Kinetico softener head rebuild with pics

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by Jon Heron, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. Jon Heron

    Jon Heron In the Trades

    Yep thats correct!
    It never worked for the 7 months after I put it back together because I must have misaligned the blue balls. However I didn't spend any of that seven months even thinking about it as the water very gradually started getting hard, not to mention the 100 other things weighing on my mind this year....
    And yes I stand by my original statement that I was impressed by this simple and elegantly designed valve. Anybody with some mechanical aptitude and a desire to repair this valve will be pleasantly surprised at how simple they are. All total I probably spent an hour or less and that includes tearing it down twice. I have spent more time on typing and posting pics in this thread then I have on the valve...
    At my last house I had to rebuild my softener and it was a piece of junk. I cant remember what it was called but it had the valve assembly hanging out the back consisting of several rubber flappers held in place with little steel clips. The rubber flappers were wore and that created major water hammer during the regeneration. It also had an electronic timer for the regen cycle that consistently lost time causing it to regen during the day... Anyways I am sure that is the valve you would find at Wall Mart... Even the tank was blue :)
    Jon
  2. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Actually I was the first to reply to Jon Sammy. I answered his question. I guess the attack I made IYO was mentioning the lack of Kinetico in providing a manual online etc..

    It happens to be true, so I don't see an attack in any way or me being defensive. Here's a copy, show me what you are talkng about.

    Gary Slusser Gary Slusser is online now
    Water Treatment'n Pump Guy

    Join Date: Aug 2004
    Location: Wherever I park the motorhome
    Posts: 2,850
    Default
    Balls are check valves.

    I have looked for years for a parts breakdown and have never found one. No one has said they found one either. It's part of Kinetico's way of protecting their dealers from DIYers.

    If you had soft water for months and then it went hard, I wouldn't think there was missing parts.
    __________________
    Gary
    Quality Water Associates


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by biermech View Post
    Well Gary, let me ask you a question. Why do sell Clack units for more money than you sell Fleck unit for when you buy the Clack for less money? Remember I proved to you that I can buy a Clack cheaper than a Fleck but choose to sell Fleck. I believe it is because YOU want the highest profit you can get from a customer.[/quote]

    Biermech, I typed a reply to you last night but can't find it. I know some of your posts have been deleted but, I closed a browser window by mistake but I thought that was another reply, it may have been yours.

    I sell softeners and filters with the Clack WS-1 control valve because it is the most featured and easiest control valve to repair and, out of roughly 1240 sales, I've only had 22 problems which is many fewer than when I sold Fleck all but exclusively for 18 yrs.

    I have been looking for a new supplier lately and found one that I've been ordering from the last few weeks. I also contacted another and your Coast pumps; Bob Caswell Water Treatment Sales Manager Coast Pump Water Technologies, you may not know him, and I'm waiting for him to get back to me. I'm not sure they will be able to supply me, or if they will be competitive with my other two; one I've been with 5 yrs.. And the new one is preventing me from having to raise my 4 yr old prices!! Which means I should be able to make more sales when someone is buying based on price, right? Kinda like Wal Mart huh.

    Anyway, let's look at your claim. You are paying $8 less for an L model 5600MM control valve than you pay for a Clack WS-1 control valve. If you bought the regular head 5600MM you should pay more than for the L model but maybe not, it doesn't make any difference. Your invoices are below although they are very hard to read without serious zooming in.

    For you to claim I buy/sell Clack because I pay less for the Clack WS-1 and increase my profitability is absolutely ridiculous.

    If I maximized my profit per sale, I would have raised my prices instead of eating the increases for over the last 3 yrs., especially the freight, as my wife has wanted me to; she's not in sales...

    Actually, I pay slightly more for an entire 1.0 cuft softener including my addons and my unpublished 'extras', that I see you don't include, than you pay for the control valve!

    You need more production to get that type discount pricing. I could help if you want any sales help.

