kinetico Woes

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by ctamblin, Sep 29, 2009.

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  1. ctamblin

    ctamblin Computer Programmer

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Hi,

    While my water woes are probably many - I'll try to keep it short. 5 years ago I had the water tested and the guy said I had 50 PPM iron and that was about it. - suggested I did a new well. Well driller laughed and said just treat it cause around south florida 50PPM is considered good. To that end I just continued using my single tank unit @ 5 lbs of salt per day. About a year later I decided to try adding chlorine to it and a paper filter between the tank and the softener wich significantly improved the water quality yet still left rust stains in my bathroom with about 1PPM Chlorine in the water at the house and the hardness off the scale on a pool water tester. It was this way for 3 years.

    I recently inherited a "Used" dual tank kinetico water softener. Shortly thereafter I removed my old (and I do mean old) softener tank and replaced it with the kinetico (Rolls Royce).

    I figured that the Kinetico should improve the water as advertised and I have to admit – it is significantly better and doesn’t leave any stains in the house. I have had it installed for about 3 months.

    Now to my problem, Sunday I shut off the water, changed the paper filters and put chlorine tablets in the chlorinator. When I turned on the water, the kinetco back flushed continuously for 2 hours.

    Now the fun begins. I had the card of a Kinetco salesman who I contacted as well as called Kinetco service who instructed me to kink the hose. The service rep came out Monday morning, then communicated to the sales rep that the chlorinator had Eaten all the parts in the unit, it was junk and has to be replaced. Today when the sales rep was out he noted that the pipes were hooked up in reverse – he was right – right there on the unit were the arrows and I installed it backward – Ive done stupid things before but that takes the cake. Additionally he tested the water at the well with only 5 PPM Iron but said that tannin was causing my water to look like mud. There is no smell in the water.

    Leads me to several questions.
    a)How could my water be better when Kinetco installed in reverse

    b)Why wouldn’t a standard softener with a timer be able to clean the water yet the kinetco is so much better.

    c)How could chlorine “eat†all the plastic parts – since I cannot find a schematic I have no Idea if they are telling me the truth. I did disassemble the unit and everything looks ok to me but there does seem to be something missing under the clear cover to make it all work. Currently there are 2 round disks with teeth on them, spring, rubber stopper and a rubber seal

    d)Sales guy says that I shouldn’t need anything other than a new softener. With my past woes I do find that difficult to believe. At the price for installing a new Kinetco system - thought I think it would be worth it is Far outside of my budjet.

    And - if any of you know about the cancer cluster in our area I expect that City water will come soon - how soon noone knows with a 600 million dollar price tag.

    What should I do?
    Do I just plumb the old softener back in and keep feeding it 5 lbs of salt a day?
    Or, do I replumb the Kinetko and ask the service guy for the parts that I need to rebuild the head? though I dont know what is missing or broken without a diagram?
  2. ctamblin

    ctamblin Computer Programmer

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Thanks Andy,

    This is what I get for trying to do this myself I guess.

    The original 'guy' that tested it 5 years ago said I needed chlorine and a huge Birm backwashing filter to clean the water. A that time he wated like $3K to do the install and it was far beyond my means at the time. Doing a lot of reading online and using the results of the Original test I received, it seemed like the right thing to do, add this Chlorinator. I was thinking at a later date I would evaluate getting a birm filter. I adjusted it down until I had just a touch of chlorine past the paper filter with a pool tester, < 1 PPM and there was no smell. In my limited knowledge I was attempting to oxidize the iron from ferrous iron to ferric iron and filter it out. The chlorinator uses about 3-3” tabs every 2 months and plugs a 20” - 30 microns filter each month.
    http://www.equinox-praise.com/InlineChlorinator.files/InlineChlorinator200.jpg

