Kinetico Q237?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by kosiko, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. kosiko

    kosiko New Member

    Hi guys,

    I am new to here and I am looking forward to hear suggestions from all of you. I just began my water softener hunting since yesterday. I have 2 adult 2 kids, last month's water consumption was 13 cubic meters. As I know the water in my area is about 8.6 grains, not sure about iron but should not a problem.

    I checked with the kinetico dealer yesterday. They have twin tank and single tank softener. The 2040 is selling $2500 CAD (canadian dollar), included tax/installation. They also has 2030 for about $2200 or 2300 (I forgot exactly price). Another option from twin tank is Q237. This model I can't find from internet, I have the following data from the catalog:

    • WQA certified to NSF/ANSI 61
    • 5 Year warranty on parts, 3 years labor
    • up to 37 grains of hardness removal and 1 ppm of iron removal
    • resin volume .3ft
    • flow rate at 15psi 9gpm
    • sales told that the mineral tank is made in Mexico, others same as 2025, this is a new model to replace 2025.

    The 2030/2040 comes with 10 year parts, and the sales lady told me the 2040 comes with fine resin, 2030/Q237 comes with regular resin only. They also has single tank models, price is $1250 for time schedule one, $1550 for usage demand one (I have no models now).

    So, based on the information above, if you can share your experience to answer my following quesitons that will be very appreciated:

    1. Do I need to or worth to go to twin tank? I was told that single tank need about 60~70gallon water to finish the regeneration and take more than 1 hour, forgot how many LB salts. But for the price difference, I guess may need more than 10 years to get the money equal.
    2. If I consider twin tank, will Q237 the best one fit my case? How the the performance/quality for Q237? It has only 5y warranty on parts though.
    3. If I consider single tank, should I take kinetico single tank model or consider other brands like Kenmore, GE, Hydroclean HC3 etc?
    4. After I install water softener system, will I taste salty if I don't install RO water filter system at the kitchen? I guess no but just like to double check. As I have no budget for 2 systems this year.

    If I missed any information, please let me know and I will edit this post.

    Many thanks!

    Last edited: Jul 8, 2009
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    New England
    Is Kinetico one of those companies that does not sell any of their proprietary have to have them fix it when it needs service? If so, I'd look elsewhere.
  3. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Unless you have water being used 24/7, you don't need a twin tank softener.

    IMO Kinetico is way overpriced for what you get. They only make the control valve, tank crossover pipes and the by pass valves. The tanks resin etc. is the same that everyone else uses.

    I size two tank softeners to regenerate once every 8 days on average based on gallons; metered/demand regenerated. It takes them about 1 hr 15 minutes to complete a regeneration. Depending on size, they will use like 35-50 gallons. To compare a Kinetico, you need to figure out how many regenerations in 8 days, and then total the water and salt use. Kinetico rarely likes to do that because in many cases, they use as much or more water and salt.

    A Jim says, they are very proprietary and usually will not tell you how to troubleshoot a problem or sell you the parts so you can fix the softener yourself. It is also difficult to impossible to find a manual showing all the parts in their control valves.

    If you buy a softener with a Clack WS-1 control valve, they are the easiest to program and repair with low priced parts and you can replace all 5 replaceable parts and have the water back on in under 30 minutes.

    The formula used to find how much added sodium a softener regenerated with sodium chloride will add to the water is; 7.85 mg/l per grain per gallon of hardness. 20 gpg - 157 mg, and a slice of white bread usually has 120-160 mg of sodium. Other foods and beverages have much more.
  4. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    The Clack WS-1 and all other Clack valves have been invented by 3 ex Fleck engineers with 72 years experience at Fleck.

    The Clack WS-1 has been on the market since 2000 and was field tested first.

    Since you mentioned me... Yes I have 5.5 years experience with the Clack WS-1 and about 1250 sales to DIYers, and have had only 22 problems.

    I also have 23 years with the Fleck 5600 (I sold one last week), 2510 and 9100 and 9000 twin tank controls. For my first 18 years I sold thousands of 5600s.

