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Craig, Electrical Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 4529
Experience:  33 years experience electrical troubleshooting industrial equipment and control systems.
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Good Day, I have a Kenmore Ultra Soft 280. I cant get the

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Good Day,
I have a Kenmore Ultra Soft 280. I can’t get the Venturi to draw water into the Resin Tank. I have dismantled the entire water softener looking for bad gaskets or dirt, but everything looks great. The gears are all cycling correctly. The Venturi should draw brine water into the resin tank, but is just places more water into the tank. Do you have any suggestions?

Brine valve may not be opening: Need exact moel number for parts breakdown?

BRINING: During brining, the brine is moved
from the salt storage area, into the resin tank. Inside
the resin tank, brine cleans hardness minerals from
the resin beads and they are discharged out the
drain. How much brine is needed to clean the resin
depends on:
--the amount of resin in the softener,
--how fast the brine goes through the bed.
The nozzle and venturi (FIG. 7) make suction to take
brine from the salt tank and put it into the resin tank.
They keep the brine flow down to a very slow rate
to get the best resin cleaning with the least salt.

BRINE RINSE: After all of the brine is moved
into the resin tank, the brine valve closes. Water
keeps flowing the same way it did during brining
except the brine flow has stopped. Hardness minerals
and brine flush from the resin tank to the drain.
Brining and brine rinse together vary in the length

Edited by Craig on 1/17/2010 at 4:39 PM EST
Craig and 2 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thanks for your reply,


I have taken the valve system totally apart and checked all gaskets and lubricated them. Still I don't have the venturi draw the brine water into the system.



Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Edited by Craig on 1/17/2010 at 4:51 PM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I have taken this flow plug out several times and it's in great new.


Still during the brine system water still shoots out instead of drawing brine water in

Is it in the right position? Look at the diagram and read what I circled in red...
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

There are 4 little tabs on all four side if the hole, you really can't mis-aline the plug.

There is very little room for the plug to move.

Focus on the brine valve and make sure there is nothing blocking th brine flow so the venturi can draw brine water up. Can you suck water through the tube?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Yes. I can draw brine water into the tube by sucking on the end where the tube attaches to the ventri.


I have checked the continuity, there are no cracks or breaks in the tube.



It's got to be something with the main valve position not opening th the path into the resin tank allowing the brine to flow into the tank. Have you looked at the link that I sent with the whole valve breakdown?
Does the screen show the system in the regeneration mode so the main valve is lined up for the brine to enter the resin tank?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The cam assembly lines up exactally with the screw with the slash mark. S,F,BRBW...... It's going throught cycles perfectly. I don't see any leaks or air bubble from any of the connects. It's perplexing!


I wonder if there is something going on with the resin tank itself...This may be the direction to go, you have exhausted all other possibilities. Time to so something different. Walk away from it for a few minutes to allow your brain to give it a rest and then approach it in a bit, this is very necessary to rethink it...
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I have been working on it these last few days. The only conclusion I could come up with is the resin tank is bad. If it's the resin tank should I look at replacing the entire system or is cost effective to replace just the resin tank?



I can not give you a cost breakdown right off the top, I can look...
I think that the resin beads in the tank may not be allowing the brine to enter and this could be this issue. Not sure how to deal with this...Let me do some more research.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX appreciate your assistance.


Is there any possibility that the orifice from the motorized valve is blocked there by not allowing th brine into the resin tank?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
When I had the valve cover off, I checked the various open areas and saw nothing. Is that what you mean? Or do you mean the two valves (In and Out) ?
I am referring to the main valve that rotates to open the passage for the brine to enter the resin tank during a regeneration cycle.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I feel everything is working correctly


What about the brine valve stem. I noticed is locked up from pressure..... from the regeneration. I mean sometime is full extended and other time I have to push the rod down. What position should it be in? Should it stay sealed?

It goes up and down when the water is let in for the regeneration cycle. The float goes up when enough water is in the tank.

Question: have you checked the drain line, it's not blocked is it? This could stop the flow in and out...
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The drain line is working properly. I removed the drain tubing from the drain during regeneration, it's flowing freely.
Is there any way you could blow through the brine line from the intake end to see if it is clear and going through to resin tank?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
During the regeneration cycle, I cut the water supply off and let the system cycle. Then waited until the brine cycle stated. I then blew air into the line and could hear air entering the resin tank. After that I started the regeneration cycle again with the water supply on. The system forced water out and not in the resin tank.
I'm not sure what this means..."The system forced water out and not in the resin tank."
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

After blowing air into the resin tank, I ran the regeneration cycle. This is still the problem, instead of sucking the brine water in is just blow water out into the salt tank.

There has got to be something wrong with the nozzle and venturi, this is where the 'suction' is created to draw the brine in. Check the flow plug... *Install with numbered side up, concave side down. Be sure the largest flow plug
(with the largest hole) is located in the nozzle & venturi housing.

How is the water pressure coming in?

Edited by Craig on 1/18/2010 at 12:36 AM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I think I have finally reached my saturation point. I have done everything possible, but replace the resin. I read an artical where someone has having the same problem I was have, and after doing all the things I did, he ended up replacing the resin in the tank and his system began working.

I really apprecaite all the time you spend with me.

Good Night

You are very welcome. I would really be interested in knowing what you end up finding. If you can write back to me and let me know for future reference. Good Luck to you! Craig
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Good Day Craig,


I fixed the softner. Apparently, all this time I was missing a gasket. I ordered and replacing all the gaskets for the Venturi and Main Valve. I noticed a large flat gasket (it look like the hard inter-cord of the Venturi) was missing. I don't know why, but the softern worked for a few years without it. It's hard to tell when something is missing when it was never there. I'm getting a strong draw from the Venturi. Hopefully in a few days I'll have soft water again.

Again, thanks for your asssistance, I really appreciate it.





Well that's what I was focused on was the venturi for the suction. Nice work!

Edited by Craig on 1/22/2010 at 4:23 PM EST

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