Kinetico Water Softeners

I have one, it's two years old in August 05. month two it had to be changed as was not working. now i am unable to regenerate it. while away the salt ran out. replaced it ,regenerated as per instructions, lots of water hissing etc for 20 mins then nothing. having checked after a few days to allow water to clear through tanks ,we still have hard water. spoke to instalation egineer who advised may need new unit? complained to manufacturer today who said he will get back to me. will keep you posted.nb this unit cost nearly 1500 fitted Choose carefully. chad, somerset
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Chad,
Water softeners usually have a multi year warranty. You mention that you spoke to the installer but you don't mention whether he has been out to diagnose or repair your problem. A careful choice of installer can be very important. If your installer has recommended a new unit without making a house call first you may wish to seek competent help.
Good luck, Dave M.
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Good control valves are fairly expensive, around $300 (Klack and Fleck I think are good ones) so people who want to make the most profit buy cheap ones that last maybe a couple of years and mostly need to be replaced instead of repaired.
Simple troubleshooting list.
Is there salt in the brine tank where water can reach it?
Is water going into the brine tank?
Is water going out of the brine tank?
Is regeneration happening? (timer working) Water going down the drain pipe.
If there is a manual bypass, is it set correctly?
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Danglerb wrote:

Are water softners intended to be used for the hot water only, or the whole house water? Are you not supposed to drink this water? Is it mainly for taking showers and washing clothes/dishes? That is, is it basically for washing?
I believe I have quite hard water and have seen some units in Sears and home depot, etc. But you would recommend I get someone to install it for me, and perhaps have some kind of service contract? Would this be a plumber?
--
Respectfully,


CL Gilbert
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Softwater has two sides to it, real stuff, and comfort issues. Hard water requires more soap for the same level of cleaning and builds up on all surfaces including the inside of your pipes eventually blocking flow so much they need to be replaced and it aint cheap. Soft water can be very nice for skin and hair, but some people don't like the slippery, "I'm not rinsed enough" feel. Some people love it and are never happy with hard water again.
Whole house. A larger tank system goes on the main cold water line as it enters your house and all water is softened.
Hot water. A smaller unit (maybe 1/3 the size) just before your hot water heater, and it softens just the hot water. Many people do this either to save money, or they prefer the blended less slippery water. No protection to your cold water pipes, and most of the benefits of full softwater for laundry and bath uses.
Look in the phonebook under water softeners and get a monthly contract with a free installation to see how you like it. In 6 months for a $100 you will know for sure, and can take your time shopping for a unit to own if you want to keep it a long time. Also a real licensed plumber has to do initial installation, but a "handyman" type guy can do the replacement.
Final note. The water softener has two parts, a brine or salt tank, and a resin bed. The resin bed is kind of like a battery that gets charged up with calcium it removes from the water. When its full you need to regenerate the resin by running salt water through it. Thats what the timer and stuff does. When it is all working fine you won't notice a thing. In the middle of the night valves switch around and salt water is sucked out of the brine tank, through the resin bed, and out a drain (often the laundry drain). Once the brine tank is empty, the water continues to flow rinsing the salt out of the resin bed, then the valves switch back to normal. The drain is closed and the brine tank refills (just a few inches of water really and a toilet tank float shuts it off), and its ready for use when you wake up in the morning. If the valves mess up a bit, or the cycle isn't timed correctly, you can end up with some saltwater in your lines. As long as it doesn't happen often, chances are you will never even notice. 30 seconds of water running in the shower and the lines are flushed with new water anyway. I like to let the shower spray on my teeth, and maybe two or three times in a year I notice a bit of salt taste for the first minute or two. Its not an issue to me, but I do use reverse osmosis filtering on our drinking water which would remove any residual salt or anything else.
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Kinetico has their own control valve, it is centuries old water power, non-electric. Usually they require a prefilter to prevent 'dirt' from getting into the control valve and stopping it from counting down the gallons which prevents it from regenerating.
You never want to use a softener that requires the maximum salt dose for the volume of resin, nor run a softener to exhaustion before regenerating it.
Hard water wears clothing and all other fabrics out long before they should have to be replaced. Softening just the hot side is not a good idea IMO. Mixing any hard water with soft water and you have hard water. Soften all the water to all fixtures and get the many benefits of softened water.
Renting a softener isn't a good idea IMO, you're throwing money away. Search the internet and newsgroups for info on softeners and go from there. If you buy over the internet you can save from a few hundreds to a couple thousand dollars and get equal or better quality than a local dealer. And sttay away from big box store brands unless you want to replace the softener in 2-6 years. Look for a softener with the Clack WS-1 or Fleck 7000SE control valve. Search for them inside "". They are the best for a DIYer that wants to be able to replace a part if needed. Neither require control specific special Fleck tools like the Fleck 5600, 2510, 9000 and 9100 controls do.
You do not need a plumber to install a softener, unless you live in Mass. where homeowners are not supposed to do any of their own plumbing..... Any DIYer can do it if if they have the desire and will buy some basic tools. It's very simple and takes 1.5-2 hours including clean up. Anyone can learn to solder in less than 30 minutes of practice.
Some softeners leave minimal water in the brine tank and add the water for this regeneration as the first cycle of this regeneration (pre fill) and others add it as the last cycle of this regeneration (post fill); they have the most water left in the brine tank.
Anytime you taste salty water, the most frequent cause is something using water during a regeneration, but there could be inadequate rinse also or... too much water in the brine tank and slow rinse was incapable of getting rid of all of it.
The added sodium a softener adds t othe water is 7.875 mg/l, roughly a quart, per grain per gallon of ion exchange (compensated hardness). Usually that's less than you get in a glass of skim milk; which is said to be 530 mg. http://www.awqinc.com/sodium_softening.html
Gary Quality Water Associates http://www.qualitywaterassociates.com
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Danglerb wrote:

RO definitely does not remove everything. Distillation comes far closer to that goal and is simpler. Distillers last practically forever. They are easy to keep clean if you feed them soft water.
You can try out distillation by spending $100 on a Megahome or Kenmore countertop unit. If you don't like it, sell it on ebay for $70.
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But to many people, distilled does not taste very good and is not as good in tea of coffee. Try some before you buy
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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