    The Clack WS-1 and other Clack valves have the same seals, spacers and piston design of the Fleck line of controls with huge improvements. There are many fewer parts in the Clack design and, I agree the Fleck line is a good line but it is 50 years old and hasn't been changed in 50 years. And even with the latest SXT timer, they still don't have all the features of the Clack WS-1.

    The 5600 is a 3/4" valve and its spec sheet says it is not to be used on softeners larger than 2.0 cuft or filters larger than 1.5 cuft.

    Many homes built in the US over the last 30 years require a larger than 2.0 cuft softener. That is if you want the softener to consistently remove all the hardness and produce 0 gpg soft water at all times as I do and all dealers should. I regularly sell up to 4.0 cuft softeners.

    I think you've said you sold one Clack WS-1 and two buddies told you they had problems with a few they sold and they quit selling the Clack WS-1. IMO that's hardly a knowledge base to draw anything of substance from but I'm sure you'll continue talking down the Clack WS-1, and me but facts are facts.

    Here's another fact, the Fleck 2510 is a much better valve than the 5600 and much more comparable to the Clack WS-1 than the 5600 but, to really compare a Fleck valve to the Clack WS-1, you need to go to the Proflow which I sold when it was the 5000 which was a disaster, along with the 8500 twin disaster, and lucky me, I only sold one of each.

    The Clack WS-1 is solid value, especially for a DIYer and probably the best valve on the market because it is the latest improved version of a very successful but showing its age 50 year old proven design.
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Man 30 years... and yet over the last year I see more and more Kinetico owners posting problems with their much younger Kinetico softeners on that other forum you post in. They also complain about not being able to find a manual to help them troubleshoot and fix their Kinetico themselves. Or that their one'n only local Kinetico dealer won't sell them parts.

    I disagree. I have sold and still sell twin tank softeners in households where people are employed in an ER or are flight crew members or shift workers in plants or police/firemen etc., or just night owls for whatever reason; like doing research on the internet trying to decide what softener to buy.

    The fact is that 99% of homeowners do not need a twin tank softener because the household does not require soft water 24/7 so they have 60-75 minutes during the middle of the night once a week for a regular softener to regenerate without the household using water at the same time.

    The only time a softener does any real 'work' is during a regeneration, otherwise is sits there as a fat wide spot in the water line allowing water to flow through it. Kinda like a water meter actually.

    That's nowhere near the work of a washing machine or coffee maker, dish or clothes washer that 'work' daily and sometimes a number of times a day.
  6. 99k

    99k Radon Contractor and Water Treatment

    Fairfield Co.,Connecticut
    As you can see, the discussion of control heads always creates a firestorm of posts. I personally like and use the fleck, but I have to say, I do like the full port ball valve bypass on the clack.
    Too often people shop a softener like it is a commodity ... the quality of the installation is also important (type of piping, supports, is a shut -off valve installed?, what about a boiler drain?), how's is the service?, what is the warantee?, ask for references. You get the point.
    Good luck.
  7. kosiko

    kosiko New Member

    Hi guys,

    Thank you very much for the valuable input. I am newbie to water systems, just did 2 days research online and check with sales people in local dealers. :D As you can't find product spec, details technical information/data for comparison purpose, which means these kind of data is NOT open. I guess the industry should has pretty high margin, isn't it:D

    My biggest concern is, what type of softener system good enough to me, and then I need to pick a mode/brand from this type.

    For 1st concern, twin tanks looks sweet, claiming efficient and save salt/water (I don't care 24x7 soft water supply at all, agree with Andy's point above). The single tank design has higher operation cost but much much cheaper initial investment. So I am trying to get the data to see how many years I need to get the money difference back by save water/salt/electric if I buy the dual tank model. I have post my water usage in the 1st post, not that much! I GUESS I need maybe 10 years to money back??? In short, if save running cost is the major advantage of twin tank to me, then I have to get this data to determine if I can wait that number of years to start really saving money :) I am trying to find out if any other reason I have better to pick twin tank (rather than save running cost and 24x7)

    another thought for twin tank is, even it can last longer than sing tank, let's say 20 years (I don't expect 30 years even it can last that long), but I would ask myself, will I really stay in the same house for next 10 years? I might move to another bigger house in next 5 years! who knows! Of course I can move the softener system too, but I bet I need to spend another couple hundred bucks to get the dealer to uninstall and the reinstall. If I pick a single tank, then I would just leave it in the old house and buy another new softener system in the new house, seems make more sense if I will move in next 10 years (I guess possible)

