Now that Sears has ceased operating, many Kenmore water softener owners are left with inquiries about their units that can't be answered at the point of purchase. In this article, we will discuss how to add salt. If you are experiencing additional problems with your Kenmore water softener, trust WaterSmart - we often get calls with a range of problems and issues, and no matter the nature of the problem, we can fix it.
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"I have bought my water at Watersmart for years and when I needed a softener I asked about their products in the showroom and the staff member impressed me with his knowledge about their softeners. I purchased a softener which they installed a couple days later exactly as they had promised. The installer did a very clean installation and told me some information about softeners that the service person from my old softener company never told me that would have saved me a lot of aggravation with my old softener. I would recommend this company to anyone." - John Zuk
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How to Add Salt to Your Kenmore Water Softener
Making sure there's a sufficient amount of salt in your tank is an essential aspect of running your Kenmore water softener. It is not necessary to fill it to full, but it is not necessary to fill it to capacity. In humid areas, it is best to fill your storage tank no more than half full and to add salt more often. Salt bridging occurs more often when conditions are humid.
For Kenmore water softeners, it's recommended that you use nugget or pellet salt. DO NOT use rock salts, as they have dirt and sediments that will stop the softener from working. The Use & Care Guide actually suggests using Potassium Chloride, which is not a salt in the strictest of terms. It's a bit more expensive, but the makers of Kenmore water softeners believe it's the way to go.
Steps to Follow:
1. Place only one bag of Potassium Chloride (KCl) in your softener at a time (the salt storage tank should contain no more than 60 pounds of KCl at any one time).
2. A softener using KCl should not be placed in areas with temperature fluctuations and high humidity (KCl will harden in these environments and may make the softener inoperable).
3. Check the brine tank (contains water that is saturated with salt) monthly. If hardening is present, pour small amounts of warm water onto hardened areas until they loosen.
4. Be sure to set “Salt Type” on the controller to “KCl”. This setting adjusts the regeneration cycle times to compensate for the different rate at which KCl dissolves.
5. To maintain optimum performance of your water softener, the salt tank should be cleaned out every 2 to 3 years.
If after all this you are still concerned about your drinking water, consider a reverse osmosis drinking water system that will remove in excess of 90% of sodium and other drinking water contaminants. While hard water has not been proven to be detrimental, it's still good to know the facts. Contact WaterSmart today if you have any additional questions.
Why Your Softener Needs Salt
In areas with high hard water content, water softeners become an important part of a household. As water travels through the ground, it picks up minerals like calcium and magnesium. Water softeners remove these minerals - improving the water quality and softening it.
One component in this process is salt. Water softener salt acts by binding to the calcium and magnesium particles in the water source. This happens when negatively charged chloride binds with the positively charged calcium and magnesium ions.
For more, be sure to check out our article on How a Water Softener Works - The Science Behind Getting Soft Water.
Other Types of Salt
Potassium Chloride has already been mentioned, but there are three other types of salt that are available for use in your Kenmore water softener. They are rock salt, evaporated salt, and solar salt.
- Rock Salt is the most economical of the three, but tends to less soluble and will often cause maintenance issues with clogging.
- Solar salt is usually found in pellet or crystal form and is created by evaporating sea water. It is more soluble than rock salt but may have difficulty coping with extremely hard water.
- Evaporated Salts are usually the most expensive but also the most pure. This means that it is the least likely to cause clogging.
Visit a WaterSmart location today to pick up the best option for your unit.
For further reading, click here for our article on Kenmore Water Softener: Common Problems and Solutions.
Maintaining Your Kenmore Water Softener
At WaterSmart, we recommend that homeowners regularly check their water softener salt levels. Most water softeners should be checked at least monthly and more often if your tank regenerates frequently.
Begin by making sure your water softener is the correct size for your property. If your softener is too small, it will regenerate more frequently, causing you to use an excessive amount of water and salt, increasing your operating costs and shortening the lifespan of your unit. On the other hand, if your softener is too large for your home, it will not regenerate frequently enough, thus causing hardness to stick to the resin in the softener. This decreases the life of the resin and also increases your operating costs.
For further reading, check out our article on How to Maintain Sears Water Softeners Without Warranty.
Contact us if you are concerned that your water softener is not up to the job, or if you are in the market for a new water softener. We are ready to answer all your questions about salt types and their various advantages and disadvantages.
Trust WaterSmart With Your Kenmore Water Softener
We have been in operation for over 20 years and have seen just about everything when it comes to Kenmore water softeners. If you have a problem, we can fix it, whether it be a motor issue, salt bridge, resin issues, blockages, leaks, or some other less common problem.
If you have a problem that needs fixing, feel free to give us a call, send us an email, or visit one of our locations today for a free estimate to have it repaired. We service the cities of Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, and the surrounding areas.