Kenmore Water Softener Problems: Salt Tank Full of Water


Now that Sears is officially closed, many customers are left with void warranties and even more questions about the Kenmore water softener they purchased there.



At WaterSmart Systems & Plumbing, we often get calls if a Kenmmore water softener is full of water, for example. If you have standing water in the water softener salt tank, we can help! No matter the nature of the problem, we can fix it. Contact us for solutions to all your Kenmore water softener problems.


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

Guelph 519-836-2543


How do I tell if my water softener tank is full of water?

There are three signs that your water softener is filled up with water:

1. Your water is coming out salty
2. Brine - a high concentration of salt in water - is appearing in water lines.
3. Faucets begin to clog or water flow begins to weaken
4. Toilets are getting clogged

Why is my water softener full of water?

If your water softener is filled with water, you're experiencing a commong problem with Sears Kenmore units. Let's look at the different reasons why water in brine tank can get too high.

1. Water softeners begin to degrade / become unusable after 8 years

The life expectancy of a water softener starts to rapidly decline after eight years. This may be the main cause of your water softener problems and water in the salt tank.

You can have it repaired if the issue is a non-essential component like an o-ring You will, however, need a water softener brine tank replacement if it's a more serious problem. Contact a specialist to make sure before taking action.

2. 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 reason why your water softener is full of 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 unit


Once the valve has been cleaned and placed back in its original position, water will begin entering again at normal rates.

3. The water softener float valve is set too high


If your water softener is full of water, another potential solution is to change the Kenmore water softener float setting.


kenmore water softener water level indicator


The water softener float valve controls the water levels in the brine tank. If it is set too high, excess water may build up, and 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 what to do when your water softener is full of water and how to drain, watch this handy video:


Images and video are referenced from LohnnieJohnson1 via Youtube.

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


Here are a few ways you can prevent your Kenmore water softener tank from becoming gull of water or evenoverflowing:

  • 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


Kenmore water softener tank full of water? WaterSmart can help!


Trust WaterSmart with your Kenmore water softener repair.

We have been in operation for 25 years and have have extensive knowledge in everything from Kenmore water softener installation to Kenmore water softener repair and replacement.

The average lifespan of a water softener is about 10 years; if it is well maintained, however, it can last up to 20 years!

If your water softener tank is filled with water, 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 can also take a look and get it back up and running.

Simply give us a call or send us an email to book a free estimate, or visit one of our locations today.


"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
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We service the cities of Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, and the surrounding areas.