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
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 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
If there is a manual bypass, is it set correctly?
Speaking of which;
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
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.
A larger tank system goes on the main cold water line as it enters your
house and all water is softened.
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
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.
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
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
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.
Quality Water Associates
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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