Remove Kinetico Water Softener System

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by AjayK, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. AjayK

    AjayK Software Engineer

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    South Eastern PA(Yardley)
    We have a old Kinetico Model 30 system in our house. I believe the system is over 20 years old (same age as our house). All I want to do is uninstall/remove it. I have no instruction manual of it and Kinetico web site and Google didnt help. The system is not electric and has two tanks. I think this is the one: http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2992

    It has these gray adapters(?) on it: www.*******.com/8pwvfp
    What are these called?

    Can anyone tell me what steps should I take to uninstall this system. I will later replace it with another system but thats a different issue.

    Thanks.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Does the system have a by-pass? It should...all you need to do is by-pass it until you want to replace it...

    If the by-pass doesn't work or you don't have one then you need to shut the main valve, release the water pressure, cut the water line going in and out of the softner / by-pass and connect them, test for leaks and your done.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2009
  3. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Those are possibly Qest fittings, and my own Kinetico has the same. They are like big compression fittings with standard pipe threads on one end for connecting to the incoming and outgoing supply lines. To remove them after turning off your water and de-pressurizing the system, unscrew the big nuts and pull the gray tubing away from where the nut had been fastened. You will ultimately end up with pipe threads on the ends of the incoming and outgoing lines where the softener used to be, and you will need to plumb those two lines together.

    Are you planning to get rid of the Kinetico altogether? If so, I would be interested in having it as a backup.

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  4. AjayK

    AjayK Software Engineer

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    South Eastern PA(Yardley)
    leejosepho,

    Thanks. Yes, it does appear to be Qest fittings. How do you depressurize the system?

    Also, I am planning to get rid of it altogether. I am in Eastern PA so it may be too far for you. I do see occassionally some leaking on it though. I rather not fix this unit.
  5. AjayK

    AjayK Software Engineer

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    South Eastern PA(Yardley)
    Yes, the system does a bypass and I am going to put it on Bypass. How do I release the water pressure? That was my main concern. I didnt realize that this unit works on pressure w/o electricity.

    I am actually going to replace it with a high end Kenmore Water Softener and I am hoping that it should be simple once I have removed this unit.
  6. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Why are you wanting to replace it...Kenmore is low end in my NSHO...
  7. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    I agree with Cass, High End and Kenmore shouldn't be used in the same sentence.

    To depressurize a normal softener, you would put it in backwash after killing the valve feeding it. With the Kinetico this task wouldn't be so easy since you can't get your hands on anything in that head. If it's possible to kill a valve in front of the unit, simply open a faucet after it. Pressure will go to zero in a hurry.

    bob...
  8. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    After shutting off your pump (if you have a well) or closing your main valve (municipal supply), just open any convenient tap or faucett to de-pressurize the entire house ... then close that tap or faucett to help reduce the amount of water that will begin running out when you begin disconnecting lines.
  9. AjayK

    AjayK Software Engineer

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    South Eastern PA(Yardley)
    It leaks. I got a call from installer about replacing the unit because some parts(resin?) have a shelf life of 7 years and that passed a year ago. He was going to charge $1800 for a new unit. I never like to pay for installation as I can figure out basic myself. It would be significantly cost effective for me to install a new unit.

    If you dont like Kenmore, what make/models are rated high for quality and durability.

    One of my main concerns is that our water consumption is close to 10000 gallons a month. It seems high for us (3 kids), 2 adults when I compare it to others. I do think this unit has something to do with it.

    Also, if I put the system in Bypass, does it effectively shut the unit so that it does not regenerate. If not, what can I do to shut it down completely without removing it.

    Thanks.
  10. AjayK

    AjayK Software Engineer

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    South Eastern PA(Yardley)
    Thanks. I guess that would mean I should do this when I am ready to install the new unit.

    Also, my Qest fittings are on copper piples. Do I use a regular wrench for it or does it come with special wrench. I am assuming its just like a regular nut.
  11. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    $1800 is steep for any Kinetico softener.

    Using the bypass valve (if it is operable) will shut off water to the unit completely. It will make it like you don't have one in line at all. As for those fittings, I'm not familiar with them and recommend standard tried and true fittings that any Plumber would use. Not something that is proprietary or hard to find replacements.

    Gary Slusser is lurking around somewhere, I suggest you talk to him about buying one and installing it yourself. That's his specialty, and his pricing is very low.

    bob...
  12. Probedude

    Probedude New Member

    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    CA
    10,000 g/month is only 333 gallons per day. This isn't that unreasonable.
    We only have 1 child and between the three of us, our daily water usage I think is ~ 200 gallons.

    Our biggest culprit WAS the top loading washing machine. We do about 1.75 loads per day and sometimes double rinsed them. Our water usage dropped by 1/2 with the front loader.

    Our 2nd culprit is landscaping.

    I'm sure your usage is higher WITH the kinetico than without, but I'll bet your usage is high too. The more water you use, the more often your softener has to cycle.

    We have a generic Fleck water softener, 48,000 grain with demand metering - I think I paid $600 for it delivered (Gary Slusser knows A LOT about water softeners).
  13. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Kinetico has modified their control valves many times over the years. And they have added new models to their line. Reusing an older model that has been discontinued may not be a good thing; especially if you want spare parts.

    Yes to get non electric to work, they use water power which depends on pressure.

    QEST fittings are great and very easy to use, only tighten the nuts until they squeal and then a 1/4 turn; do not over tighten them. Actually they do not have pipe thread, the threads are not used to make the seal, the white piece in the picture seals against the fitting's seal surface and the nut forces the two parts together. The SS retainer ring, and nut, then holds the pieces in place. You can also use Shark Bite fittings.

