Clean your water softener metering turbine

Old 11-13-23, 01:29 PM
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Clean your water softener metering turbine

So I noticed my 19 year old Whirlpool water softener (WHES40) didn't seem to be automatically recharging over the past year or so. Just wasn't using salt at the level I was used to seeing. I knew it used a water turbine assembly for metering how much water goes through it so that it knows when to perform a recharge. So I got to thinking maybe that turbine wasn't working correctly. Did some searches here on the net and found a good article from Whirlpool on how to test it, clean it and repair if needed. So I jumped in and took things apart to check.

Testing is simple. Simply press and hold the Program/Select button for three seconds until the display reads '000', then go turn on a faucet. If metering it working correctly the numbers will start advancing on the display. In my case, this initially worked, but after closing and reopening the faucet and flipping back and forth between hot & cold the display stopped advancing. Knocked the softener near the water outlet where the turbine is located and low & behold it started advancing again. It was temperamental though - sometimes it advanced, sometimes it did not.

Okay, so I've got a problem. Did what the Whirlpool article said and cracked open the system to check the turbine and its support peg. I think the pictures attached to this post tell the story pretty well. There was this very thin layer of hardened sediment that was impeding the turbine from rotating freely. Used a toothbrush and toothpick to clean the turbine and mount tube (especially the tube) and got that buildup outta' there. Took a while of fastidious, careful picking to get it all. Had to use a magnifying glass and good lighting to get it all, as its well hidden against the white colored tube material. Put it all back together and voilą - works like new again. The slightest puff of air sends that turbine spinning for 15 seconds. Ran a recharge to reset its counters for good measure...


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