Kenmore 38300 24,000-Grain High-Efficiency Water Softener Review

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Today we are going to review the Kenmore 38300 24,000 Grain High-Efficiency Water Softener.

Kenmore 38300

Kenmore 38300

Flow Rate:7.3 gpm
Capacity:24,000 Grains
# of People:Up to 3
Metered Regen:

Our Rating

Kenmore 38300 Water Softener – Key Features

The unit applies ion exchange technology to reduce water hardness by removing minerals – first and foremost calcium and to some extent magnesium – responsible for scaling.

This not only increases the longevity of your plumbing and water-using appliances, it also helps with stains on dishes and fixtures, moisturizes your skin and softens your clothes and make them shine brighter.

You can even treat iron content of up to 3 ppm. As with most softeners, this only includes clear-water not red-water iron and no iron bacteria or organic iron.

Other than the Kenmore 38620 for example, the 38300 does not feature a filtration stage and it does not come with Smart Connect technology.

The latter lets you sync your smartphone with the unit in order to monitor its status and track salt level and usage and the like.

But it uses Intellisoft2 which reduces salt and water consumption for regeneration by up 20 (salt) and 32 (water) percent respectively.

How is that possible? Three words: Demand-initiated regeneration, meaning that the system only regenerates when necessary.

The flow rate is a little more than seven gallons per minute, so enough for homes with a maximum of three residents and up to 35 gpg hardness level (more than sufficient in 90% of the cases).

The minimum/maximum water pressure limits are 20 – 120 psi. Exact grain capacity: 24,300.

Kenmore 38300 Pros

We like about the Kenmore 38300 that the high-flow valve ensures optimum performance even at times of peak water demand.

In addition, the low-salt light alerts you whenever you are about to run out of salt – how convenient!

Also, the whole unit is certified against NSF Standard 44 and Standard 372. The former is for hardness reduction, efficiency and the reduction of barium and radium 226/228. Standard 372 guarantees material lead compliance making sure that no lead will leach into your water when it gets in contact with any system parts.

And last but not least, you get a 1-year limited warranty on labor and parts and 10 years on the tank.

Kenmore 38300

The Kenmore 38300 – learn more on

Installation + Startup Instructions

Some prior plumbing experience would definitely help if you are thinking about installing this water softening system yourself, although this is not a necessity.

As long as you are handy around the house, have the dedication and times that’s required, and know how to hold a wrench, you should be able to set this system up within a couple of hours at max and save several hundred on the install cost.

The included manual will provide you with further guidance. Plus you can reach out to Sears’ tech support for further help.

The following steps will give you a better idea of what you need to do:

If a softener is not equipped with a bypass valve, we recommend you provide for one for ease of maintenance. Also, make sure to comply with local plumbing codes.

1. Where to Install

In order to find the best location for your softener, consider this:

  • It has to be as close to a water drain as possible
  • Before your water heater
  • Do not install where the softener could freeze and also not in direct sunlight (any environmental damage will void your warranty)
  • Somewhere where water damage is least likely to occur in case of leaks
  • There has to be a power supply nearby

2. Setup

  1. Shut off your water supply.
  2. Turn off the water heater and disconnect it.
  3. Drain your plumbing – the easiest way to do this is to open the highest and lowest faucets in the house.
  4. Take off the top cover of the unit.
  5. Detach the two large plastic clips gently.
  6. Verify the turbine and support are held in place.
  7. Use silicone grease to cover the O-rings and push them into the bypass valve.
  8. Insert the valve into the inlet/outlet ports, and then use the large holding clips to fasten it.
  9. Use silicone grease to cover the adaptor O-rings and push them into the installation adaptors. Insert the adaptors into the valve inlet/outlet ports and use large holding clips to fasten them.
  10. Hook up the inlet valve to your water supply at the main line.
  11. Use the 3/8” drain tubing to connect the valve drain hose to the drain fitting, and use a clamp to fasten it.
  12. Run the drain hose to a suitable drain and leave some free space around it.
  13. Make sure the hose doesn’t flail around.
  14. Insert the grommet into the tank’s hole.
  15. Insert the elbow adaptor into the grommet.
  16. Insert the included 3/8” tubing into the tube adaptor and use a clamp to fasten it.
  17. Hook up the other end to a floor drain – this will be your overflow hose.
  18. Find two nearby cold soft water faucets and turn them on.
  19. Switch the unit to Bypass mode.
  20. Turn on your water supply.
  21. Slowly switch the bypass valve into Service mode – make sure to follow the manufacturer’s manual.
  22. Turn on a hot water faucet to remove any leftover air in the system, then close it.
  23. Shut off the two cold soft water faucets you turned on in step 18.
  24. Look around for any leaks.
  25. Reattach the cover.
  26. Plug the system into a power socket.
  27. Start the water heater.

The Package (Parts)

  • Resin/brine tank; dimensions: 46” x 16.5“ x 19.75“; salt capacity: 0.68 cu. ft.
  • 1x bypass valve
  • 1x drain hose
  • 1x adaptor elbow
  • 1x grommet
  • A set of O-rings
  • Installation adaptors
  • Clips
  • Hose clamps

Programming, Settings & Maintenance

Thanks to a built-in LCD screen, making the required softening settings according to your preferences could not be easier.

Simply press the SELECT button until the display says “PRESENT TIME“. Then use the UP and DOWN buttons to set the present time. If you press SELECT once more, you can set your hardness level.

Another push on the SELECT button brings you to the regeneration time settings. The final step is to choose the type of salt you want to use, either NaCl (sodium chloride) or KCl (potassium chloride).

As for maintaining the Kenmore 38300, remember to fill up the salt tank before it’s completely empty. That’s all!


Find a manual for the Kenmore 38300 here: Manual

Kenmore 38300 Cons

There were some issues with missing parts upon delivery. Other customers complained about pieces that were of sub-standard quality that caused leaking.

The Sears customer support isn’t always helpful either. On top of that, the company won’t always honor their own warranty.

Kenmore 38300 Review: Our Verdict + Best for

The bottom line is most customers would recommend this unit to their friends and family – and so do we!

You get a great product at a great price that’s simple to install. The free delivery is the cherry on top. Our rating: 4.0!

The Kenmore 38300 is best for people living in small homes.

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This completes our Kenmore 38300 review. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!

About the Author Alexandra Uta

Alex is a content writer with an affinity for research and a methodical attention to detail. Her writing interests have included many different topics, water treatment among them, which have encompassed varying writing styles.
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