    Although I'm seeing more'n more people posting problems with Kinetico equipment, on average Kinetico softeners work well but so do many others. Others can be just as "efficient" but won't be regenerated near as often as the small Kineticos so you can actually get better efficiency with a different type.

    Kinetico control valves will not allow the customer to change the hardness or salt dose setting without the customer buying a new parts; or calling for service at whatever the one'n only local dealer wants to charge for it and the parts. I.E. recently on another forum I saw a dealer wanted $200 for a new salt tank and $80 just for a salt tank float that they use to set the salt dose with...

    Kinetico simply put are sold for rip off prices and, you pay for the name only because all the rest of the softener, tanks, resin etc. is the same all the rest of us sell. IOWs, Kinetico only makes the control valve. The sales people hype the non electric and I ask why they cost so much since they have no motor, computer, wire/cable etc. etc.? (it's so they make more money)

    Anyway, I strongly do not suggest any big box store brand. They last about 2-5 years before they have expensive problems.

    I do suggest a softener with the Clack WSW-1 control valve that is correctly sized for your family size, number of bathrooms and the type of fixtures in them that will usually give you a regeneration on average once every 8 days using very little salt and water.

    Fleck valves and especially the 5600 can not compare to the Clack WS-1 for features, ease and speed of repair, especially for a DIYer and simplicity.

    Check out the sizing page on my web site to learn all about correctly sizing a softener.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2009
  14. Probedude

    Probedude New Member

    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    CA
    Gary,
    From your website I see that the Fleck 7000/7000SE is not recommended - that it is not as efficient with water as the Clack WS-1. Does this hold true for the 5600SE also?

    Specifically why does the Clack WS-1 minimize water usage over the Flecks?

    TIA
    Dave
  15. kenmore is very low end

    the kenmore wont even hold a candel to the CLACK

    the Kinnecteco brand is very high priced and we are
    seeing them go bad more and more in this area due to
    the high water pressure in our area 110psi


    you ought to Get the Clack from Sussler and you wont go wrong...

    My Clack 45,000 grain unit used only
    13 40 lb bags of salt last year


    CASS...
    I bet 50 bucks that he already has that
    cheap Sears unit out of the box..
  16. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Yes, if your bypass valve does not leak and you want to just bypass the softener for now. My bypass valve likes to leak a bit when I occasionally use it, but turning it back and forth a couple of times usually solves that problem.

    The Qest nuts will turn loose and unscrew from wherever they fasten, but it sounds like you are going to have to do some soldering (or have some soldering done) in order to remove them altogether and to then either install a new softener or add a straight-through piece of new pipe.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2009
  17. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I stopped selling the 7000 because of problems with them and with their variable brining feature, they will regenerate more frequently and that uses much more water.

    That does not hold true to the 5600 because it doesn't have variable brining but, it is a 3/4" valve with none of the features of the CLack WS-1 and it is not anywhere near as easy to program or repair as the Clack WS-1. The Clack WS-1 was invented to be the easiest and quickest control valve to program, repair and replace parts on. I'm told the guy that invented the 5600 and two other ex Fleck engineers, they had 28, 22 and 18 years with Fleck up to 9-10 years ago, invented the Clack line of valves.

    I said the 7000 will use more water.
  18. Probedude

    Probedude New Member

    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    CA
    Okay, gotcha. I was asking wondering if it would be to my advantage water saving wise to change out my 5600SE softener for a Clack WS-1 unit.
  19. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    The size of the softener is based on the cuft of resin, that dictates the size of the tank and that dictates the control valve that can be used. A 5600, 6600 and 6700, is not supposed to be used on a larger than 12" tank, and that is a 2.0' softener. The Clack WS-1 can be used on up to 21" tank, a 7.5 cuft.

    Then the salt dose setting which in a given volume and type of resin gives us the K of capacity of the softener. That K of capacity gives us the service run between regenerations. A regeneration is made up of a number of cycle positions like backwash, brining, backwash/rinse and final rinse and refill. Each position runs for X minutes and all positions are flow controlled to X.x gpm. That gives you the total gallons used per regeneration. Then the number of regenerations of one softener compared to another dictates which one uses the least water over all.

    So... there are a lot of variables to water efficiency but none of them are based on the control valve unless it has features that causes it to regenerate more frequently than another same size softener using the same type of resin or, the dealer/installer sets the length of time the cycle positions run for longer than they need to be. The mechanical metered and time clock versions of the 5600 do not allow changing those times, that is not a good thing.

    BTW, the best regeneration schedule is once every 7-9 days and I find most of softeners are undersized and have to regenerate like every 3-5 days or sooner.
  20. Probedude

    Probedude New Member

    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    CA
    Which you said the 7000 is guilty of.

    But if sized appropriately is no issue per your post above.

    My problem is my water usage is high AND our water hardness is very high. Just looking at our city's water report the ppm is on average 610ppm with a max of 698. This works out to 41 grain. This is a 2007 report - they don't have a newer one online.

    My Fleck 5600SE setup is 48K softener. I'm running 15lb/regen of salt (minimize regens since I cannot adjust any times except the refill). I find I'm noticing a drop in water softeness after only 500 - 600 gallons are used (per the 5600's meter dial) which can be only 3-5 days as you mention (more like 5 days now with the front loader washer).

    For a 8-9 day per regen I'd need 76K+ softener, and even larger if I wanted to use the salt most efficiently.

    My resin is ~ 6 years old. The system I was sold has no gravel underbed and no turbulator.
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