Water softener repair guides

Your water softener removes hard minerals such as calcium and magnesium from your house's water supply, preventing white-scale buildup on plumbing fixtures and inside your pipes and water heater. When your water softener quits working, use our repair guides and videos for replacing common parts such as the venturi and timer. Check out our water softener repair help section for error code charts covering Kenmore, Whirlpool and GE water softeners, and find out how to determine your water's softness. Search for your model number to find a complete list of replacement parts, then order the part you need.

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Repair guides common to all water softeners

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your water softener.

January 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a water softener valve motor

The valve motor rotates the valve rotor to operate the water softener. If the valve motor fails, follow these steps to replace the valve motor.

Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
January 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a water softener timer

The timer is the control board you use to program the water softener. If the timer isn’t accepting commands when you push the buttons or if the display won’t power up, replace the timer.

Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less
January 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a water softener venturi

The venturi draws brine water from the salt tank to the resin tank for regeneration. Follow these steps to replace a damaged venturi.

Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less
How to replace a water softener rotor position switch

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.

Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less

Symptoms for water softeners

Choose a symptom to see related water softener repairs.

Main causes: faulty brine valve assembly, bad rotor valve
Main causes: lack of electrical power, bad power transformer, faulty timer
Main causes: salt bridge inside the salt tank, bad timer, valve motor failure, faulty rotor valve, clogged venturi
Main causes: loose water line connections, cracked water-carrying components, bad rotor valve seals
Main causes: clogged drain hose, faulty rotor valve, leaky rotor valve seals
Main causes: broken resin tank screen, bad resin tank seals, cracked upper distributor in resin tank
Main causes: empty salt tank, salt bridge, depleted resin, clogged or damaged venturi, broken rotor position switch, failed timer
Main causes: broken water flow meter, faulty timer, water flow to softener is bypassed

Articles and videos for water softeners

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your water softener.

January 18, 2016

How to use a multimeter to test electrical parts video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn how to use a multimeter to check for wiring problems in an appliance that's not working

December 9, 2015

How to read a wiring schematic video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn how to decipher symbols so you can buy the right part for your problem.

January 20, 2015

How a water softener works

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn how a water softener works to provide your home with soft water.