Help with installing Kinetico Model 60 in MY house.

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by dwayneneel, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. dwayneneel

    dwayneneel New Member

    Lenoir City, TN
    Oh wise ones, please take a look at my layout below and tell me if it looks sound. I am not even close to being a plumber. So forgive me for the crude drawing and wrong lingo.

    A little history. I've live in this house for 2 years. When we bought the house, we were told that the well water may be contaminated with ecoli. I bought a UV sterilizer and during remodeling put it inline between the well and the pressure tank (someone told me later that maybe it should have been placed after the pressure tank to limit the rate at which water is flowing through it.) I also installed two high dollar electric on-demand hot water heaters. After about 6 months I started having lots of problems with the on-demand units. Tripping breakers and water pressure drops mainly. I finally put 2 and 2 together and realized all the little white chips coming from the shower head were from hard water and probably causing the on-demand problems. I had the water tested and found it to be about 9 grains. As of now our on-demands have been rendered almost useless and my wife is about to kill me.

    This weekend I found a used Kinetico M60 unit locally and I plan to install it this weekend. Here are my components and how I think it should all go together. Any input would be helpful. Especially for the questions below.


    As you see, I've got a well and indoor pressure tank. Currently there is no "one-way valve" isolating the well which means its under the same pressure as the rest of the house. I've been told this is bad. What type of valve should I put there?

    There is a plastic male connection on the Kinetico head for the line that runs to the brine tank. I broke it in transit. Its part of the head unit. Can I glue that back on or do I need to have Kinetico come out an replace that part?

    I'm not exactly sure how to make a by-pass for the system without just putting two valves at the connections as shown. Pictures of other units will probably help me on that. I'll search the forums.

    The system didn't come with a pre-filter. I bought one of the $69 types from Home Depot. Will this be okay?

    There is an extra line coming of the head unit that I'm guessing is a drain line. Does that sound right?

    Thanks again for any help. If anything is unclear let me know and I'll try to explain better.

  2. dwayneneel

    dwayneneel New Member

    Lenoir City, TN

    After looking at my diagram, I see what you mean about the 3 valves.
    I'm not sure about the specs on the prefilter but I'll check it out.

    Rather than glueing the elbow back, would I be better off trying to bore the hole out a little and put a new PVC barb connection into the the hole?

    Thanks so much for the help.

  3. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You don't want an extra check valve if your jet pump's foot valve or a submersible pump's check valve are not leaking. And if they are, you need fix it rather than adding a check valve.

    The fitting you broke and the brine line attached to it is under full main water line pressure 24 hrs/day except when the valve is in Brine draw (sucking brine) during a regeneration. IMO it is a very poor design because the float in the salt tank is the only thing shutting it off but if the brine line leaks or the fitting that sticks out about an inch is broken you have a serious water leak until you find it and by pass the softener.

    The fitting is very easily broken off. To fix the problem you need a new or used module from Kinetico. It may not be inexpensive. You should also replace the seals/o-rings when you take it apart. Don't loose any ball type check valves (usually 4 of them) in two different sizes, as you take it apart.
  4. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!


    IMO if any of the material in the side of the module is missing, meaning if the fitting didn't break off flush or less than flush so you could grind it off flush to the side of the module, drilling and tapping a hole isn't a good idea and probably isn't possible because the face of the hole will be much larger than needed and slope inward providing little thread depth. And if the threads on the elbow are straight threads, you would need a seal of some type, like an o-ring and the elbows do not have a shoulder on them. If the threads on the elbow are pipe threads, the hole and threads in it will have to be deep enough to hold the elbow from blowing out under you line pressure, say 50 or 60 psi. Frankly I wouldn't want to depend on that when the fitting breaking off could have cause small fraction lines in the plastic that you can't see.

    And taking things a part that have gasket type seals and reusing them is not a good idea IMO unless the softener is out doors because again, they are sealing full line pressure including any increased pressure caused by silent or heard water hammer in the system.

    As you take the screws/bolts out, they come up and out of all the modules and the lower module(s) first and then this module and the lower may come apart dumping the ball valves out. And any gasket that sticks as you take things apart will stretch or could tear. So being prepared is much better than assuming there will be no problems.
  5. dwayneneel

    dwayneneel New Member

    Lenoir City, TN
    Thanks to both of you. I do appreciated it. Your responses bring a couple more questions to mind for me.

    1. Gary, you say I don't need a check valve if the submersible pump's check valve isn't leaking. I think you are talking about what I called a "one-way valve". Do most or all pumps have a valve at the pump? If so thats great. That means I haven't been slowly damaging the pump for the last couple of years.

    2. I'm going to atleast try to fix the broken elbow. If I have to take the head apart, are there rebuild kits with the needed seals and o-rings?

    3. Does the fitting have to be an elbow? Can it be a straight barb?

    4. If I plumb everything and have Kinetico come out and adjust the settings and fix/replace the broken elbow, will it cost me an arm and a leg (>$500)?

    5. Based on my diagram, the branch going to my pressure tank would be two-way (in during filling and out during usage). Is that okay or should it be set up to come in one way and go out through another? Sorry if that doesn't make sense.
  6. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Yes all submersible pumps will have a check valve in or on the outlet of the pump.

    Having a check valve other than tat one can cause contamination problems and/or cause the pump to fall off the drop pipe and down the well. So it is a bad idea to have more than the one at the pump.

    I'll be 67 in a couple months and have 'fixed' many things over many years and I don't give you much chance in getting threads in that module to hold a new fitting against 'city' water pressure. Maybe well water pressure. I suspect the fitting broke off at the edge of the rounded side of the module and took some of the side of the module with it. And unless you go to a machine shop to have them drill and tap the hole with the piece in a jig, I wouldn't trust it.

    You can get 3/8" brine line compression fitting either way; elbow or straight.

    Kinetico dealers historically have some of the highest service call and parts prices there are. And they vary from one area to another.

    Yes the brine line is used to fill and remove water to/from the salt tank.
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    First, assuming implosion could be caused as described, it doesn't have to be a bad check valve, it could be a simple leak anywhere between the pressure tank and submersible pump's check valve but...

    Second, the only way that can possibly happen is if the pump goes bad and doesn't come on when the leak caused pressure loss causes the pressure to fall to the cut-in pressure switch setting.

    Also, there are serious disadvantages and potential to quite probable more serious problems with installing an additional check valve that totally outweigh any advantage of an additional check valve.
  8. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    If I were in your position I would be tempted to try a "fix"--but wouldn't (except under very special circumstances) do it because of the consequences of a failed "fix"--lots of water spraying around until the failure is discovered and the water is turned off.

    By special circumstances I mean that there is no potential for harm if the fitting fails--no potential for water damage and no potential that the spraying water will cause electrical problems to mention just two possibilities.

    The problem that I see is that the fix might work for a few hours or days and then fail.
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