    2nd concern about choose model, if I pick twin tank type, the kinetico will cost at least $2000 (Q237), 2040 will cost extra $500; if I pick single tank, I have many choices in the market, the kinetico single tank products has similar price as other competitors (I listed in the 1st post). I called the kinetico dealer again today, she told me the single tank model is 0840 and told me should use Fleck 5600 value (for both of timing & usage demand model). If I pick the timing value, I just need to pay around $1250, compare with 2040, I pay only 50%, will I able to save another $1250 before I leave this house? haha, good question :D

    Last question, we have stable water demand, if I choose single tank product, do you think I can just pick the timing valve rather than the usage demand value? I can check the hardness of the water each year and calculate the schedule again myself I think, then I save another $300 bucks!

    Thanks again and looking for your information.:)
  8. kosiko

    kosiko New Member


    full cubic foot unit = how many k unit? $650 included installation, tax or just the unit? Thanks :)
  9. kosiko

    kosiko New Member

    Thanks Andy, I don't worry about any PM at all ;)

    I will definitely take the advise that should not consider timer valve model. Check your PM, I have 1 request to you and I hope you can help.

    Good for me that I kick timer valve out and narrow down the scope :D
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    New England
    Let's not get picky here...a water softener is closer to a self-recharging filter than a constantly running, motorized device. When it is not in a recharge cycle, it really isn't doing much - water is passing through it much closer to being a filter. Yes, there is a chemical action occuring as ions are moved around, but valves and controls aren't opening/closing, pumping, sucking, flushing, etc. except when it is regenerating. It's sitting there as a relatively passive device. There are no mechanical parts doing anything (except maybe a timer or a flow meter) until it decides it needs to regenerate.

    You can call that work, and not be wrong, but from a mechanical engineering standpoint, it is not. It all depends on how you want to look at it.

    Please try to consider that other people actually can understand what's going on, and their terminology may not line up with what an individual's perceptions are...sometimes people take things too literally...try to understand the context and that not everyone is an expert in their field, or they are trying to make it understandable to someone who isn't. Not saying to dumb things down, but people that deal with unsophisticated consumers need to learn some flexibility and that attacks can make the attacker look foolish.
  11. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    We were talking about the work a softener does, not about one that wasn't working and it has nothing to with my customer service but...

    Talking about customer service, in a thread about the OP buying a Kinetico...

    I sold a softener today to someone with a Kinetico softener that wasn't working as you describe.

    This is not verbatim, just a rough summary from my feeble memory. The old Kinetcio had water running to drain constantly. A service guy showed up for a $100 service call from the dealership you are a salesman for and looked at it and eventually said it was better if it were replaced and left without fixing it.

    You then showed up some time later with a cut away control valve attempting to sell a new Kinetico softener and was asked why his couldn't be repaired like you say they can be in forums you post in.

    He said he was given a price of $800 for a new control valve and you were a bit taken back when he said he wanted to keep his old valve. He thought that was a bit strange that you wanted a valve that couldn't be repaired. He also said he asked you why a plastic valve was so expensive but all he wanted was for his old one to be repaired.

    He was also upset that he couldn't find information or parts or pay a Kinetico dealer to fix his supposedly easy to rebuild Kinetico control valve himself. This is the second time I've sold to someone with a Kinetico that wasn't "working" as you say and you were personally involved in trying to sell a new softener or control valve instead of fixing the old one. I guess you call that good customer service but I don't.
  12. kosiko

    kosiko New Member

    Got it, thanks
  13. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    If you do some searches on the web you can find a 32K unit with the Fleck 5600 meter valve for about $450--delivered. You would be responsibile for installation.
  14. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Softeners are sized based on the cubic foot of resin in the tank. The tank size is dictated by the volume of resin, and the control valve that can be used is dictated by the size of the tank.