    I cannot find a number on the meter of the Kinetco and it looks just like this one:
    http://www.abcwatermn.com/images/softeners_commercial.jpg
    When I get home tonight I will take some pics and measure the tanks but I would say off the top of my head they are +/- 30”
    Water Quality test from yesterday
    Harness 30.1
    Iron 3.0
    tannin md? Hard to read – water looks like Strong tea or apple cider.
    tds p100

    ( These was taken after letting the pump run for about a minute to get a good sample of the well water directly at the pump )

    Cancer Cluster
    http://www.examiner.com/x-22205-Wes...9m9d14-Cancer-cluster-claims-its-first-victim
    Public water install – Looks like I overstated the Cost its only $300 million.
    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/palmbeach/sfl-acreage-water-p091109,0,5147641.story
    Budget: well there really isn’t one but I have to “fix” the water. The quote for installing a new Kinetco was in the $3K range. Honestly I was prepared for up to $1K for a rebuild.

    http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29407
    Doing a little more research on the link above, my head looks like that but there isn’t a number on the clear plastic head and I also notice that mine is missing the wishbone plastic piece at the bottom of the picture under clear plastic. Not that it probably matters at this point.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2009
  3. ctamblin

    ctamblin Computer Programmer

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Afterthoughts

    I did a little searching online and it would appear that 30 Grains of hardness is going to overwork the best water softener and use a premium of salt. If my calculations are correct 5 lbs of salt a day for 30 grains hardness and 3 ppm iron isn’t that far off.

    One thing I forgot to mention in my previous posts is that there is a backwashing carbon filter connected the last thing before the water enters the house that does work. Also forgot to mention that there are 2 people using the water.

    http://www.premierwatersystems.net/well_w2.jpg
    It also seems that a "typical" setup I see on the web is to chlorinate the water to convert ferrous iron the ferric iron then run it threw the backwashing carbon filter ( or other ) then to a softener?

    Example Order:
    Pressure tank=>
    sediment filter=>
    chlorinator=>
    carbon filter=>
    Softener=>
    House


    Would it make sense then to rearrange the equipment I have to this arrangement or am I just duct taping this thing and getting no where? Although I would prefer to have the K, I still have my old softener that does still operate and may need to be refurbished – probably less $$$ than K wants.

    Honestly I am tired of dealing with this but dont have $5K to fix it right.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2009
  4. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    That overwork part simply is not true. Many people have more hardness and iron than those figures. My record hardness is 136 gpg and with just a softener iron of 13 ppm. If I sized the softener for you you would use 15 lbs of salt on average every 8 days. That's less than an average of 2 lbs/day. And delivered by UPS the price would be less than $875.
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Yes that is right.

    That order is right but no sediment filter; especially if the water is not visibly dirty. And if your system is not in that order, it probably won't work well for long if at all.

    Here is another choice, the chlorination system I sell; an erosion chlorine pellet chlorinator with no moving parts or electric requirement. Compared to the one at the link you posted, it is much more compact, the patented mixing tank is equivalent to a 120 gallon retention tank which is larger than the one in that link you posted (maybe 80 gals), it costs much less, it requires much less babysitting and maintenance and you can control the chlorine dose much easier than with a solution feeder.

    The chlorine pellet hopper hangs on the wall (on the right side wall in the picture), the gray/tan colored tank is the mixing tank and it has a center bottom drain, the first blue tank to the left is the carbon filter and then the softener resin tank with its salt tank under the chlorinator so you can remove the lid and set a bucket on a board on top of the salt tank to drain water out of the hopper and clean it about every 2-3 months when you add more chlorine pellets to it. I have no idea why my customer installed the filter and softener resin tank in the wooden 'tray' or the 2 x 4 post. I would not have done that because there is no need for it.
    .

    Attached Files:

  6. ctamblin

    ctamblin Computer Programmer

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Gary,

    That "pellet hopper" in your pic looks exactly like the one I have and like the one in the pic in my reply 2. I use about 3" pool disks in it and it consumes them in about 2 months. (I know, I know but I aint goanna drink the water anyway it is gross). When I had a working water softener the salt level was so high it tasted like ocean water.
    I tried a GE under sink RO system and you could still taste the salt.

