Update. This instructable was 8 years ago (now 2016). I had someone email me and ask a question about it. I helped the best I could but it was a long time ago. Also, 6 months after I fixed it the motor quit on me, it worked great up until then. The motor was half the cost of a new softener so I just went ahead and bought a new softener. This process does work though, it worked, but the rest of the darn thing broke down. So please consider this before you take on this DIY repair. Sometimes it is worth just replacing it.
This Instructable will cover how to refurbish your old water softener to run like new for the fraction of the cost of replacing it with a new one.
My water softener quit softening quite sometime ago and I just never had the extra money ($600+) to go out and spend on a decent one. I had a feeling there had to be a way to fix this thing without having to buy a new one. Finally after conducting throurough research. I came across a few websites that talked about how the resin beads wear out after years of use. This peaked my interest so I called one of the overpriced water softener salesman and got the low down. Sure enough it was confirmed, the resin goes bad after a certain amount of time and usage. I have a generic G.E. softener and it is typical of this brand.
I knew I needed to conduct more research. After a while I finally found a couple of places that sold just the resin beads. Not only that but it was a very reasonable price, compared to buying a new system. qualitywaterforless.com The stuff I bought was only $95 for a cubic foot and they had free shipping. They were supposed to provide instructions and a funnel tool, but somehow I didn't get them.
Only one place gave the actual instructions on their website Ohio Pure Water
of how to replace the resin . The instructions were not for my model but worked out well enough that I got through the process and it seems to be universal.
It is actually very easy to do, so easy in fact I will show you how to do it in this Instructable.