This DIY repair guide explains how to replace the timer in a water softener. The timer controls the water softening and regeneration cycles, and lets you program the settings of the water softener. If there's power to the water softener but the display is blank, or if the control panel won't work when you touch a button, replace the timer with the manufacturer-approved replacement part.
Use this procedure to replace the timer in Kenmore, GE and Whirlpool water softeners.
Replacing a water softener timer video.
Disconnect electrical power
Unplug the water softener to disconnect power.
Remove the top cover
Open the lid and release the 2 front clips on the cover.
Lift the front of the cover up and push it back to release the rear tabs.
Pull the top cover off.
Open the lid.
Release the front clips.
Remove the top cover.
Remove control panel
Release the locking tabs on the sides of the control panel and pull the control panel off.
Release the control panel locking tabs.
Remove the salt storage tank light
Pull the light for the salt storage tank up and out of the top of the tank.
Pull the salt tank light out.
Remove the timer
Pull the 2 black wires off of the timer.
Unplug the wire harness from the timer.
Disconnect the valve motor wire harness.
Release the locking tabs at the corners of the timer and pull the timer out of the control panel.
Disconnect the timer wire harness.
Disconnect the black wires.
Unplug the motor wire harness.
Release the timer locking clips.
Install the new timer
A new salt storage tank light is attached to the new timer.
Push the new salt storage tank light into the opening at the top of the salt tank.
Position the new timer in the control panel and snap the timer into the control panel locking tabs.
Connect the wires to the new timer.
Plug in the valve motor wire harness.
Install the tank light.
Connect the timer wires.
Connect the motor wire harness.
Reinstall the control panel
Position the control panel on the top of the tank and engage the locking tabs.
Reinstall the top cover
Position the back of the top cover into the rear tabs and then push the front of the top cover down into the front locking clips.
Close the lid.
Reinstall the top cover.
Plug the power cord back in.
Program the new timer
Program the new timer according to the instructions in your owner’s manual.
The rotor position switch detects the position of the valve rotor. If the rotor position switch fails, follow these steps to replace it in about half an hour.
The venturi draws brine water from the salt tank to the resin tank for regeneration. Follow these steps to replace a damaged venturi.
Learn how to decipher symbols so you can buy the right part for your problem.
Find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about water softener repairs.