    Jon, you had an Autotrol 155 or 255 control valve on the old softener. It has 6-7 flapper discs/valves operated by a cam shaft and little SS springs. The time of day has to be reset after any power outage so since the time was off, that is your responsibility to keep it set correctly. The Clack WS-1 I sell keeps the time for up to an 8 hr outage and all the programming forever. It also has many features the Autotrol and Kinetico does not have unless you go to their new Logix timer and then it still doesn't have all the features. Any it was designed to be the easiest and fastest control to repair, by 3 ex Fleck engineers. Anyone with a pair of Channel Lock type pliers can replace all of its 5 parts and have the water back on in under 30 minutes.

    Below Biermech's invoices is a picture of the parts without the turbine wheel meter assembly, and we don't count the wrench or valve body. Valve bodies don't go bad.

    Attached Files:

  3. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I previewed 3 pictures, the 2 invoices and the Clack WS-1 parts and see that only the parts pic showed up, That's odd. I'll try the invoices again.

    Attached Files:

  4. 99k

    99k Radon Contractor and Water Treatment

    Messages:
    460
    Location:
    Fairfield Co.,Connecticut
    Gary:
    I'm very curious, looking at your rig and seeing the unit/trailer being towed from behind. Do you drop ship water conditioning equipment from a distributor or are you actually building equipment while "on the road"?
    Ken
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Yeah that trailer is something huh. I drop ship from 2 suppliers with a combined 8 locations around the country. For 18 yrs I assembled all my equipment out of my inventory. BTW, we are always home wherever we are.
  6. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I see $338.84 for the Clack on a 9x48 softener minus a bypass valve, and then $346.44 for the Fleck on the same 9x48 with a $36.89 bypass valve. Now as you say, that isn't an $8 difference, it is a $7.60 difference for as you call it a complete softener, which I don't.

    My complete softener has a safety brine system with #500 air check, brine well and cap, salt grid, gravel underbed, bypass valve and plumbing connectors on the Clack, a coil of drain line etc. etc.. If I told you my cost, you'd be calling me a liar.
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    What you are showing is the 5600MM that you actually bought.

    I guess they are "complete" because someone told you they are but IMO they are minimally "complete". You can't get any cheaper than what you are ordering unless you don't include a bypass valve.

    What I sell is a complete softener, and it will cost you a bunch more than you are paying currently. So what do you charge for that 5600MM softener compared to my prices that you can see on my web site? If it is not substantially more than my price, you will be out of business fairly soon unless you sell 20-40 a month as I do, and even then you won't be as profitable unless you have lower expenses than I do. Which I seriously doubt even if you work from home, as I did for 18 yrs.

    I am charged less for Fleck 5600s than Clack WS-1 control valves. Possibly it is the volume discount my supplier gets from Fleck and Clack compared to your supplier, I do not care, it is what it is and I can't control it.

    Talk smack... I say that the Clack WS-1 is a much better valve than the 5600 or 2510 Fleck valves; even if they have the new SXT timer on them; they don't have all the features of the Clack WS-1. That is based on selling Fleck all but exclusively for 18 years and Clack and some Fleck for the last 5.5 years of my total of 23 yrs this year, and comparing the number of problems with both and how easy each is to repair when needed, and the price of the parts. They both have the same piston, seals and spacers design.

    I am looking at it from a prospective customer's point of view, not the amount of money I make. I've been doing that for all but 30 years in direct sales. The person has the option of Autotrol, Fleck or Clack, which you are not giving your prospects because you say electronics are not good. You're wrong.

    I set my prices based on my expenses and the gross profit I want and can still be competitive with other online dealers. I gross very little per sale compared to say you, a local dealer. I do not compete with local dealers, I compete with online dealers. Local dealers can not compete with the prices of an online dealer.

