Keep 13 year old Kinetico Model 60 or buy new Fleck? Opinions wanted!!

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by Mateo, Mar 5, 2012.

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13 year old Kinetico Model 60 or new Fleck 5600?

Poll closed Apr 4, 2012.
  1. 13 year old Kinetico Model 60 for $1,000

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. New Fleck 5600 for $500

    3 vote(s)
    100.0%
  1. Mateo

    Mateo New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Rockford, MI
    Should I go with a 13 year old Kinetico Model 60 for $1,000 or a Fleck 5600 for $500?

    I have just purchased a home and the seller was planning on taking his Kinetico (Model 60) with him. For $1,000 he is willing to leave it with the house when he moves in a couple weeks. The Kinetico is 13 years old. My other option is to simply purchase a brand-new Fleck 5600 Econominder with 40000 grain capacity for just over $500 (plus dinner for a plumber friend to install it for me).

    We have a household with 4 people. The house we purchased has city water with a hardness of 15.7 gpg.

    Your opinions, suggestions, advice and recommendations are highly appreciated!
  2. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    746
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    To me it's a no brainer. You don't know the history of the Kinetico, it cost more than a new unit and a new one will come with a warranty. You can get parts for the 5600 a lot easier & cheaper than the Kinetico. Go with a new unit.
  3. Mateo

    Mateo New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Rockford, MI
    Thanks for the opinion mialynette. That was my thought as well but my first inquiries with friends were split and until now I have NO experience with water softeners, thus posting the questions for more opinions. Again, thank you!
  4. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,942
    Location:
    Ontario California
    I totally agree with mialynette2003, New 5600 econominder. Bulletproof, parts readily available, fairly efficient, you will not be disappointed.

    Set the salt to 10 pounds
    Set your meter to 1450 gallons, and you will do just fine.
  5. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,309
    Location:
    Maine
    Yep, go with the Fleck.
  6. chevy427

    chevy427 Banned

    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    USA
    Well, to take the other side, that Kinetico is probably only a third of its way through its life before any major go-overs, and that would might be a re-bed and cleaning of the valve only--which would make it go another 20 years. You can tell if the Kinetico is working by examining the plumbing fixtures, faucets, etc. Look at the clear disc cover on top. Is it clear enough to see the numbers on the grey disc. If so, it is working very well. What number is it? 2? Is there a pre-filter? It is probably set on a 2.7-lb salt setting and will give you softened water all the time for decades to come.

    The fact the owner wants to take it with him gives testimony of the value users typically have. He knows that if you take it for $1000.00, he'll turn around and get a $1000.00 discount on the next Kinetico. Either way, he'll most likely have another one. Again, typical with many homeowners who have had multiple Kineticos at different locations. Nothing speaks like satisfaction of experience. You often see 'home-for-sale' classifieds in newspapers that mention Kinetico. Twenty-five-year old Kineticos (tan tanks) go on Craig's List for around $600 - $800, sight unseen.

    New, these go for anywhere around $3300 or more depending on the dealership and you can find out by asking one near you. A $1000 is typical for one that age. Kineticos are extremely reliable, efficient, and long lasting. I put a 14-year-old unit in my house 11 years ago and ne'er a miss in service. I took it apart and it doesn't even need new resins or any other part.

    I can send you technical details and service manuals if you need them. With your water and number of people, I would estimate about 32lbs per month of salt, about 9-10 bags per year if you measured 60 gallons per person per day.

    This is not to say that the 5600 (I hope it is metered) won't work as well as a typical single-tank softener is designed to, it will, but you are already set up and can expect many, many years of great service with little salt usage.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2012
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Offer him $400 and tell him he can take it if he wants to because that's all you'll give him because you'll probably have to have Kinetico out to set it up for your family size unless he had 4 people living there. If he did, then go up t0 $500 but not more.

    Did ya know the only thing Kinetico makes is the control valve? All the rest is the same as any other non proprietary dealer sells. So ask yourself why such a high proce if not to make the dealer more money. A Fleck 5600 will last as long as a Kinetico control valve, and if needed, you can get parts locally or online for much less than Kinetico parts.

    Note that water solutions (a Kinetico salesman) asks if you can see numbers through the top of a 13 year old Kinetico? There's a reason for that.
  8. Mateo

    Mateo New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Rockford, MI
    Appreciate all the input. Gary, what's the reason for asking about the numbers?
  9. chevy427

    chevy427 Banned

    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    USA
    I'm afraid Gary is mistaken, I am not a Kinetico salesman. You do not need to have a Kinetico dealer come out to set it up for 4 people as it is already set up for four people, or three people, or two people. That, after all, is the essence of a twin-tank system and one would wonder why that has been understood after all these years. Whew! Some wells are very shallow.

    Tells us Gary, how would Kinetico set it up for four people if say, the previous family had 6 people, or a little old lady that lived alone and did laundry once a week? Helps us out here, Gary and share with us your knowledge so that he can better understand what is presently there in his new home. How is the Kinetico valve adjusted for use when a differing number of persons use it on a daily basis? Let's say nobody uses it from Monday through Friday and nine people arrive for the weekend, how would you adjust that? I would love to understand that better.

