Kinetico water softeners

Just back from an interesting visit to the Homebuilding and Renovating show, where I was surprised to find a design company offering a house called The Millstone - I wonder if they have many takers?
More practically, I looked at the range of Kinetico water softeners which don't require an electricity supply, something new to me. They have a website at http://www.kinetico.co.uk/ .
A rival softener company at the show told me that they were useless and didn't work at all, but given that the salesman came out with this completely unprompted and pretty much the moment I started to ask about his own product, I suspect that it was simply a spoiler tactic rather than an accurate scientific assessment.
Does anyone here have any experience of the Kinetico units?
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"Bert Coules" wrote in message

I have owned two Kinetico's in a pair of launderettes that I owned. When working they are very good. They measure the volume used, and swap from one canister to the other for recharging so flow isn't interrupted. They have two downsides: a/ they need tabletized salt which attracts VAT (Other commercial softeners use PDV Pure Dried Vacuum salt which is classed as a food stuff so no VAT. And b/ the turbine mechanism that does the metering is susceptible to small grit particles carried in the water. They jam up and call outs are not cheap. Mine we processing about 6 cu M of water a day and would fail about 2-3 times per year
AWEM
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Andrew Mawson wrote:

Thanks for that. Two or three repair call outs a year sounds a touch alarming, but I imagine that usage in a launderette is rather more intensive than in a one-person domestic bungalow. Even so, it's enough to make me slightly less enthusiastic than I was.
The old and clunky softener I had in my previous house had the odd problem, but it was mainly linked to the use of granulated salt: when I switched to tablets it was fine. It ran for upwards of ten years and never needed a single maintenance visit.
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well, if it's just the turbine jamming due to grit that causes the call out, firstly wouldent that be DIYable... backflushing the turbine unit should clear it? but why not put a filter before the unit, then when it clogs up with grit, you clean it rather than the water softner.
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"Gazz" wrote in message

The grit is smaller than the usual mesh inline filters will remove - flow is restricted too much if you go to a very fine fabric filter. Turbine gears would strip and need replacing - they are nylon - yes eminently diy if you can get the bits - they are not rocket science.
Remember we were using 6 tons of water every day in each launderette - dramatically more than any normal domestic usage.
AWEM
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[snip]

Could you not fit a filter? We've had to do that because of fine metal particles in the water.
We used to have Kinetico and Permutit water softeners in companies where I worked in the 80s. I can't recall them failing anywhere near that often.
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