Water softener confused - regenerating too often -- Need help diagnosing

Based on reading my owners manual (GE water softener model PNSF31Z01) and calling the village water department -
(30,800 grain capacity tank) x .8 (80%, softener regenerates at 80% saturation) / 15 (water hardness grains per gallon) = 1642 gallons between regenerations. Based on my water useage (my water bill), the softener should regenerate about once a month, every 1600 gallons. Since mine is regenerating daily I checked the diagnosis section of the manual. By entering the diagnosis mode, I found a water useage readout on the softener. I flushed a toilet and read the meter on the softener. My house water meter said I used 2 gallons of water. The sensor on the water softener said I just used an additional 260 gallons of water. This explains why the softener regenerates so often; it thinks it is using 200 times more water than it actually is - So, do I replace the sensor which is a one centimeter long transistor board with a rubberized tip attached to a 8 inch 2 wire cord that plugs into a 3 inch by 2 inch main control circuit board?
Only other parts are a position switch (what's it do?), a small motor (what' s it do?), Is there something I can clean? Nothing looks dirty. Sensor mounts into a small hole above the water out line of the softener (not sure how the sensor senses water flow, could something in the water line make it read incorrectly?) Can someone explain to me how these sensors determine the amount of water that pass through the line? The sensor and entire softener is 5 yrs old. How long do the various parts last?
Thanks in advance,
Andy
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1_Patriotic_Guy wrote:

and
between
should
If mine only needed regen once a month, I'd just go manual rather than spend one thin dime on parts.
But that's me.
Joe
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Now that you found the problem, yo can solve it in many ways.
Contact GE customer service and ask them how to fix it Take a chance at replacing it, but if it is the wrong part, you wasted money Just regenerate every couple of weeks on your own.
If you don't have one, buy a test kit to check for hardness. Simple to do as you put water in a vial and put in 5 drops or reagent and see if it turns blue or pink. Do the test until you find it hard and regenerate a few days less next time.
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Andy,
There is a trouble shooting and a diagnostics section in your manual so check the code for correctness et c. If it's more complicated than that you may need to call a service man for help. Your water softener is not listed on GE's web site. I think your sensor senses a couple of magnets held on a turbine that spins when water flows. So, if I'm correct about the sensor, it is most likely a problem with the main PC board. The motor and switch you mention rotate the parts that control the amount of time spent on each step of the regeneration process. They are working ok.
Dave M.
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The exact reason I got a water softner that uses no electronics to sense regeneration cycles, it's all mech.
This message was written on 100% recycled spam. SAM >> samuelREMOVE snipped-for-privacy@myrealbox.com

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Who makes non-electric softeners? Where can I order/buy one? Are they in the same price range? How long do they last? BTW - when I bought more salt, I noticed Potassium Chloride sells for twice as much. Is it interchangeable with salt, and if so, why would anyone buy it if it sells for twice as much?

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Potassium chloride is for people who can't take added sodium in their water. It's interchangable with regular salt.
--
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Doesn't an inexpensive water filter on the tap or refrigerator remove any residual salt from the softener?

water.
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snipped,
Not as far as I know. Last time I looked at the filtering specs of a refer/drinking filter they were basically sediment. Some filter chemicals, but they are not the cheaply ones. To remove salt I know a reverse osmosis would do the trick
I am sodium sensitive so I use potassium.
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Kinetico, makes a non-electric system. I am very satisfied with mine. It uses very little salt, I estimate that I will have to refill the brine tank completely full every ten months.
This message was written on 100% recycled spam. SAM >> samuelREMOVE snipped-for-privacy@myrealbox.com

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How long have you had it. How long does it last without repair.

sense
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This is information based upon similar models:
Double-read the section in the manual about the gallonage sensor. It MIGHT work like this:
In diagnostic mode, the numbers are NOT gallons. The numbers go from 000 to 199 (or something) then rollover back to 000. It's the rollover that counts as one gallon. So if you flushed a toilet and got 000 to 199, then rolled over to zero and went back up to 60 you'd have used about 1.3 gallons.
Your manual should clear this up.
Also, in diagnositic mode, there may be an option to set "Maximum Days Between Regenerations." This is pretty much self-explanatory: E.G. If you want the softener to regenerate AT LEAST once a week, you set it to 7. Normally this feature is off, but if got set to "1", the softener will regenerate every night, whether it needs it or not.
If this doesn't help, then I guess you'll have to replace those 260 gallon per flush toilets.
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The manual for my GE softener, purchased in 2002, shows no provision for calendar scheduled recharges. Supplied though HD warehouses in California, where it is illegal not to use metered recharging when it is available on the softener, it has probably been omitted from the software and the manual. Other features which might be useful to a serviceman have also been omitted from the manual even though the capability is in the machine -- for example: float setting to adjust salt use per recharge. --- SJF
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