    Currently, in case anyone is wondering...

    I have no idea how deep the well is but it has a shallow well pump mounted atop the pressure tank. The supply pipe is the same size as the pump inlet (1.25" ?) and where the Cast iron well pipe ID is fractions of an inch larger than the supply pipe OD which just slides into it and you cannot pull the supply pipe out. The pump is maybe 5 foot from the top of the well.

    =Pump out 1" pipe into Pressure Tank
    =pipe then reduced to 3/4" into 100 micron washable sediment filter
    =pellet hopper
    =tall 20" paper filter 30 micron
    =Kinetico (hooked up backwards)
    =Large backwashing carbon filter

    As requested above I will get measurements ASAP and get pics as soon as I am home when the sun is up. If I am lucky, over the weekend.

    That of course breeds the question that IF I don’t need the chlorinator why have it?
    To quote Andy "If the chlorination system is to deal only with converting iron from Fe++ to Fe+++, then it is not needed."

    Thanks to everyone for your comments. Considering my "limited" knowledge in this area as well as the misinformation ( as noted above ) that I received by searching the internet I am hoping that my "obvious & stupid" mistakes help someone else make better decisions.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2009
  7. ctamblin

    ctamblin Computer Programmer

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Softner and Carbon sizes

    Kinetico tanks are 30" tall
    Carbon Filter is 54" tall and about 10" diameter

    Although the sales rep said he would wave the bill, It was also nice of them to send me one anyway.

    Comments on the bill with names removed.


    SVC Service Rendered
    ... spoke to customer, softener running at the drain.....
    K60 Valve/Control is destroyed - plummed in backward and chlorinator damaged the valve (CANNOT REPAIR).

    Hopefully someone can read this better than me.
    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2009
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    What you have is much different than what I sell, you have a knock off copy impostor. The only difference that can be seen on the outside is the gray lid.

    I guess you know that the use of pool pucks is a very bad idea.

    Then something was very wrong with the set up or operation of the softener.

    You want the hopper right after the pressure tank.
    Then retention so the chlorine has time to work.
    Then a filter that can remove the chlorine and turbidity (rust).
    Then the softener.

    As to what Bob999 says about the cost of pellets compared to a gallon or three of bleach every couple weeks or so. Truth be known, you can buy a number of years worth of pellets with the numerous hundreds of dollars less that the pellet chlorinator costs compared to a solution feeder system.

    BTW, if you bought pellets once a year, which most customers go longer than 12 months with the pellets included with the system, the cost would be less than $12.50 a month. On average my customers' cost is about $2 a week. And pellets don't weaken in strength as bleach does.

    Maybe I should also mention that the pellet chlorinator is very problem free where a solution feeder system can be a bear in some cases to get it to work right for very long. The bleach is constantly weakening in the tank and it settles to the bottom of the tank (it's heavier than water) so the strongest solution is on the bottom of the tank where the pickup tube is so a solution feeder uses a constantly weaker solution and the only cure is to increase the dose or eventually dump the solution tank and the retention tank contents and start over with new solution or, buy an expensive solution tank stirrer and run it 24/7. There is nothing like those problems with my erosion pellet chlorination system.
  9. ctamblin

    ctamblin Computer Programmer

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I looked at the sheet close and I think that the hardness is 30+ and not 30.1 like I had originally thought.

    Thank Biermech - If a standard chemical feeder puts that much chlorine in the water then I would bet that mine must be in serious need of cleaning because, I have the internal shaft set at the lowest setting and the dial max open. As I said earlier, in a pool tester the chlorine is < 1 (before the carbon filter). Andy (as well as the Kinetico rep) said I do not need a chlorinator.

