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I have a Kenmore 625.383560 water softener (WS). It looks to be the most generic WS on the planet that every house has.

I have set my pressure at 70 psi using the regulator on the house supply line. If I bypass my WS (using the bypass valve), I can open all approx. 6 faucets in the house and they dont visibly change flow/pressure at all.

However, if I put the WS back into service, I can really only use one faucet at a time. Some faucet combinations are worse in terms of loss of pressure, but I assume this variation is due to the layout of the pipes. eg I will probably get more change to the faucet furthest from the supply if I open a second one that is much closer to the supply.

I have cleaned the turbine/flow meter of the WS as it was stuck due to a small piece of debris. I have cleaned out the venturi as well. Neither looked to be in bad shape or dirty (other than that one piece of debris). I had a quick look at the upper "distributor" (the basket that sits at the top inside the resin tank), and that seemed fine at least from the outside. I didnt remove it inspect further.

There doesn't seem to be much else that could be wrong other than the resin needs to be replaced. However, this will be a substantially bigger job than what I have done so far.

So I'm hoping someone can either tell me what else I should check, or confirm that this is a problem that would be fixed by replacing the resin.

Date code on the unit reads 06221... 2006 seems too old, but 2021 is definitely not right.

EDIT: Onboard WS computer says that it has had electrical power for 5880 days total (16 yrs), and performed 1578 recharges (equivalent to 10 yrs at 3 recharges per week).

2 Answers 2

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Presumably the resin bed is clogged, or the valves/piping are.

Resin itself may not need to replaced (if it's still softening water) but probably does need to be taken out, everything cleaned, and put back. Which is enough work that you might want to just replace the resin with new, anyway.

Often the price of a whole new unit is not much more, and it's an easier swap.

2006 seems spot on if the controller has been powered for 16 years in 2022.

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  • 1. Do you mean the resin bed itself could get clogged? eg it gets compacted and stops water flowing freely? 2. Is there a way I can quickly determine if the problem is the resin or the the valve body? Some folks seems to say that if the resin is more gel-like than bead-like, then it has degraded beyond repair. To check the valve body, could I send water through the in inlet and outlet pipes instead of disassembling the whole valve?
    – BumblingBy
    Oct 15, 2022 at 15:21
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I solved the problem so I wanted to post an update in case anyone else out there is facing similar issues.

Short version:

The resin needed replacement. I went with ResinTech CG10 from a water softener supply store. Price was only about $20 more (inc. shipping!) than the cheapest stuff at the big home supply center. It's been about a month and the water pressure in the house feels fine.

Long version:

I took the valve assembly apart to inspect and re-grease the gaskets[1]. Since that all looked fine, I decided to siphon out the resin through a ~3/8-inch plastic tube. I left much of the water in the resin tank during this process, but noticed the siphon would clog up periodically. This strongly suggested there were volumes of degraded resin in the tank - if it clogs up a 3/8-inch tube, it would likely clog up the vanes in the distributors! [2]

After removing all the old resin with a shop-vac, I reassembled the unit and ran it in "service" mode WITHOUT any resin. Not sure if this was a good idea, but I only did it temporarily to check that the huge pressure drop with faucets running did not happen.

While I had it apart, I cleaned the venturi, brine valve and brine tank [3,4].

After replacing the resin, I measured about 15 to 20 psi drop when all faucets in the house was running. This is a bit more than the 14 psi @ 8 gpm quoted in the manual[5], but I might have been exceeding the 8 gpm with all the faucets open. Under normal use, ie. one or two faucets open, the drop is much less, and not really appreciable to the user.

Good luck!

[1] https://youtu.be/i-rcked1qBg

[2] You can see examples of distributors towards the middle of this video: https://youtu.be/6-o9ygkF6kw

[3] https://youtu.be/-hHbyU6xr0Q

[4] https://youtu.be/QR0nzvTyLNI

[5] https://www.manualslib.com/manual/490788/Kenmore-Intellisoft-350-Series.html?page=33#manual

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