Kinetico Came to Do their Sales Pitch

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by CountryBoy19, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. CountryBoy19

    CountryBoy19 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2018
    Location:
    Indiana
    The gentlemen was very polite, and fairly knowledgeable on the product. I was mainly interested in RO water systems but might be interested in other systems too. Most of all, he wasn't pushy. He did want to make sure that if I bought a system it was tied to him since he made the trip to my place; I think that's a very reasonable expectation.

    Water test results:
    Hardness: 16 g/gal
    Iron: no discernable amount of iron (he said there may be a little but it was hard to tell)
    TDS: 350 (if I recall correctly)

    My primary interest is in a RO water system; it is a must-have for me and my water source (well that has the potential of surface water contamination).

    Things that really appeal to me with Kinetico's K5 filtration system: WOW tank, and the end-of-cycle membrane flush (they flush RO water over the membrane at the end of a purification cycle to reduce contaminant creep across the membrane).
    The system normally sells for $1800 but they offer $600 trade-in on an old system.

    He recommended 2 different softners of which I don't actually have specs for yet (he was going to email them).
    1st:
    Traditional 2-tank style that consumes 1.6 lb salt and 19 gallons of water per back-flush

    2nd:
    Compacted resin high-efficiency 2-tank style that consumes .9 lb salt and 9 gallons of water per back-flush

    He said the high-efficiency will not work well if you have iron or high levels of hardness but my hardness isn't too bad and my nearly non-existent iron

    Cost for the softner was ~$3600 and there is a $1000 trade-in (I have an old culligan that is bypassed).

    That being said, they are currently running a black Friday deal, buy the premier softner get the RO system free.

    My current RO is leaving 60 ppm TDS in the water which he said is a 82% rejection rate (not really that good)

    I really like their RO system, although I recognize it's really high priced. Combining with the softner gains some advantages though.

    #1 is the cost savings, #2 if the RO system is downstream of one of their softners the RO membrane has a 10 year warranty, #3 Their compact system seems to really cut back on salt consumption but I want to see the specs and numbers before I agree that it does.

    So... I know Kinetico and Culligan aren't looked upon highly here. But for a guy that doesn't have the time to research putting together his own system, they seems relatively affordable. Considering cheap 2-tank compacted media systems with mediocre reviews are $1000-1400, and I would still have to install them (Kinetico prices include installation) and the warranty and customer support that comes with their products, I don't think it's a terrible deal...

    So talk to me: Can I get a more affordable RO system that flushes the membrane to minimize contaminant creep and also has a WOW tank?

    Softners, does the salt consumption sound too good to be true? I realize that system is pricey but I tend to look at long-term ownership cost. If it really does consume less salt, and they offer support & a warranty that I would otherwise have to pay for out of pocket, it tips the scales more to the Kinetico products.

    Lastly, UV water treatment. I haven't tested my water for bacteria yet but I suspect there may be some contamination. Even if there isn't, the future possibility is increased; I live in cattle country. The watershed over my well hasn't had cattle on it in decades but they're running new fences so if I'm getting surface water through the Karst limestone then I could have bacteria problems in the future. Their UV system is $1200...

    I plan to have a more comprehensive test done on the water... I just need a little guidance on softner and RO systems...
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Are you saying that you have a shallow well, or what?
     
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  4. CountryBoy19

    CountryBoy19 New Member

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    Oct 18, 2018
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    Indiana
    No, the well is 200 ft but I'm on Karst (fractured) limestone so it's common occurrence for surface water to find its way into a crack through a sinkhole and run into the well. I'm 95% certain I have a crack that puts surface water in the well during heavy rains. Several signs point to it.
     
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Like the water getting cloudy after heavy rains?
     
  6. CountryBoy19

    CountryBoy19 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2018
    Location:
    Indiana
    Yes, that is one sign. Although its not noticeable at the tap I can see it in my water tank.

    The other major sign: because my well is low production there is a storage tank w/ a float switch and the welll pumps into the tank on-demand protected by dry running w/ a Cycle Stop Valves pump monitor. For the last 2 months my well hasn't been able to meet demand (typical in the fall) so the tank level has been dropping ~150-200 gallons/wk. Then we got some heavy rains and all of the sudden the tank filled up overnight.

    Is that all relevant to the RO & softner questions?

    Is the price of a Kinetico softner really that out of line when you consider they include installation and a 10 yr warranty?

