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Old 01-20-2011, 09:41 PM   #1
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What does the brine well do?


I have Kenmore water softener which I will be asking for help on. But before I ask I will try a couple things myself. It sounds like such a simple appliance I would prefer to figure it out myself. But I have a question about basic operation...What does the brine well do? Is it simply a place where brine from the reservoir is sucked up from and sent to the resin bed?

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Old 01-20-2011, 10:39 PM   #2
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What does the brine well do?


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Originally Posted by sofasurfer View Post
I have Kenmore water softener which I will be asking for help on. But before I ask I will try a couple things myself. It sounds like such a simple appliance I would prefer to figure it out myself. But I have a question about basic operation...What does the brine well do? Is it simply a place where brine from the reservoir is sucked up from and sent to the resin bed?
You are on the right track, it is so that water can get to the pick up point quickly and that the salt will not build up on the pick up point of the brine float assembly.

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Old 01-20-2011, 11:01 PM   #3
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What does the brine well do?


It is an just an area of the salt storage tank that does not contain the actual solid salt so that the pickup hose and the float assembly will not get caked up?

While I'm here I'll tell you why I am trying to understand the softener operation.

My salt level has not gone down in weeks. I do still have soft water though. I have read that a salt level that does not go down is probably because of a salt bridge.

My salt is probably a foot deep. The water level is about 6 inches above the salt. I stuck a pointed wood stick into the salt. It stopped about 4 inches from the bottom. I hammered it down to about an inch from the bottom. I mean this stuff is hard as rock (nearly). So if my problem is solidified salt, it is solid right to the bottom of the tank. I would assume I need to scoop the water and salt from the tank and then bust up the salt.

So, if I am seeing things right, my problem is not a bridge. The water is well over the salt.

Does this sound like what my problem is?
With a solidified salt problem, is the intake to the brine well caked shut in the bottom of the salt tank?
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:34 PM   #4
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What does the brine well do?


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Originally Posted by sofasurfer View Post
It is an just an area of the salt storage tank that does not contain the actual solid salt so that the pickup hose and the float assembly will not get caked up?
That is correct, to keep the pick up point free of salt build up and blockage.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sofasurfer View Post
While I'm here I'll tell you why I am trying to understand the softener operation.

My salt level has not gone down in weeks. I do still have soft water though. I have read that a salt level that does not go down is probably because of a salt bridge.

My salt is probably a foot deep. The water level is about 6 inches above the salt. I stuck a pointed wood stick into the salt. It stopped about 4 inches from the bottom. I hammered it down to about an inch from the bottom. I mean this stuff is hard as rock (nearly). So if my problem is solidified salt, it is solid right to the bottom of the tank. I would assume I need to scoop the water and salt from the tank and then bust up the salt.
If you have water above the salt and the tank is half full of salt, make sure that the float assembly is all the way down in the brine well and not close to the top of the brine well.. also check to make sure that the injector, that gray dome on the left side of the valve and at the other end of the black brine line from the float assembly in the brine well.. make sure that it is clear and drawing brine like it should, your unit fills at the start and not at the finish and standing water in the brine tank between cycles is not a good thing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sofasurfer View Post
So, if I am seeing things right, my problem is not a bridge. The water is well over the salt.

Does this sound like what my problem is?
With a solidified salt problem, is the intake to the brine well caked shut in the bottom of the salt tank?
More like an injector not clean ..
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:02 AM   #5
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What does the brine well do?


This is my unit, Kenmore 625.348832...
http://www.hammerwall.com/Manuals/Ke...ener/L0811057/

I think I have had standing water in the tank between cycles for a long time.
In section 6 of the manual it explains cleaning the nozzle and venturi. Is this the area that needs looking at?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:25 AM   #6
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What does the brine well do?


That is correct.
When you take that apart watch for the rubber disc, it could be cracked while the rest is clean, if it is cracked you will need to replace it.
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Old 01-21-2011, 04:50 PM   #7
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What does the brine well do?


The manual states...

To get to the nozzle and venturi, remove the softener
top cover. Be sure the softener is in service cycle (no
water pressure at nozzle and venturi), then turn off
the cap from the nozzle and venturi housing.


Does "softener is in service cycle" simply mean "not recharging"?

I tried to remove the cap but it won't budge. I do not want to break it (plastic) so I am not giving it all I can. I did put the jaws of a pliers between the ribs on the cap and gave it a fair amount of "umph" but it did not move. What do you recommend?

Is it enough to just disconnect the power and shut off the water to the softener?

Last edited by sofasurfer; 01-21-2011 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:03 PM   #8
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What does the brine well do?


It appears that I can remove the "retainer" and remove the nozzle and venturi unit from the valve assembly. Is this a good idea to make it easier to work on?
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:16 PM   #9
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What does the brine well do?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sofasurfer View Post
It appears that I can remove the "retainer" and remove the nozzle and venturi unit from the valve assembly. Is this a good idea to make it easier to work on?
I have the same softner. I won't go into a lot . The gray dome has to come off and clean the screen. Now their is a little O ring in their . They told me to leve it out ? The best is to call the 800 number . they will tell you what to do
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:53 PM   #10
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What does the brine well do?


With the unit in bypass and a cycle started that will de-pressure the unit and keep one from taking a cold water bath.
Then by removing the clip that holds the injector assembly to the valve , the injector assembly is easier to work on, some times it is a bit of a challenge to remove the cap but it will come off.
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:11 PM   #11
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What does the brine well do?


Sorry for all the questions.
I am not a plumber so I had to trace my water lines and figure them out. My softener does not have a bypass valve. The bypass valve is laying on a shelf next to the softener. The original owner must not like bypass valves :-)

The best I can see is to shut off the water valve going to the softener and then start a cycle. At what point in the cycle should I disconnect the power to the softener?
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:18 PM   #12
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What does the brine well do?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sofasurfer View Post
Sorry for all the questions.
I am not a plumber so I had to trace my water lines and figure them out. My softener does not have a bypass valve. The bypass valve is laying on a shelf next to the softener. The original owner must not like bypass valves :-)

The best I can see is to shut off the water valve going to the softener and then start a cycle. At what point in the cycle should I disconnect the power to the softener?
If you have to shut off the water before the system, then just open a sink and wait til the water stops and while that is going on unplug the unit..
With no bypass it is going to be more of a pain, make sure that no one needs water while you are working on the unit.. for they will not have any with that one valve closed.
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Old 01-22-2011, 04:14 AM   #13
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What does the brine well do?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sofasurfer View Post
Sorry for all the questions.
I am not a plumber so I had to trace my water lines and figure them out. My softener does not have a bypass valve. The bypass valve is laying on a shelf next to the softener. The original owner must not like bypass valves :-)

The best I can see is to shut off the water valve going to the softener and then start a cycle. At what point in the cycle should I disconnect the power to the softener?
Be sure and shut off the power to the water heater also. If the water get's below the element's it will burn out the top elelment .

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