Water Softener: Water meter isn't working

A broken water flow meter or faulty timer can prevent the display from showing water usage. Also, the water flow meter won't detect any water flow if the water softener is bypassed.

Check the bypass valve position first when the control isn't displaying water flow. Move the bypass valve to the service position to send water through the softener if you find the valve in the bypass position.

If the water softener isn't bypassed, then the water flow meter could be stuck or broken. Check water flow using the diagnostic test cycle as described in the owner's manual. If the water flow meter fails to detect water flow in the diagnostic test cycle, then the water flow meter's turbine could be jammed or broken. Unplug the water softener and shut off the water supply to the softener. Pull off the bypass valve assembly to access the water flow meter turbine. Inspect the turbine and replace it if it's jammed or broken.

If the water flow meter turbine is okay, check the wire harness for damage between the flow meter's sensor and the timer and replace the wire harness if damaged.

If the flow meter's wire harness is okay, then a faulty flow meter sensor or a failed timer is preventing the display from showing water flow. There's no way to test the flow meter sensor so you won't be able to determine whether the sensor or the timer is at fault. Replace the sensor because it costs less than the timer. If the timer still doesn't detect water flow after replacing the flow meter sensor, replace the timer.

water softener

These repairs may help solve your water softener problem

Replace the water softener water flow meter

Replace the water softener water flow meter

The water flow meter measures water usage. A defective water flow meter won't detect water flow. Replace the water flow meter if it won't detect water flow when water moves through the softener.

Replace the water softener timer

Replace the water softener timer

The timer is an electronic control board that lets you program the water softener. The timer also controls the functions such as water softening and flushing the resin filter. Replace the timer if it fails to control the water softener's functions.

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

If your water softener control panel does nothing when you press a button, or if the control panel won't come on at all, the timer might be broken. This step-by-step repair guide and video show how to replace a water softener timer in just 15 minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
Read more
Symptoms for water softeners

Choose a symptom to see related water softener repairs.

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

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

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
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
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
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.

February 1, 2018
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
Water softener common questions
By Sears PartsDirect staff

Find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about water softener repairs.

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.