    One would have to wonder though why not put the chemical feeder in line with a bypass pipe so you can reduce the feed of chlorine before the retention tank if it is that high? Then, I suppose, if you were going to go through all that trouble why not just get a chemical pump and use bleach or get real chlorine from a pool shop. While I have one of these chemical feeders in my system, I can say that is it MESSY at best to refill it – but it does work with 3” pool bromine quite well. My pump and equipment are all outside, uncovered, and the fumes from the bromine will knock you out when you take the cover off the chemical feeder.
    But, I digress and am now in danger of derailing my own thread.

    I just had a Long talk with the Kenetico sales rep and he is going to get me a rebuilt Kenetico with a warrantee, service my carbon filter (and move it), install all of my equipment properly – in the right order, for about a third of his original quote. I expect to be very satisfied when they are done, will let everyone know how it goes.

    I am hoping that other home owners learn from my mistakes, that can be clearly read in this thread, and dont repeat most of them.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2009
  10. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    The sources are my 23 years in selling equipment and talking to thousands of people, including many with solution feeders.

    As I have been saying, I use a patented mixing tank that is equivalent to a 120 retention tank.

    I have also said that a solution feeder system with a properly sized retention tank will cost more than my pellet chlorinator system.

    Price an 80 or 120 gallon retention tank and redo your math for the entire system instead of comparing just the pellet chlorinator to a solution tank and pump. Or a gallon of bleach to X lbs of pellets. And realize that more than one gallon of bleach may have to be used to mix the proper strength solution based on the water quality you are treating and the dose you require along with that a few 70% chlorine pellets goes more than a bit farther than a gallon of 6% or 5.25% chlorine in 15 or 30 gallons of water lasts.

    The only part that is the same in the two very different type systems is the carbon filter IF they are the same size and use the same type of carbon.

    I find that most dealers undersize the carbon filter and use regular carbon. I don't do either.
  11. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I can't! You are the one wanting to compare, so do it by looking up retail on a solution feeder pump and properly sized retention tank and see for yourself.

    Anyone using a smaller retention tank than a 80 gal is not doing it right.

    Here is the suggested retail prices that I find. Now as an online dealer my price would be below those but freight would be added, so IMO it is very representative of actual pricing. The tanks below are composite (plastic) I did not look up glass lined galvanized tanks, you can if you want to. I wouldn't sell anyone but my good buddy nhmaster a galvanized tank for the use of chlorine.

    These are not complete tanks, there are add on parts needed to complete them.

    Structural “Universal†Retention Tanks
    UT80 80 Gallon, 21" x 67" $ 545.00
    UT120 120 Gallon, 24" x 73" $ 726.00

    Clack Corporation Retention Tanks
    RT80 Retention Tank, 80 gal, 21" X 69" $ 537.00
    RT120 Retention Tank, 120 gal, 24" X 80" $ 670.00

    Now add in the price of the cheapest pump you can find and a 5 gallon bucket and the equivalent gallons of bleach compared to 22 lbs of pellets and it is more than my delivered price of $773 for the chlorinator, 22 lbs of pellets and the mixing tank.

    So Bob, I don't understand your attitude but show up or shut up comes to mind; show me the links to each piece you want to do your comparison on, and compare to your heart's content. As you know, my delivered price and full description is on my web site here pellet chlorinator.
  12. ctamblin

    ctamblin Computer Programmer

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Back on Topic, I recieved as part of my new quote the actual numbers that were difficult to read. Additionally they will be removing my Chlorinator as I dont need it.

    Hardness 30
    Iron 3
    Tannin MED
    PH 7
    TDS 1900
    Sulpher 0.1
    Chloride 0

    "The water test performed at your home is for demonstration purposes only"

    I am still unsure why mine cannot be rebuilt but I am admitidly tired of dealing with it.

    The Kinetico Dealer is supplying me with a referished K60 and rebedding my Carbon filter as well as "correctly" assembling my equiptment.
  13. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    They can rebuild it but like selling new equipment, so if they offer to fix it, they ask way too much so you decide to go new.