    Does anybody other than Kinetico offer RO systems that flush the membrane after they stop producing each cycle? It also seems hard to find systems with WOW tanks...
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
  7. old

    old Member

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    Feb 27, 2016
    Location:
    NE
    Does the 10yr warranty cover parts, labor, and service call/trip charge? Or is it parts only? Parts only warranty is really not worth much because for the most part parts are cheap, labor and trip charge will far exceed the parts cost on most repairs.

    Yes there are others that flush the membrane.

    There is only one other WOW system that I am aware of. http://wowwater.com I know it exists, nothing more.
     
  8. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Relevant to the UV and need for UV I think. Where I was hoping to get to is that with a deep well, it is common that the sanitizing of the well is not done as effectively as it could be with a little extra consideration. Your well is an exception it would seem.

    Anyway, do filter out particles 5 microns and bigger before the UV light. Do sanitize the plumbing in and after the UV light. If the electric to the UV goes off, and you run water thru the de-powered UV system, you should probably re-sanitize your plumbing. pH counts in sanitizing, because bleach is more effective at 5 pH than at 7 0r 8.

    An alternative to UV is to chlorinate the atmospheric tank. That kills bugs and removes iron and H2S. Follow that with a GAC tank that removes chlorine and some other things, and then the softener.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
  9. CountryBoy19

    CountryBoy19 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2018
    Location:
    Indiana
    It appears to be parts only ... good thought but as you say, not much value. I'm not sure I have the knowledge to piece together my own system w/o lots of guidance on component selection. How would I go about finding and selecting a softner from somebody else if that's the road I go down?

    Can you name any of the other RO systems that flush the membrane w/ purified water?


    Thanks for the advice! I think I would want to stay with UV if possible. I don't have iron or H2S problems, just hardness and possible bacterial. Chlorination of the tank may be a little challenging; the tank is underground down in the woods by my well (1200 ft from the house). That being said, if I understand correctly, UV isn't very effective w/o filtration and a softner to remove TDS, right? So I really just need the whole deal: prefiltration, softner, UV, and RO, if I don't do chlorination, right?
     
  10. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
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    I am not a pro. AFAIK, UV is fine on hard water, but needs particle filtration first. UV before a softener sounds reasonable to me.
     
  11. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

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    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Location:
    Ontario California
    WOW has been around since the 80's. It is a cute design but not really what I would consider a must have at all. The complexity of the design leads to considerably more problems and the filter costs are astronomical. A simple permeate pump will do more for you than a Water on Water design will do and it will greatly decrease complexity and maintenance costs. Permeate purge, again... not an important feature and it adds complexity as well.

    K makes some excellent systems but as you will read through many previous posts, they are proprietary so parts availability and service is dependant on a local dealer, no competition so after sale issues can be difficult since you have no choice on where to buy parts or service from.
     
  12. CountryBoy19

    CountryBoy19 New Member

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    Oct 18, 2018
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    Indiana
    I could be mistaken, but from my research, TDS creep is a very real issue. Flushing the membrane seems to be the best way to solve that problem. Are there other ways to solve the problem?

    WOW isn't a must, but considering my water situation I do want a low-waste system. WOW was 1 avenue becuase it increases the efficiency when filtering. Permeate pump is another. But I found that permeate pumps, in some cases, seem to increase the problems with TDS creep. Not having the experience, I don't want to shoot myself in the foot by getting a permeate pump and ending up with a TDS creep problem.
     
  13. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

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    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Location:
    Ontario California
    people completely overthink this problem and read way too much online.

    The tds creep is caused by simple osmosis, as water sits in the membrane osmosis can occur. This is really only a problem in low water use applications. A simple 90% ASV eliminates 90% of this problem when paired with a PP but is rarely used. What major dangerous contaminant do you have that would necessitate the need for ultra high quality RO water? Most coffee and tea systems incorporate blending (basically controlled TDS creep) to enhance the reaction of the water with the tea of coffee extraction process. Some tds is desirable in many applications.
     
  14. CountryBoy19

    CountryBoy19 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2018
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    Indiana
    If I get this right, a 90% ASV would never fully shut off correct? Which would defeat the purpose here, I'm trying to reduce water waste/consumption. In a given year, how much additional water does a 90% ASV consume above the normal waste water?

    I don't know specific contaminants, I can only wager educated guesses. Considering that I am getting surface water in my well, as discussed above, and I'm located in an agricultural area, I could have numerous things in my well. Bacteria can be taken care of by the UV treatment mentioned above but that doesn't remove ag chemicals and other possible surface contaminants.
     
  15. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    IL
    I don't waste water, but I borrow it for a while. The water from a shower or toilet flush goes into my septic field. Years later it works its way back into the aquifer.
     
