DIY water softener repair

A water softener reduces wear and tear on your clothing, prevents filmy deposits on your dishes and washes soap from your skin and hair by neutralizing the calcium carbonate in hard water. If your water softener isn't working right, Sears PartsDirect's repair help can pinpoint the problem and show you how to fix your water softener.

When the softener's display flashes a code, use our error code charts to figure out the problem. Once you've pinpointed the issue is, use our DIY repair guides with detailed procedures to replace the broken parts. If you're not sure whether your water softener is doing its job, our troubleshooting video on how to check water hardness walks you through the possible problems and offers tips and solutions. You can also find out the best place in your house to install a water softener and get answers to common questions on our articles and videos page.

If you're looking for the owner’s manual or a complete list of replacement parts for your water softener, search for your model number.

Water Softeners

Symptoms for water softeners

Choose a symptom to see related water softener repairs.

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

Repair guides for 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
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

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.

September 26, 2019

Keeping your smart appliances secure from hackers

By Lyle Weischwill

Find out how to protect your smart appliances from malevolent invasions by hackers.

October 31, 2018

Cleaning your appliances after a drinking water advisory

By Julie Riebe

Find out how to clean and flush household appliances once a boil water advisory is lifted.

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 16, 2015

Using a wiring schematic to trace a current video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Find out what’s wrong with your appliance by following a circuit.

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.

December 2, 2015

Wiring schematic symbols explained video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn some of the most common symbols found in a wiring diagram and what they mean.

June 1, 2015

How to check water hardness and water softener tips video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn how to check if your tap water is hard or soft and get tips to troubleshoot water softener problems.

January 27, 2015

Where to install a water softener

By Sears PartsDirect staff

See what to consider when deciding on the location of a water softener in your home.

January 23, 2015

How to clean a water softener nozzle and venturi

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn how to clean the nozzle and venturi in a water softener.

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.

January 6, 2015

How to clear water softener error codes

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Follow these easy steps to clear error codes from your water softener.

January 6, 2015

How to clean a water softener

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Keeping a water softener clean inside and out improves operation and appearance.