    The K of capacity is dictated by the lbs of salt used per regeneration.

    The K of capacity of all softeners is adjustable...

    but... You can't regenerate a 1 cuft of regular mesh resin to more than 30K.

    And to get the maximum 30K/cuft, that requires a salt dose setting of 15 lbs/cuft.

    Which gives you a very poor 2000 grains/lb salt efficiency.

    I deliver a 5600MM "32K" for much less than $650. And, one with the Clack WS-1 control valve and many 'options' others' don't include for $622.

    BTW, you get 30K out of a 1.5 cuft softener with regular mesh resin with only 9 lbs of salt.

    That's a 6 lb savings every regeneration over a "32K". With a Clack WS-1 control valve and 'extras' it is $688 delivered.

    They are on my web site but, if someone orders any softener from my site, I email them that I am holding the order until we talk to make sure the constant SFR gpm of the volume of resin is greater than the peak demand gpm of the house. That's because I want satisfied customers and, every time the constant SFR gpm of the resin is exceeded, all the hardness can't be removed from the water... meaning that the softener is undersized for the family size, the number of bathrooms and the types of fixtures in them, and if I don't get it right, my customer will be unhappy, and rightfully so.

    I strongly suggest no one buys a softener until the seller goes over all that with you.

    And don't let them use any other SFR, like that of the control valve, or the SFR xx gpm@ 15 psi of the whole softener.

    Only the resin volume is used to establish the constant SFR gpm of a softener, or you don't get all the hardness out of the water when the peak demand gpm exceeds that gpm.

    A 1.0 cuft ("32K) has a constant SFR of only 9 gpm. Meaning that every time you run more than 9 gpm in the house, you don't get all the hardness out of the water.

    A 1.0 cuft ("32K") is usually only good for a 1 to 1.5 bathroom house with no big tub or shower. A 1.5 cuft has a constant SFR of 12 gpm, good for 2.5 bathrooms with no large tubs or showers.
  15. kosiko

    kosiko New Member

    Hi Gary,

    Thanks for the input, very interesting information. Now I can calculate that I used about 3434gallon water per month, it's 8.6gpg here, then I need to remove 29532grains per month, about 984grain per day.

    If a softener has 4000g capacity, then it will regenerate about every 4 days in my case. Based on the how many grain per lb salt and how many gallon water per regeneration need, I will able to calc all my running cost :D

    Is my calculation correct? :D
  16. kosiko

    kosiko New Member


    I found a good link about Kinetico product's spec:

    Do you have similar spec file for Q237? I have 2040S in the link above. If the sales is honest, the Q237 should be same as 2025S, from the spec, 2025s is not bad though, even the efficiency is not high as 2040S. They has $500 difference here
  17. kosiko

    kosiko New Member

  18. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You're welcome.

    That's not the way I would figure things.

    You do not want resin to sit around 30 days between regenerations.

    You do it on a daily grains used basis. X people * 60 gals/person = X * 9 gpg = grains/day * the number of days you want between regenerations; 8 is best for resin life.

    And then, you need to know the peak demand gpm the softener has to treat.

    In today's larger houses, that usually sizes the softener by cuft and then, you select the salt dose that produces the K of capacity you found in the math formula above.

    Let's look at the figures in the first Kinetico link you provided. See where it says X gpm @ 15 psi (drop)?

    Well that is the gpm you get IF you'll suffer a 15 psi pressure loss.

    Do you really want to do that?

    I don't know so now I'll ask you if you think that has anything to do with the max gpm that the softener will still be capable of removing all the hardness from?

    Sybron Chemicals, Andy says Kinetico uses their C-266 fine mesh resin in some of those softeners, the spec sheet shows C-266 with a SFR of 1-5 gpm/cuft.

    Note that a number of those Kinetico softeners mentioned here only have from .3 to .7 cuft of resin per tank. That's less than 1 cuft of resin in each tank.

