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Kenmore 38420 41,000 Grain Ultra High-Efficiency Water Softener

Item# 04238420000P | Model# 38420 | Added on March 12, 2011 |
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Description Specifications
Kenmore 38420 Water Softener - Upgrade Your Drinking Water Keep out troublesome minerals from your water with the Kenmore 38420 41,000 Grain Ultra High-Efficiency Water Softener. Pre-softened water can build up scale and clog drains, making it expensive and time-consuming. Perfect for families with larger homes, this NSF certified model features Ultra Cleansing that prevents larger particles of sediment from entering your plumbing so you can save time and money. Recommended salt type is listed in the attached owners manual.

Gets the Job Done
This NSF-certified water softener can get the job done the first time. IntelliSoft2™ uses up to 35% less salt and 37% less water. Plus, Ultra Cleansing keeps larger particles of sediment from entering your home plumbing.

A Performance You And Your Family Can Depend On
An Ultra-flow valve provides 41% better flow than the high-flow valve, ensuring fewer pressure drops and excellent performance. A monitoring system tracks daily water usage and it's easy to load salt. Plus, you'll be able to easily read the menu regardless of lighting with a lighted LCD screen and a salt tank light that indicates when the lid is open and when it needs a refill.

This product comes with:
Owner's Manual (1)
Ratings & Reviews

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(121 Ratings)
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By DBowers
April 21st, 2014
As good as, if not better than the Culligan it replaced

I was fortunate to be able to pick this up through a local Sears retailer. It was installed on the evening of 4/17/14 and took approximately 4 hours. The instructions were very clear, and I needed only the most basic of tools. The plumbing in my home is all PVC, so my installation was much easier without having to sweat copper pipes together. Once the unit was sterilized and in service, I noticed a difference in cold water quality almost immediately. The hot water took a bit longer to improve since I didn't bother to drain and refill the water heater. My old twin-tank Culligan softener was driven by a timer mechanism, so regardless of how much water we used, it would run daily even if we were away for an extended time. This caused the old softener to go through salt at an incredibly fast rate. This new unit is a single resin tank, but the big difference is that it regenerates based on how much water is used. This alone will pay for itself in a short time simply from salt savings. Furthermore, a very useful feature is a display that shows how many gallons per minute flow through the unit. This helped me identify a plumbing problem elsewhere in the home. If I had one complaint, it's that the bypass valve that comes with it is a plastic mechanism, not metal. This may not be an issue down the road, but I was accustomed to seeing a more robust brass valve. Otherwise, I'm thoroughly impressed with this Kenmore unit. It is 1/3rd the cost of the Culligan, was easy to set up and program, the instructions double as a service and parts manual, and I'll be able to obtain replacement parts easily through my local Sears.

24 found this review helpful
By Frustrated_2014
July 30th, 2014
Bypass Valve breaks and floods

I've had the bypass valve on this unit break twice on me. The last was when I was out of town and my entire finished basement was destroyed. The plastic bypass valve has been reported on Sears and Kenmore websites as being too flimsy and multiple people having cracked bypass valves and flooding. Both times, the valve assembly cracked and blew out right at the outlet connection and the flimsy plastic clip.

61 found this review helpful
Reviewers may have received a benefit, like a sweepstakes entry or rewards program points, in exchange for writing a review.
Those benefits were not conditioned on the positive or negative content of the review.

Replaced 20-year old Kenmore model


I bought this to replace a 20-year old Kenmore water softener whose resin bed finally gave up the ghost. I was going to buy a GE model at Home Depot, but then realized I could save $$$ by installing another Kenmore if all the hookups were the same. Some internet research revealed they were -- we ordered from the closest Sears store, picked it up, and swapping out the old one was merely a matter of unpacking the unit, disconnecting the old unit, and hooking up the new one. It took about a week until our rather large water heater filled up with water from the new softener, but since then it's been producing beautifully soft water. The hardest part of the process was figuring out how to dispose of the old unit. (Our local trash service offers one "bulky trash pickup" per year, so we used that.)

March 2nd
3 of 3 found this review helpful.
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have it

Easy to install.


February 10th via
0 of 0 found this review helpful.
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Terrible Product. You have been Warned.


I have had this water softer for 6 years. I does the job but there is a very ugly down side. Under the warranty it has been replaced twice due to torn screen membrane that keeps the resin in the tank. Pounds and pounds of resin is released into the water lines when the membrane is torn. This causes all your faucets, shower heads, revers osmosis, refrigerator filters, and washer to clog up. You will have to uninstall to clean out filters or screens. Also you need to drain you water heater and wash it out to get rid of all the resin. I will not be reinstalling this item. I have spent over $200 every time this happens and it took me three days to do all the work. Do not purchase this product unless you plan to install some type of filtration system after the water softer and before you water heater to catch the resin when it gets released.

January 21st via
4 of 4 found this review helpful.
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Easy installation


I bought this softener to replace my old one that was about 13 years old. Although the design of the bypass valve has changed it still was easy to install.

November 25th
2 of 2 found this review helpful.
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Do not get if you need new install


I went with Sears and the Kenmore 38350 water softener, since I had a new install in my previous home. Price was reasonable, water softener worked great for 12+ years.

DO NOT purchase this if it's a new install today. The store charged me $189 for the install, not realizing this was a replacement install. I did not have a home visit before it was brought to my house, and was charged an extra $400 to have the new install done. It took about 45 minutes total, and was easy, as it's a new home. TOTAL RIP-OFF!!! I was charged more for the install than the cost of the water softener.

The installer said that Sears demanded the extra cost. I called Sears and they said it was determined by the installer. Nice cluster!

The national rate for a new install is $200-$400, so to be charged $589 is ridiculous!!! I should have gone with the ****** install, as they quoted much less. I unfortunately depended on my old experience with Sears and got burned.

I've always had great experiences with Sears and their products (washer, dryer, other electronic equipment.) However, at this point I am done. What a shame.

August 11th via
6 of 8 found this review helpful.
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Kenmore 38420 41,000 Grain Ultra High-Efficiency Water Softener
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July 29th, 2015
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