  16. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

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    Occupation:
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Location:
    Ontario California
    90% ASV means the system shuts off at 90% of line pressure, rather than a typical RO that shuts off at 60%. A PP without the 90% ASV shuts off at 98%.

    The main difference is the ASV allows time between cycles so the tiny amount of osmosis that occurs is mitigated by the lag. Without an ASV the PP opens at about 97% so the system cycles any time a small amount of water is taken from the system. This is great for most applications but if you fear a little bit of tds creep the 90% ASV has a wider cycle range mitigating this potential minor issue.
     
  17. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

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    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Utilizing a PP will have a significant impact in reducing RO water consumption. Since the pump will eliminate back pressure from the membrane, the membrane will operate at a higher output rate which will then reduce the daily operating time required to fill the storage tank. If the system does not need to run as long each day, further reducing the water utilized for flushing the membrane which then flows to drain.

    Further to Dittohead's comment, TDS creep will be seen in the initial small quantity of water that first exits the membrane after it has been sitting. If only a small glass is periodically filled directly from the RO faucet which then causes the RO system to resume operation, higher TDS may be of concern since the RO storage tank will be repeatedly topped-up with low volume, high TDS output. If regularly filling a larger container such as a jug, which is then refilled when empty, the higher initial TDS will be diluted in a larger quantity of higher quality water which follows, so TDS creep will be of less concern overall.

    As Ditttohead mentioned a PP plus 90% ASV will allow an operating pressure differential, then there will likely be enough differential between the shut-off and activation pressures to allow smaller quantities of RO water to be drawn without activating the RO unit to replace only a small quantity drawn.

    Often times in marketing, a bigger issue is made by one company of something which other companies may not highlight, so as to appear that the others have a problem, and only their company has recognized and has developed a unique (often costly) solution to correct that problem.
     
  18. CountryBoy19

    CountryBoy19 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2018
    Location:
    Indiana
    I know how the water cycle works... but that takes time... While its not a true "waste" if I run out of water because of unnecessary water usage then it's a waste to me.

    I currently consume ~2-gallons of RO water per day, 30 days/mo, on an inefficient system (1:8 ratio), that's 480 gallons of water down the drain. Getting the ratio down to 1:3, or even 1:2 would save me up to 4400 gallons/year.

    If my tank/well run dry I don't have a 2nd option for domestic water service. To get municipal water to my place will take 1.5 miles of water line that would service only me. There are 2 creek-bed crossing that require a blasting crew to put the line in... The estimated cost several years ago when the previous owner checked is $50,000. As it is right now, if I run out of water I have to pay a guy to bring a truck load and dump it in my tank.


    Ok, I think I'm learning here...

    So a 90% ASV shuts off at 90%, when does it turn back on?

    Any way to get a ASV that has a larger hysteresis? I currently have a 9 gallon RO tank so I have some tolerance for the tank dropping down to a lower percentage before the system kicks back on again.
     
  19. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Pentair now offers their 'GRO'' membrane that requires substantially less water for flushing the membrane (1:2), but of course, as with a conventional membrane, the output rate will also decline as the backpressure on the membrane continues to increase, thereby resulting in increased water to drain as the storage tank becomes continually slower to fill.

    While it might initially seem the GRO membrane paired with a PP would be a great fit, there are issues, likely due to the extremely low quantity of water needed to flush the membrane. The 'brine water' (flowing to drain) is utilized to power the permeate pump. To use GRO with a PP requires a less restrictive drain flow control, thereby increasing the flow rate to drain to be similar to the flow rate needed by a conventional membrane.

    The GRO membrane also has a slightly lower TDS rejection rate when compared with a conventional membrane.

    http://waterpurification.pentair.com/en-US/product/ro-elements/gro/

    https://view.publitas.com/impact-water-products/2018-catalog-final/page/188-189
     
  20. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Occupation:
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Location:
    Ontario California
    The GRO is actually a 1:1 ratio membrane and you are correct regarding the PP. We typically recommend a 1:3 ratio for the PP to operate well, but many companies set them up at 1:2 without any problems. And you are correct, the 1:1 ratio is closer to 1:1.5 ish due to tank back pressure. All RO's can be tweaked for efficiency, there are no secrets, membrane life and production rates are affected by the settings.
     
  21. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

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    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I had thought 1:1 from our prior discussions but couldn't seem to find that info to confirm so I stated a more modest claim. Thank you for clarifying.

    With regard to the 90% ASV, as it shuts off flow when the RO storage tank reaches 90% of line pressure, what is the reactivation (differential) pressure and is that adjustable?
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
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