Kenmore Water Softener Problems: Salt Tank Full of Water


Since Sears is closing its doors officially, many customers are left with questions and void warranties, especially customers of appliances and household items, such as water softeners. If you have any questions about the problems you are having with your Kenmore water softener, feel free to contact us as we would be happy to help. We often get calls about Kenmore water softeners not using salt.  No matter the nature of the problem, we can fix it. kenmore water softener not using salt



Kitchener 519-745-3170    Waterloo 519-886-7331   Cambridge 519-886-7331

Guelph 519-836-2543


"My wife and I recently purchased a home that did not have a water softener since the house was built.  One company advised us to use the plumbing stack for drainage because of the location of the main water pipe, this was understandable. However, Watersmart advised us with a better alternative. Since they were licensed plumbers, they were able to find a location to cut some water pipes, and install the water softener near our laundry drain.  They are very skilled professionals and have great customer service. We also bought a reverse osmosis from them. They gave us detailed instructions on how to operate the softener and reverse osmosis. I would recommend these guys. Thank you Watersmart."
- William
Read more customer testimonials


How do I tell if my salt tank is filling with water?

There are 3 signs that could indicate that your water softener's salt tank is being flooded:

1)Water is coming out salty
2)Brine is appearing in water lines
3)Faucets begin to clog or water flow begins to weaken
4)Toilets are getting clogged

Why is my salt tank full of water?

A common problem with Sears/Kenmore water softeners is the salt tank or brine tank getting filled with water. Often times there isn't enough outflow or there is clogging that results in the brine tank being filled with water. Let's look at the different reasons why a brine tank may get filled.



Water softeners begin to degrade/ become unusable after 8 years

The life expectancy of a water softener starts to rapidly decline after 8 years. This may be the main cause of your water softener beginning to malfunction. 

Replace a water softener if the tank is cracked, you can repair it if a non-essential component like an o-ring is damaged.

The valve that controls water entry in the home is broken

If the valve that controls the water is broken it may not be able to stop water from entering into the compartment. This is a major cause of the brine tank being filled with excess water.

water entry valve at the back of the kenmore unit
The entry valve can be found on the back of the unit and unplugged to inspect for debris and other issues.
Water entry valve unplugged from a Kenmore unitOnce the valve has been cleaned and placed back in its original position, water will begin entering again at normal rates.

The float valve is set too high resulting in excess water

kenmore water softener water level indicator

The float valve controls the water levels in the brine tank. If it is set too high, excess water may build up as your unit may not be able to release all the water after each discharge cycle.

water level indicator being disembled

Remove the water level indicator (entire component in the image above), disassemble it, and determine if the valve itself requires cleaning due to clogging.


water brine valve with debris

After the water level indicator is disassembled, check the water level valve to see if it needs to be cleaned or has debris within it.

water level indicator placed back into Kenmore unit
Once it is clean, reassemble the water level control valve and place it back into the water softener.




See it live 


We have covered a lot of ground quite quickly here - if you still aren't sure how to fix the brine tank issue, see here for the full video:



Images and video are referenced from LohnnieJohnson1 via Youtube.

Are there other problems affecting the function of my water softener?


Here are some best practices and clues to other issues that could affect your Kenmore water softener

  • Allow the salt to be completely depleted before adding more salt
  • Check both valves that mediate the entry and exit of water from the salt tank for issues
  • Use a mirror and flashlight to help you look closely at the valves


Still stuck with your Kenmore water softener? WaterSmart can help


Trust WaterSmart with your Kenmore water softener repair. We have been in operation for over 20 years and have seen just about everything when it comes to Kenmore water softener repairs. The average lifespan of a water softener is about 10 years, however if it is maintained well by professionals like the employees at Watersmart, it can last up to 20 years. If you have a problem with your water softener not using salt, we can fix it. If there are other issues with your softener, whether it be a motor issue, resin issues, blockages, leaks, or some other less common problem, we are also able to fix them. Simply give us a call or send us an email today, to book a free estimate to have it repaired or visit one of our locations today. We service the cities of Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, and the surrounding areas.