    Gee, Kinetico makes the control valve. What a stunning revelation! Dah. A wealth of knowledge is emerging here. A manufacturer's warranty often represents the trust it has in its product.

    So tell us, Gary, why did I ask him to state if he could see the number? Witnessing your already deep knowledge of this equipment, I am sure you will be able enlighten us. Yes, why did I ask him? What was my reasoning? How could his answer have helped me to help him?

    I see everyone here trying help him. Not all have the same recommendation and sometimes very different opinions, but yet have enough mutual respect not to start in a decades-old rendition on how right oneself is, using the same, old, tiring diatribes and how wrong others are in trying to educate someone with a truly real-life situation. Will it ever end?

    Naturally, I expect this post to be deleted so I have copied it elsewhere.

    Tom Sawyer, ditttohead, and mialynette are all very capable of providing helpful information and I trust them as professionals given their consistent and helpful knowledge here on this forum albeit under some occasional duress from those who prefer to hinder, attack and belittle rather than assist and be pedagogic.
  10. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,942
    Location:
    Ontario California
    I agree that an old or new Kinetico is still an excellent unit. It is one of he most efficient units on the market and will last for many years. It is also a twin tank system so no adjustment is needed to accomodate varying usage, only if hardness changes. The system will regenerate only as often as needed. While not recommended, I have seen many Kineticos in restaurants that would regenerate multiple times per day without a problem. The 5600 can be more easily repaired in the future, but both systems need so little service that this is not much of an issue either. I would recommend a more modern valve than the 5600 econominder, but that is personal preferance. The 7000SXT is one of the best valves on the market and should cost just slighly more than the 5600 econominder. The 5600SXT will also work extremely well. Let us know what you decide.

    Water solutions, can you email me servixe manuals on the Kinetico? I collect service manuals and have everything from the SOLO valves, to the shurz, I even have the Fleck 2800 manual. I have always been missing the Kinetico, even my friends who work for Kinetico are reluctant to give me a copy. I have torn them down hundreds of times, rebuilt them etc, I have just never had the actual manual.
  11. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,494
    Location:
    Alaska
    A 2800 manual?

    That is an odd one.

    If I ever come up with a way of changing the hard copy to a pdf, there are some old kinetico and brunner or american plumber.
  12. Mateo

    Mateo New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Rockford, MI
    Thank you dittohead for the recommendations. Looking in to the 7000SXT I can order one with a 40000 grain capacity online for the same price (and actually a few dollars less) than the 5600 econominder. Can you expand a little more about the difference of the two models? "More modern" meaning what? I've read discussions about analog and digital with recommendations leaning towards analog for simplicity and reliability. Both the 5600 and the 7000 models I have looked at and would invest in would be the metered models.

    Also...in your opinion, what makes the 7000SXT "one of the best valves on the market"?
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2012
  13. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    746
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    I have a parts break down if you care for that. Just send me an e-mail and I'll send it to you. affordablewtr@aol.com
  14. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    746
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
  15. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    If you can't see them it means the softener hasn't been working properly and there is something wrong with the control valve. If so you have to call the one'n only local Kinetico dealer for service and any needed parts.

    My advice, tell him to take the softener with him and buy your own correctly sized and programmed softener with a Fleck 2510 SXT control valve. Click the link in my signature for info on constant SFR.
  16. Mateo

    Mateo New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Rockford, MI
    So, can someone compare for me the real differences between Fleck 2510sxt, 5600sxt and 7000sxt? I'm finding very similar prices between these units.
  17. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,309
    Location:
    Maine
    I'm going to jump in and side with dittohead here on the Fleck7000 valve. Though the 2510 and the 5600 are good valves I like the features of the 7000 better but.......in the long run it's not going to make a whole lot of difference either way. As for the Kinetico unit; although expensive and difficult to get hold of parts and the manual for they are none the less very good valves and are of exceptional quality and durability of function. If they were crap and priced as they are, they would have gone belly up a long time ago.

    BTW Watersolutions and Andy are definitely not the same entity. That's just more tin foil helmet talk.
  18. Mateo

    Mateo New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Rockford, MI
    I appreciate the help and opinions....that's what I was asking for. Can't help with the number of the disc and must make my decision by Saturday. What I do know is the previous owner had 8 people in the house and is obviously pleased with how the unit has functioned for him. So, am I understanding correctly that this number to be found is adjusted according to the number of people in the household?

    About the water hardness, 15.7 gpg is what the city quoted me according to a 2010 or 2011 analysis.
  19. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,309
    Location:
    Maine
    If the Kinetico was set up for 8 people in the house you are going to want to have it adjusted for your demand because otherwise it will be regenerating more often than necessary which is ok for the unit but an unnecessary waste of water. I would guess that between what the PO wants for the unit and the charge to come out and re-program it, it is probably a smarter decision to let him take it with him and go with something new. Sorry about the thread bickering, we get a lot of that around here but in the end I suspect you have the information you need to make an informed decision.
  20. Mateo

    Mateo New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Rockford, MI
    Tom, I'm leaning toward your recommendation although I'll haggle with the owner to see about coming down on the price of the old unit. Thanks for your opinion. Now I'm researching more about the differences between the different Fleck units.

    As for the forum banter...it's good for a laugh. I feel i'm still able to glean some decent information.
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