    So really, you selling online or want to? Otherwise why do you care what I sell them for or how much I charge or make?
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    A 500 air check brine pickup is much better than the J brine pickup Biermech uses. It goes down to the bottom of the brine/salt tank; inside the 4" brine well I use and it hangs off the bottom of the 2310 float controlled safety brine system in the brine well that I always include. It prevents salt water overflow from the salt tank if the salt tank overfills due to numerous causes. Biermech doesn't include any of that, just a lower priced J brine pickup.

    So far in 1230+/- Clack sales over 5.5 yrs, I have had only 6-7 complaints of too much water in the salt tank; Fleck is much more prone to that problem than Clack.

    Media in a softener is the resin. There are thee types, regular or fine mesh or SST-60. Regular mesh resin is resin like regular gasoline is regular gasoline; little to no difference from one brand to another.

    Plumbing connectors... they are what are used to connect the water line PLUMBING to the control valve or bypass valve. Clack has many different types and sizes of plumbing connectors for the Clack WS-1 and 1.25 control or bypass valves. More than any other manufacturer; Fleck has none, you use threaded male or female adapters, it's your only choice.
  9. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Yes Kinetico is way overpriced and over hyped for what you get, just the Kinetico valve and the same tanks and resins that you and I sell, and not worth but a 1/3rd of what they charge for them.

    Yes as a serviceman for big box softeners for like 16 yrs, you have undoubtedly seen more problems with them than I have but, you are making a big mistake.

    You are comparing Autotrol, Clack, Erie or Fleck control valves to SEARS!! and other Ecowater built poor quality excuses for softeners!!

    They use cabinet models and most cover the control valve which seals it in the salt water environment of the salt tank. And you won't admit that a softener with a separate salt tank and resin tank a few feet away are not going to have the same problems. BTW, you sell a 5600 Fleck with a metal motor and metal brine and piston stems. Why aren't they having salt environment caused problems? Do you slop grease all over them? Also, real control valves have a full 5 year warranty on the electronics, SEARS! and Ecowater built brands (GE, Whirlpool, Northstar, mortonsalt.com) have 90 days. I'm not sure you can you understand why.

    As to salt savings, the brand of control valve has nothing to do with it. It is a function of how much and what type of resin is used and what the salt dose lbs are set at. Am I to understand that you sell softeners and don't know that?
  10. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    The velocity (the speed) of the water increases through the distributor tube.
  11. srssrs

    srssrs New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Getting in late on this thread but have a question or two. I recently removed my sight glass as there was a gummy looking substance surrounding my discs and spring arms. I tried to be very careful in replacing the arms as they were but am not totally positive I have put them back correctly. It was difficult during removal as the gummy substance was congealed over them. Can anyone post a photo of what it should look like from above if they are installed correctly? The top & bottom disc will turn in one direction but it does take some strong finger pressure to turn them.

    When I insert a phillips screwdriver into the center hole in the sightglass and press down & turn, should I be able to see the disc move. I should mention that I don't have the unit installed or under pressure yet.

    I have also PM'd Andy CWS on this.

    Thanks for any & all help.
  12. dextersl

    dextersl New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Florida
    Jon, I have a similar situation where our water has also become hard. After reading your thread I disassembled the softener valve (again) but did not see the blue balls or white balls that you and the others have spoken of. I did take the brine tube out to check the suction and did confirm that I do have suction, not sure how strong the suction is supposed to be as it seemed kind of low to me. Can you or anyone else provide a diagram that shows where these balls should go? or let me know if you have any other recommendations. My system is a KI-MOD-2061(MACH 2060S) installed in 2007 and my valve hardware looks identical to yours when disassembled.

    Thanks
    -dex
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
  13. dextersl

    dextersl New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Florida
    This is sort of a long story but here goes. About 9 months ago our water began to feel hard, and I also noticed that the salt in tank was not going down. When I manually kicked off the regeneration it still did not improve the condition of the water. We ended up calling the local Kinetico service and when they came out, they disassembled the softener control valve and we found that it was clogged with alot of tanin deposits. They then cleaned all the valve parts in muriatic acid and then put it back together. They said that we need to make sure to add Tan-X (Citric Acid) in with our salt to help keep the deposits from building up. We now add Tan-X every time we add salt and the water system has been working fine up until July when we had them come out again because my wife said the water was starting to smell.

