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) respectively 32 (water) percent.

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. Close your main water supply valve.
  2. Shut off and unplug your heater water.
  3. Drain all remaining water by opening the highest and lowest outlets in your home.
  4. Remove the unit’s top cover.
  5. Carefully remove the two large plastic clips.
  6. Check that the turbine and support are firmly in place.
  7. Coat the O-rings with silicone grease and slide them onto the bypass valve.
  8. Push the valve into the inlet and outlet ports. Snap the two large holding clips in place to secure.
  9. Coat the adaptor O-rings with silicone grease and slide them onto the installation adaptors. Push the adaptors into the valve inlet and outlet ports. Secure with two large holding clips.
  10. Connect the inlet valve to your main water line.
  11. Next, connect the valve drain hose by attaching the 3/8″ inside diameter drain tubing to the drain fitting. Secure with clamp.
  12. Connect the drain hose to a drain. Leave an air gap.
  13. Secure the hose so it does not whip.
  14. Push the grommet into the hole in the tank.
  15. Push the elbow adaptor into the grommet.
  16. Push the 3/8″ tubing (included) into the tube adaptor. Secure with clamp.
  17. Connect the other end to floor drain. This is your overflow hose.
  18. Open two cold soft water faucets nearby.
  19. Set unit into “bypass“.
  20. Open the main water supply valve.
  21. Slowly put bypass valve into “service“. (Be careful here. Check your manufacturer instructions for more details).
  22. Open a hot water faucet to purge all remaining air. Close the faucet.
  23. Close both cold soft water faucets.
  24. Check for leaks.
  25. Put the cover back on.
  26. Connect the system to a power outlet.
  27. Restart your water heater.

The Package (Parts)

  • All-in-one resin + brine tank, 46″x16.5″x19.75″ (HxWxD), can hold up to 0.68 cubic feet of salt
  • Bypass valve
  • Drain hose
  • O-rings
  • installation adaptors
  • Clips
  • Hose clamps
  • Adaptor elbow
  • Grommet

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

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!

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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 Tim Stanley

Tim Stanley is our content creator veteran. His daily tasks involve everything from research to editing. His expertise: Water Softeners. When he is not working, Tim spends most his free time cycling and shaping his body doing calisthenics. To calm down he also likes to watch Netflix (who doesn’t?).
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