Kenmore is a brand of household appliances. There are Kenmore refrigerators, dishwashers, microwaves, dryers, water softeners – you name it. All of these products are sold by Sears, the owner of the Kenmore brand.
While Kenmore is a little more than 100 years old and first appeared on a sewing machine in 1913, Sears was found more than 130 years ago (source). The corporation is headquartered in Hoffman Estates, Illinois and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on October 15, 2018.
But enough of that. Let’s get back to Kenmore softeners. We are going to review the following models in this guide:
Since Sears has filed bankruptcy, wouldn’t it be better to opt for a water softener from a different company? Yes and no. Yes, because in case Sears vanishes in the near future, who can guarantee that you will still be able to buy replacement parts and receive customer support for your product? No, because chances are that Sears will get reorganized rather than liquidated.
Apart from that, going with Kenmore provides the following benefits:
Price – Kenmore water softeners are more affordable than many of the competing models from other sellers.
Compact & Modern – On the one hand, we have the single-tank design, which saves you a lot of space. On the other hand, we have modern looks – no reason to hide these units behind your hot water boiler.
Certified – Softeners by Kenmore are certified against NSF standards to ensure design quality and optimum efficiency/performance. Standard 372 for example guarantees that no lead will leach into your water when getting in contact with the different construction materials.
Ease of Use – For one, Kenmore softeners are easy to configure. In addition, all you have to do for maintenance is making sure that the brine tank never runs out of salt.
Reduced Water Wastage + Salt Use – Both the 38300 and the Elite 38620 apply metered regeneration technology. In other words, they measure how much water you use and based on your hardness levels automatically calculate if and when regeneration is required. Thus the amount of water that’s used per cycle is reduced and salt consumption drops to a minimum – the environment will be pleased.
Bye Bye, Iron – The 38300 can handle clear-water iron of up to 3 parts per million, the 38620 of up to 10 ppm.
DIY Install – Kenmore is for DIYers. If that’s you, you should have no problems hooking up your new unit.
Warranty – You get a 1-year limited warranty on labor and parts and – believe it or not – 10 years on the tank.
The big difference between the 38300 and this model is that the 38620 Smart Hybrid uses smart track technology that allows you to monitor your water flow rate, salt level, salt usage and the like on your smartphone.
Simply connect the softener to your phone via the free Kenmore mobile app, which then alerts you whenever it’s time to fill new salt into the brine tank or when it detects unusual water usage patterns indicating a possible leak.
Above that, you can adjust all kinds of settings such as hardness limits and schedule regen cycles.
Other benefits are:
You get an extra layer of carbon medium to eliminate chlorine taste & odor and a number of other chemicals – great for drinking.
Almost 12 gpm flow rate is enough for larger households with up to 100 gpg hardness.
Clear-water iron concentrations of 10 parts per million should not be a problem. Anything above that and you better opt for a specialized iron removal filter.
While the minimum required pressure for this system to work is 20 psi, as well, this time the maximum limit is 125 psi. Grain capacity: 31,100.
Pros & Cons
Digital control valve for quick & easy configuration
Demand-initiated regeneration reduces salt and water usage