How to Replace a Water Softener Timer



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.

Repair difficulty:
Time required:

Less than 15 min.

Parts Required

  • Timer

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Tools Required

  • Work gloves

Before you begin

Wear work gloves to protect your hands.



 Warning: Undertaking repairs to appliances can be hazardous. Use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs should only be performed by a qualified technician.

How to replace a water softener timer

Step 1: Disconnect electrical power

Unplug the water softener to disconnect power.

Step 2: 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.

Step 3: Remove control panel

Release the locking tabs on the sides of the control panel and pull the control panel off.

Step 4: Remove the salt storage tank light

Pull the light for the salt storage tank up and out of the top of the tank.

 Tip: The salt storage tank light is hardwired to the timer and cannot be disconnected.

Step 5: Remove the timer

Release the locking tabs at the corners of the timer and pull the timer out of the control panel.

Pry the locking clips out at each corner of the timer to release the timer from the control panel.

Pull the 2 black wires off of the timer.

Unplug the wire harness from the timer.

Disconnect the valve motor wire harness.

Remove the timer.

Step 6: 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.

Connect the wires to the new timer.

Plug in the valve motor wire harness.

Position the new timer in the control panel and snap the timer into the control panel locking tabs

Step 7: Reinstall the control panel

Position the control panel on the top of the tank and engage the locking tabs.

Step 8: 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.

Step 9: Restore power

Plug the power cord back in.

Step 10: Program the new timer

Program the new timer according to the instructions in your owner’s manual.