (maybe that's normal) and it never goes down so that during the "service" phase, the water level doesn't change despite the fact that the brine vale is pumping and sucking at the right time.

    I've taken it all apart and put it back together twice to see if maybe I got something wrong. I'm sure it's all where it's supposed to be.

    Is is possible that air got into the system somewhere and it just needs to be burped? It feels like everything is testing fine, but if the brine isn't getting pumped over the resin... Is that possible?

    (When a guy walks into an auto repair shop with his troubled Chevy and the mechanic says, "Well, what did you buy that piece of crap for? You should have bought a Rolls Royce like I drive [and sell, by the way]" --- when he says that it doesn't help the guy w/ the Chevy. So here's hoping some Chevy mechanics will chime in and some gracious Rolls owners will provide some insight on my lowly Kenmore 150.) :)
  2. rhetoric

    rhetoric New Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    OK. I checked both of the o rings you suggested. regreased the ones on the rotor disc.

    I think the trouble is in the brine rinse cycle. This time I watched carefully -- the fill cycle ran for a long time and the water did not go up appreciably.

    Now I had read in another thread in this forum that after draining the tank I was to add 3 gallons of water before I started it and I hadn't done that so I did (between these posts). So now we have a new variable. But anyway, I listened to and watched the first two cycles (fill and brining) and the now fuller tank DID go down and quite a bit... till it got to the 9ish inch line again where it stayed forever (even though it sounded like it was still draining and the drain line was emptying. It doesn't seem like the brine float ever even comes into play -- is that normal? Is that just an emergency shut off or something?

    Anyway, it kept hissing like water was running through it and the drain in the sump pump kept draining, throughout the rest of the 2 hours (or whatever), but that water level in the brine tank never got below about 9 inches.

    If that all sounds normal, I wonder if the "iron rinse solution" Sears offers is maybe the issue. We don't have HUGE iron, but we do have iron and I have never treated the resin bed with anything. Could it be that the resin just isn't keeping up?

    Thanks for the non-condescending answer beirmech (beer mechanic auf deutsch?)
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  4. rhetoric

    rhetoric New Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    It's working! Yea!

    Too many variables to know for sure, but...

    Per your suggestions, I regreased the o rings. I also added a second bag of salt and upped the hardness setting on the machine one notch.

    But I think perhaps the real help was the Sears resin cleaner stuff. I was very skeptical (though I knew the resin was "dirty" since the resin screen was so clogged earlier) but I mixed it up, poured it in, and ran a regeneration. My skepticism was partly relieved when I saw the water in the sump-pump. What is normally clear was so murky I couldn't see the bottom. Now, a couple days later, we have soft water (and there was much rejoicing).

    Great forum -- thanks for the replies!
  5. TedL

    TedL New Member

    Sep 17, 2006
    NY Capital District
    Just a bit of explanation so you know for the future:
    It refills at the end of a cycle to make it ready for the next one. (Some systems fill the brine tank at the start of a cycle and immediately draw it back out.) So, when you cleaned it out, but didn't add water, there was nothing to draw the first time. It should have regenerated the second time.

    Depending on your settings & usage, you may need to tun an extra regen cycle now, since the resin got "saturated" with the hardness it removed.
  6. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Aug 31, 2004
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    A Pre Refill softener adds the water for the number of lbs to be used for a regeneration at the beginning of the regeneration and then waits for 2 hours or more before using the brine in the Brining cycle position.
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