How to Troubleshoot a Kenmore Water Softener

Joshua Duvauchelle

Kenmore Appliances is a home appliance brand sold by Sears. It is one of the United States' largest appliance lines. The company designs a series of water softeners that reduce the levels of dissolved minerals in drinking water. However, even the best Kenmore water softener can malfunction.

A Kenmore water softener can help improve your drinking water's quality.

Learn how to troubleshoot the appliance to fix potential problems so you can enjoy crisp, smooth drinking water once again.

  1. Check that all of the Kenmore water softener's tubes are connected properly if you notice poor water output. Make sure the inlet pipe from your main water pipe to the Kenmore appliance, located on the top back of the softener, is plugged in. A disconnection will result in total cessation of water production. Also check that the overflow tubing from the water softener's salt tank is plugged into the right-hand side of the water softener.

  2. Inspect the Kenmore water softener's drain tubes if you notice wet spots, puddles and other telltale signs of leaking. Both the valve drain hose and the overflow drain tubing should be aimed at your floor drain, standpipe or laundry tub. Moving the hose away from the drainage area will result in flooding. Also, the overflow drain tube may sometimes become cracked or worn with use due to the high mineral content in the drainage water. Replace as needed with a new overflow drain tube (Sears Item No. 423433).

  3. Make sure your home's water supply is turned on and operating at regular capacity if you notice poor water output or can't get water at all. Check your house's main water pipe shutoff valve and make sure it is opened fully. It may have been closed when the Kenmore technician or plumber was installing the water softener. Additionally, turn on a faucet somewhere else in your home. If you cannot produce water, call your water utility company as they may have turned off your water or reduced pressure due to problems such as local construction in your neighborhood.

  4. Verify that the Kenmore water softener is plugged into a reliable electrical outlet if its front panel display won't turn on or if it shuts down randomly. Avoid plugging the water softener into an extension cable, as sudden changes of power when other devices use the extension cable can shut down the water softener.

  5. Check your water hardness settings if you don't like the taste or feel of your water softener's output. Though the system's standard factory settings are typically sufficient for most regions, your local water can be significantly different enough to require custom settings. Contact your local water utility company and obtain the water hardness number for your neighborhood. Press "SELECT" on the Kenmore appliance's front display panel, then press "HARDNESS." Press "CHANGE" and use the arrow keys to raise or lower your hardness setting. The appliance will now adjust its softening levels accordingly.

  6. Contact Kenmore's warranty service department if you cannot resolve your water softener's problems. The water softener is covered by its original warranty for up to 10 years, depending on which part of the appliance is experiencing problems. Contact Kenmore's warranty line toll-free at (800) 469-4663. Be prepared to share the water softener's specific model number, as well as its original purchase date.

  7. Warning

    Water softening can increase the amount of sodium in your water. Though the increase is often negligible, individuals on a doctor-prescribed low-sodium diet may find the increase significant enough to warrant caution. If you are on a low-sodium diet, talk to your doctor before drinking water that has been processed by the Kenmore appliance.