    There was a need for chlorine at one time and now they say you don't need it. I'd make very sure they put the reason in writing and if they haven't done bacteria testing, or if you had bacteria in the past, then they can't say it isn't needed.
  14. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .

    What some people do not realize is if you have rain water running off into your basement that is potentially full of insectides if your neighbor or yourself get your lawn treated.

    We have that problem in our neighborhood, one of my neighbor's, he is a patholgist, has a son who has Non Hodgkins lymphoma. Since moved. On our side of the road when it rained hard enough it ran from our neighbor's yard area into our basements. He had the water and residue tested and it showed high content of insecticides. Most our neighbor's used a Chem lawn service.

    The township would repave the road making it higher and higher and eventually created this problem.

    I live in an area which is one of 2 clusters in the US for Non Hodgkins Lymphoma, the other one is Manchester, New Hampshire.
  15. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Only if an equal amount of softening resin is removed or larger tanks are used.
  16. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Yeah they are using larger tanks to be able to add the .2 cuft (WOW, .2 cuft!) )when they assemble this used equipment, and you know it. Otherwise they must remove an equal amount of softening resin so it will all fit the existing tanks or they are reducing the freeboard space in the tanks.
  17. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    So was the chem lawn poeple responsable for the sons cancer? I have never heard of anything like that, but if its true the lawn care companies should stop doing treating lawns. Did the guy that posted the porblem have insectaside in his well? That would really suck. I wonder if water treatment filters will take it out?
  18. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Wow, I am glad I just solder pipes and glue pvc togeather. that all seems like way too much work. BTW thanks to you and biermech an nhmaster for the advise on my filter. Put in a Fleck and so far it works real good.
  19. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    Hi Peter,

    I bet in 10 years you won't see lawn care services using anything other than safe products. The workers theirselves aren't safe in using them ( I have studies on it) The road is still higher than it was and should be. It comes down to this Peter, am I my brother's keeper. Even I went to the neighbor's asking them to stop using certain chemicals and most will comply, some won't. I read the link, and it hit home here (cancer clusters) and people should be aware of things that maybe, they will overlook because they weren't confronted with it; it is really sad, when a family member gets sick to then, learn some facts. Just a suggestion to anyone who gets rainwater in their downstairs or basements, to have it checked. The chemicals stay in the soil a long long time. When the residue dries you are breathing it, so always hose it out, not just sweeping away the water, did it cause his cancer? The probability is high. Can it get into your well, yes.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
  20. ctamblin

    ctamblin Computer Programmer

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Hopefully this thread helps other homeowners who lack this knowledge like me.

    I don’t have the paperwork of what was put into it in front of me but there was something on it about tannin resin and new (different) float for the brine tank.

    In the past with full chlorine and a second manual refresh of the water softener I would have for about 2 days the same quality of water I have now with a HIGH dosage of salt. What I would notice in the past was that the more I used the water for laundry and dishes the harder the water would get until the timer reset.

    This is the 3rd day since Kinetico installed the rebuilt softener and I have to say ( though I wouldn’t drink it ) the water is as clean as I have seen it with a lot less salt in it. Although I have not put it through its paces with heavy (for me anyway) water usage I am impressed as I actually have water flow and pressure in my shower.

    At this point I simply have a sediment filter, carbon filter and the softener between the Pressure tank and my shower head.

    When I get a chance I will post what the info from the actual work order.

    I digress ….
    Reading the prior post I have to wonder how much difference it actually makes if there is .2 cu/ft less softening resin in the tanks when they (dual) refresh on demand not when a timer says they should. AS YOU KNOW I am not knowledgeable in this area but, it would seem that it may need to refresh 20% more often. Since it is a demand 2 tank softener system that refreshes with clean water, wouldn’t it use the same amount of salt?

    Since I wouldn’t notice the refresh do I care?

    For the added expense of getting larger tanks and a larger system what would I actually get out of it? Would my water be better because the tanks were bigger?
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