    The Mach control valve allows water through both tanks at the same time UNTIL a tank has to regeneration, then you only get water through the one tank that is using water through it to regenerate the other tank. And, you share the Max flow to drain gpm with any water use you are running, like your shower. Which reduces the constant SFR gpm of the softener by the same gpm going to drain.

    Also, Kinetico shows grains per cycle.

    What they mean is the grains between regenerations. It's possible, depending on how much water you use, that some of those softeners will be regenerating a tank 1-3 times per day.

    So calculate how many total lbs and gallons of water will be used each regeneration and then compare the total to an 8 day period as I said before must be done to compare to a regular softener that is sized and set up correctly.

    So how many people in the house?
  19. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I believe that you don't know about these things and that's why you are having problems with what I have said. Personally I think the confusion is due to you not knowing what you don't know. Try this...

    It applies to all softeners regardless of the brand of control valve or the brand of softener.

    That X gpm@15 psi (drop) is the SFR gpm of the entire softener at 15 psi pressure loss across the unit.

    It has nothing to do with the max SFR gpm of the softener in regards to its ability to remove all the hardness in the water. Which is dictated only by the volume of resin in the softener.

    Have you ever read a resin spec sheet? All resin manufacturers have a spec sheet for each resin they make. They state the SFR gpm/cuft. Do you know how to use that information?

    It is a conservative CYA type thing in a way because the figures are used for industrial waters where the leakage must be held to say 4 mg/l. At whatever the peak demand flow rate in gpm is. I.E. Purolite C-100 has a SFR of 1-5 gpm/cuft. I'm assuming you know what leakage is but if not, it is the amount of hardness left in the softened water. Industrial uses mg/l and residential/commercial uses gpg, and there are 17.1 mg/l in one gpg. A homeowner could have like 10 mg/l of hardness in their softened water and it will not cause them problems as it can in industrial product manufacturing.

    So far none of that has anything to do with the distributor tube.

    Today the most commonly used distributor tube size is 1.05" OD, 3/4" ID, until you get up into about a 14" tank, then you use a 1" ID or larger and a lateral type bottom distribution system instead of a bottom basket. You know what they are right?

    Well, at say 40 psi through a 3/4" pipe you get something like 22+ gpm. So what is the basis of your question about the distributor tube, or why do you think I should mention it in describing the constant SFR gpm of a softener?

    I get a lot of phone calls and many are from people that have a softener and they tell me it isn't "working". In many cases I eventually ask them if they think back, has it consistently always given you 0 gpg soft water. Invariably they tell me no, never did consistently but most of the time it did until lately. And I ask, was that satisfactory, and they say no, I wanted soft water all the time and now there's something wrong with it and I've done X and it worked and then quit again and I did X and it's not working and now I want a new one.

    So maybe you haven't been asking about that but, you were called out to service a softener that isn't working right? Next time ask the person the question and see what they tell you. Expect some to say "hell man I don't know, SHE just tells me her hair isn't right and I go look at it". A few will say, "no, that slimy feeling comes and goes all the time".
  20. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades


    I have a question about the calculation of SFR--the max rate at which a softener will consistently produce soft water. In the above quote you say that it is determined by the volume of the resin in the softener. Elsewhere, including your website, you cite specific values for SFR for various volumes of standard resin. On your web site it is listed as "The SFR gpm of most softeners in gpm is: 1.0' cuft = 9, 1.25' = 10, 1.5' = 12, 2.0' = 13, 2.5' = 18, 3.0' = 20, 3.5' = 22 gpm, 4.0 = 25 etc.. ". If SFR were directly related to resin volume, and nothing else, I would expect that a 50% increase in resin volume would increase SFR by 50% and a doubling of the resin volume would double the resin volume. However that is not the relationship reflected in the figures. I am particularly puzzled by the fact that a 25% increase in resin volume, from 1 cubic ft to 1.25 cubic ft only increases SFT by 11%, while a 25% increase in resin volume from 2 cubic ft to 2.5 cubic ft increases SFR by 38%.

    My question is why the SFR has such an erratic relationship to resin volume. Is it because there are other things that affect the number that are not specified? If so, what are they?
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