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What is causing too much brine water?

by Manage My Life
December 19th, 2007

I have a Kenmore High Capacity 80 Plus, model 625.348832 water softener. It has suddenly started filling the salt tank with water up to the level of the brine valve float stop. Water is sitting in the salt tank nearly all the time. The water has been hard, off and on, as well since that started happening. It appears that the brine isn't getting pulled into the softener during the brining cycle sometimes. I clean the nozzle and venturi regularly. After replacing the nozzle and venturi assembly, I verified that the system is drawing water in by filling the brine valve and watching it drain. It drained in about a second, maybe a little longer. I also unplugged the unit while it was in the brine cycle, and after about 40 minutes the water level had gone down to the point where it was no longer pooled above the salt in the tank. After the next recharge, there was again water pooled in the tank. The water level was a couple inches below the bottom of the float at its highest level. So it appears that the unit fills with water to the top of the bottom of the float, and then draws an inch or two out. Reading through the owner's manual, it says the amount of water that is put into the unit during the fill cycle may depend on how much water softening capacity had been used since the last regeneration, and that the brine cycle can last from about 30 to 70 minutes depending on much water was put into the unit during the fill cycle. If that's true, I would expect the brine cycle to continue until the float got down to the bottom of the brine valve stem. For some reason the brine cycle is stopping before the float gets down to the bottom of the brine valve stem. Why would this happen? Is there a timer in the unit that stops the brine cycle early? Or could there be something else wrong?

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Manage My Life
From what I can gather from the details the water softener is working correctly. Yes there is a timer which is the electronic face plate assembly. If it's taking a long time to draw the brine water out of the brine tank it's usually a restricted venturi and nozzle. The timer can time out and brine will be left in the tank. The brine float is to protect against overflow only. It too should be taken out and cleaned. The venturi is not going to draw the water below the bottom of the float when it's at the lowest position.

The fill cycle is determined by the electronic control on your softener. If it extends the fill cycle because of high water usage, it also extends the brine cycle to draw the water out. The fill is also controlled by the flow washer in the bottom of the nozzle venturi.

If you reversed the flow washer it will overfill the brine well and the control did not program more water. The brining will be too short and won't remove all the water. Be sure the numbers on the flow washer are up.

I recommend reviewing the Kenmorewater.com. website for the animated operation of the water softener.

Also check the drain line because if it's too long or restricted it can cause an issue like you are describing.

The rotary valve could be causing water to leak past the valve too.

I recommend calling a service technician to diagnose and repair your water softener, if necessary.
by Manage My Life
December 19th, 2007
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