    We had the carbon material changed out since the smell is usually caused by the carbon no longer being effective. After changing out the carbon, the water gradually began to get hard and my wife noticed a smell coming back again. My wife called the rep from the local Kinetico again and they had her check the smell of the hotwater vs the cold water and found that the smell was only present when the hotwater was running. They then recommended checking the anode rod in the hotwater heater as that was the likely cause of the water smelling bad. They indicated that we could either turn our hotwater temperature up to burn off the elements that cause the smell, or manually flush our hotwater heater/water lines with bleach. We turned the hotwater heater temperature up and ran the bleach process and no longer have the smell but we still need to change our anode rod.

    With all that said, before we resolved the problem with the smell I disassembled the softener control valve to make sure we did not have the deposit build up problem again and the valves looked clean. I did not see the balls when I took it apart which is why I need to know where in the assembly would they normally be located. So I put the valve back together, and I am back to square 1 with the hard water issue again. So any advice or instruction you can give us on this would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    -dex
  14. dextersl

    dextersl New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Florida
    I was wondering, does your softener have carbon in it? we have one large tank which contains the carbon and two separate smaller tanks for the softener.

    If you have a tannin problem, a small amount of tannin resins can be added to the softener to remove tannins. Was tannins a known issue when you got e the softener of is this something new? I do not recall what the original analysis was when the system was installed two years ago, but after they came out earlier this year the definitely recommended that we remember to add the tan-x from now on or we would definitely have tanin build up again.

    I will contact Kinetico tomorrow and see what they say.

    Thanks,
    -dex
  15. TampaDutchman

    TampaDutchman New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    No blue balls

    Dex, Andy,

    I also have a mach 2061 by Kinetico. I recently disassembled and cleaned the valve due to scaling. I am connected to a well and every year or two need to have the valve descaled. I attempted to do so myself.
    First, let me say i did not see/notice any blue balls so either I lost mine or possibly there has been a design change?

    Now reconnected I see air bubbles at the top and it seems to continuously backwash. so I apparently did not get it back together correctly.

    I will be disassembling again later this week to give it another try, but if you have any advice to offer, I would be grateful.
  16. elphantasmo

    elphantasmo New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    UK
    kinetico's white balls

    did you ever find out where the white balls go? i've just stripped my knietico and the white balls fell out before i could see where they came from...

    i have found some schematics from the US patents, but none mention the ball bearings;

    Control valve for water softeners (1975)
    http://www.freepatentsonline.com/3891552.pdf

    Control valve for water softeners (1981)
    http://www.freepatentsonline.com/4298025.pdf

    Float-actuated level control valve
    http://www.freepatentsonline.com/4336134.pdf
  17. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I believe you may find they are check ball valves and not ball bearings. And possibly the color doesn't matter and just changed over the years. Or, it may be different colors are used for different Kinetico valves.
  18. BrianG

    BrianG New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Arizona
    I took head apart on my Kinetico because it wasn't cycling...wanting to clean it up...i found small yellow post just laying inside ...i haven't noticed these post in any pictures ...they have tiny little gears attached to them...
  19. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    That would be an axle and if it is broken off as opposed to just out of its place, then your valve is seriously busted.
    and you would need a new module or whole control valve.
  20. BrianG

    BrianG New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Arizona
    two yellow post approximately 1" long

    Thanks for reply. I don't think the two yellow post are broken but when I lifted the head they fell into the top of the tank. I just didn't see where they go...it appears that they may just sit in the tank by the outlet regulating the water intake/outflow? It doesn't look like they go anywhere in the head...any insight is much appreciated ..thanks. Note, I think the system was cycling correctly found that the brine tank float was shot..styrofoam floats broken and valve not shutting off..this part is on order.
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