Reviews: Our Top 2 Sears Kenmore Water Softener Systems (New 2019)

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:

Why Kenmore?

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.

Reviews of Kenmore Water Softeners

Kenmore 38300

Most Popular Kenmore Softener: 38300

Read Our Review

  •    Price: $$
  •    Flow Rate: 7.3 gpm
  •    Capacity: 24,000 Grains
  •    No. of People: up to 4
  •    Metered Regen:
Kenmore 38620

Softener-Filter Combo: Kenmore Elite 38620

Read Our Review

  •    Price: $$$
  •    Flow Rate: 11.8 gpm
  •    Capacity: 31,100 Grains
  •    No. of People: up to 6
  •    Metered Regen:

The Kenmore 38300

Best For:

  • Medium to very hard water
  • Small to medium-sized homes with up to 4 residents
  • Clear-water iron treatment of up to 3 ppm

In a Nutshell:

The Kenmore 38300 is a 24,000-grain unit based on ion exchange that can handle hardness levels of up to 35 gpg and supplies softened water for your entire house.

The provided flow rate (7.3 gpm) is sufficient for up to 4 people living under the same roof so you don’t experience a pressure drop or run out of softened water during times of peak consumption.

By the way, the 38300 uses something called Intellisoft2 to reduce salt and water consumption when regenerating. Compared to older Kenmore models, this means significant resource savings.

One additional feature that we wanted to point out is the low-salt light for ease of maintenance. The light starts flashing whenever you are running low on salt.

And lastly, the minimum required pressure for the system to work is 20 psi. 120 psi is the maximum limit. Grain capacity: 24,300.

Kenmore 38300

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Digital control valve for quick & easy configuration
  • Demand-initiated regeneration reduces salt and water usage
  • Ready for DIY install
  • Very compact
  • Nice to look at
  • Can remove clear-water iron
  • Detailed instructions provided
  • Low salt light

Cons
  • Problems with warranty and customer support
  • Some cheap parts or pieces missing

Read our full review here or

The Kenmore 38620

Best For:

  • Medium to very hard water
  • Mid-sized to large homes with up to 6 residents
  • Clear-water iron treatment of up to 10 ppm

In a Nutshell:

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.

Kenmore 38620

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Digital control valve for quick & easy configuration
  • Demand-initiated regeneration reduces salt and water usage
  • Additional carbon filter layer
  • Ready for DIY install
  • Very compact
  • Nice to look at
  • Can remove clear-water iron
  • Detailed instructions provided
  • Low salt light

Cons
  • Some problems with warranty and customer support
  • WiFi does not always work
  • Occasional leaks

Read our full review here or

Looking for More Reviews?

There are many more reviews of water softener systems to be found on BOS!

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If you have any questions about the Kenmore 38300 or 38620 or any other Kenmore water softener, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!

And remember to revisit this page from time to time. We are going to add new Kenmore reviews every once in a while.

Leave a Comment:

2 comments
Rudy Kaethler says last month

We have a Kenmore demand water softener from 2001, working ok, venturi clean etc, Not sure it’s softening as well as originally. Calgary city water quality is very good but somewhat hard. Should I clean the ion-exchange bed? (never been done) and which cleaner? where available? Thanks

Reply
    Gene says last month

    Hey Rudy,
    Cleaning the ion-exchange bed is usually only recommended if you have water with high iron/manganese/tannin levels. You could use Iron Out. Clean every 3 to 12 months, depending on your water.

    Reply
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