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Home » Water Softeners » Kenmore Water Softener Reviews

Kenmore Water Softener Reviews

By: David Trinh
Last Updated:
Kenmore Water Softener Reviews

If you’re looking for a salt based water softener, then these Kenmore water softener reviews are for you! 

We’ll take a look at a couple of high quality softeners. Below we’ll review two Kenmore units and look at some of the features, benefits, and downsides to these efficient softeners.

Also Check Out: Top Rated Water Softeners and Buyers Guide

Kenmore 38300 24,000 Grain High Efficiency Model Water Softener


If you’re planning to buy a salt based softener, the Kenmore 38300 may be for you. This Kenmore system is an entry level water softener that outperforms many high quality water softeners it competes with.

This 24,000 grain water softener is great for homes with up to four people, with a standard high flow valve that allows water flow of up to 7.3 gpm of soft water. And if your home has more than 4 people, consider the Kenmore 350, which is essentially the larger version of this same system. 

The 38300 is a high efficiency model. It uses Kenmore’s Intellisense2, which gives it up to 20% less salt usage and 32% less water usage. Its tank provides salt storage for up to 200 pounds of softening salts, which reduces the amount of time you’ll spend topping up the salt in your system. The low salt consumption adds to that benefit, and you’ll have a shorter regeneration process time.

The main benefits of this water softener is that it can help prevent scale buildup and remove some of the hard minerals in water with a hardness of up to 35 gpg.  

Those unnecessary minerals can damage your pipes, harm your appliances, and cause spots on your dishes. It removes them by replacing calcium and magnesium with salt through an ion exchange. It also can remove iron content up to 3ppm.

All Kenmore softeners have a DIY-friendly installation process. On top of being affordable softeners, if you’re handy you can save even more money installing it yourself instead of hiring a plumber.

This unit has a built-in LCD screen that lets you easily program the settings for your softener. It also features an automatic salt tank light that lets you know when you’re running low. 

There are some downsides to this water softener. Some people report trouble with salt formations in the brine tank, and you could run into trouble with salt bridges. It’s a salt based system, and many of them have these problems or other salt issues. The warranty isn’t all that impressive, either, providing one year of coverage on labor and parts and 10 years on the salt tank.


  • NSF certified
  • Demand-initiated regeneration 
  • Low salt indicator to alert you that your tank needs topped up
  • High flow valve 
  • Prevents lime scale 
  • Removes calcium and magnesium
  • DIY friendly
  • Low salt consumption
  • Very affordable
  • Prolongs the life of your appliances


  • No filtration
  • Some problems with salt bridging

38620 Elite Hybrid Series Model Kenmore Water Softening System


If you’ve been reading softener reviews and looking at Kenmore products, you’ve probably heard of this model. The Kenmore Elite Hybrid Series Model 38620 is one of the most efficient water softeners available. Its metered regeneration uses up to 20% less salt and 32% less water than other units out there.

The 38620 has a capacity of over 31,000 grains. It can not only remove the harmful minerals from your water supply like the softener above, but also adds a water filter to the system. This helps it eliminate the chlorine taste from your water and improve its smell.

It’ll also removes iron up to 10ppm, and works on incredibly hard water with a water hardness capacity of up to 100 gpg. And the filter system has an ultra cleansing feature that ensures it removes all large sediment particles.

This filter system flows 11.8 gpm, which should be enough for up to six people with no problems. Its ultra flow valve guarantees you won’t ever notice a drop in water pressure. And the system is National Sanitation Foundation certified.

There is a large tank that can hold up to 200 pounds of softener salt. You won’t have to worry about forgetting to top up that tank. The 38620 offers wireless connectivity with the smart water monitoring system which uses an app to alert you when you’re getting low. The app also lets you adjust your hardness setting, bypass regen cycles, and will alert you if it detects a leak or other problem. 

Like all others, there are some things to consider with this unit. First off, it’s quite pricey. Some people have problems with the wireless connectivity. A few customers have noted problems with leaks, and this seems to especially be the problem for those who installed the system themselves. We’ve also noticed some complaints about Kenmore’s customer service when people do have problems. 


  • High capacity, ultra flow valve
  • LCD screen
  • Low salt light to alert you when your salt tank needs refilled
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Reduced salt and water usage
  • NSF certified
  • Removes scale-causing minerals in water up to 100 gpg
  • Improves taste and odor of water
  • Efficient


  • Expensive
  • Trouble with wireless connection
  • Customer service unresponsive
  • Short warranty

Who is Kenmore and Why Buy From Them?

The Kenmore brand started life as a part of Sears, but it’s now owned by Transformco. They continue the production of appliances and other products that have been trusted by consumers for over 100 years. 

Kenmore products are as trusted in the water softening industry as they are in other home appliance areas. When you buy a Kenmore water softener system you buy some peace of mind, knowing all their units have the Kenmore company reputation of quality behind them.

How Does the Kenmore 38300 and 38620 Compare to Others?

Let’s compare these water softeners to one of the top rated softeners out there: the Springwell Futuresoft.

These softeners are salt based systems, which the Springwell is not. There are pluses and minuses to that. Let’s take a look at some of the differences.

Springwell Futuresoft Advantages

  • The Springwell unit works better than the 38300 on hard water, but not quite as good as the 38620. The Springwell Futuresoft works on water with a hardness of up to 81 gpg, the 38300 on water up to 35 gpg, and the 38620 on water up to 100 gpg.
  • Springwell offers a lifetime warranty on their Futuresoft, whereas the Kenmore water softeners only offer one year on parts and labor and ten years on labor. 
  • The Futuresoft doesn’t require salt top-ups, doesn’t have regeneration cycles, and generally requires less maintenance than the Kenmore water softeners.
  • Springwell’s system flows a higher number of gallons per minute. It barely beats out the 38630, 12 gpm vs. 11.8 gpm, but it handily beats the 38300, which flows only 7.3 gpm.

Kenmore 38300 and 38620 Advantages

  • Both Kenmore water softeners are much lower priced than the Springwell Futuresoft. While the 38300 is by far the most affordable of the three, even the 38620 costs substantially less than the Springwell.
  • The 38620 is better for hard water than the Springwell softener.
  • Better at filtering 

While the Springwell is a better water softener system overall, its high price may turn many people away. With the Kenmore water softener systems you get the well-trusted Kenmore name behind your system and save a lot of money.

The Futuresoft has less maintenance. You don’t have to monitor the salt levels and top them up regularly, for one. And customers seem to find the Futuresoft installation process easier and more DIY-friendly. 

All three of these softeners have their great features, and all are great options for different people. If you’re looking for a salt free system, the Springwell is your best choice. If you like the salt based softener or if you don’t have a preference, the Kenmore models are great options. 

This is especially true for those with a reduced budget. In the end, all three do a good job of providing you with soft water.

In Conclusion

With either of the above Kenmore products you’ll get a great water softening and filtration system. The 38300 is a great lower cost option that is perfect for a small home or an individual living alone. If you have a larger family or want a larger capacity, the 38620 is a great choice for a larger high efficiency model. You will be happy with whichever Kenmore softener you choose.

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David Trinh
David is an expert in all things plumbing, heating, cooling, and water treatment. He got his start in the plumbing business working on fixing all types of home improvement issues including water leaks, broken toilets, appliance installation, and more. Over time, he learned a ton about installing and choosing the correct water treatment products for homeowners.

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