Purchased home with Kinetico blocking all water

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by Mark rothfuss, Nov 11, 2021.

  1. Mark rothfuss

    Mark rothfuss New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2021
    Location:
    Plympton MA
    Hi,

    Just joined. Did some searching. Didnt really see this symptom.

    Background: been in a new to us home in Plympton Ma for 2 weeks, and went without water immediately while someone was in shower.

    Prior pressure was great. Like a switch really.

    Called around to get info on what gear I have. Its a quad tank Kinetico. Im told its a 2003 "PFFS" PermaFlow Filter/softener. Last servicer said it had Macrolite in tops, resin in bottoms.

    Prior owner said system was working, but house has been empty about 6 mos. Our well test showed bacteria so we used a sanitizer kit in the well.

    My theory, this affected the resin, and now it clogged up.

    Manual rotation of the dial does little. Bw/brine/purge...it will draw water from the brine tank. Then nothing...no sound, no advancement of the metering disks by itself.

    Im handy, My last home I took care of the deep well equipment, replaced the pump, rebedded by iron and softener.

    No familiar with this unit..anyone have some insight based on the above. Taking it apart tonight. Its in bypass.

    Was thinking of emptying it out, putting it back in use empty to see if the metering disks rotate etc.

    Is it reasonable to do this? And possibly rebed this unit myself?

    Sorry this was long,

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Occupation:
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Since this is your well, your water, get a real water test before trying to figure out what is needed and what to fix. If you have a recent test, then please post it. As to the unit, these are proprietary so maintenance can be difficult. It is also a very complex valve compared to many other options available. A modern Fleck or Clack valve have a single internal moving part as opposed to multiple layers of discs, seals, O-rings, check balls, diaphragms, etc...
    Here is a link to one of the better testing companies,
    NTLWATERTEST
     
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  4. Mark rothfuss

    Mark rothfuss New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2021
    Location:
    Plympton MA
    Thanks Ditto....as part of the Home purchase inspection process we paid for a complete well inspection, quality and quantity tests. I will have to post somehow, tomorrow. The water tested very good, so I'm inclined to keep the media the same.

    Tonight I slid the unit back, took off the top valve assm. Not really complicated. Opened each section, cleaned and verified the metering portion is indeed working with the pawls intact. It was pretty clean actually, rings, seals all intact. I followed some online docs and videos of the exact valve assm.

    I called the prior owners and they didn't have much knowledge. I called their last servicer( from 2012), a local Kinetico Auth dealer who had their system on file from last service. They confirmed it has Macrolite in the tops and their brand resin in the bottoms.

    I guess I will open the tanks and see what they look like inside. My assumption since there was NO flow at all, is the resin load has broken down and clogged up flow. If thats it, I'll try to figure out recharging them. Was thinking I could empty them, reattach the units empty just to be sure it meters, and flows water properly. If so, recharge if I can find the materials.
     
  5. Charlie Bosco

    Charlie Bosco Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2020
    Location:
    Florida
    I moved into a home that had a 15 year old Dual tank Kinetico. Did not soften at all even with salt. I was going to rebed the tanks but decided to try using RESCARE. I did back to back Backwashes on both tanks like 3 times in row. Then I added a continuous drip using the RESCARE Feeder system. I am happy to say its been well over a solid year and the softener is FLAWLESS.. I too am handy and replaced the Carbon in my 54" Tank.. But, I'd rather not..

    To speed up the process of cleaning it I changed the meter disc (Ebay) to force BW more often.. Once things went back to normal I swapped the disc back to the original. Get yourself a Hach Hardness kit.. Dont waste your money on strips first like I did..

    RESCARE is dirt cheap and works amazing.. I also use RESCARE in my shop to dissolve and convert rust off my tools good stuff.

    By the way.. I really do love the Kinetico system It is genius... I am glad I did not have to buy it new because I would probably cheap out.. LOL

    Ahh, forgot one more thing.. When I first moved in I had a kinetco guy come in and inspect the valve to ensure things were moving the way they needed.. He did clean some sand out of the gears and ensured things were working mechanically.. But it was the RESCARE that made it Soften again.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2021
  6. Mark rothfuss

    Mark rothfuss New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2021
    Location:
    Plympton MA
    Thanks Charlie....I have heard of Rescare and once I figure out what/what I"m going to give it a try.

    I opened the top of one of the quad's, and inadvertently lifted the tube..So I am going to empty this side of the unit (2 chambers) while saving whats in there for possible reuse. We had super soft water with it, it suddenly didnt flow water at all. Manually operating the valve would start the brine fill and drain but no movement of water. All house water stopped.

    I called a local Kinetico dealer and was quotted almost $1000.00 for just the Macrolite, and Softener media for this unit! OUCH. And thats me doing it DIY style. NOPE. But they are willing to come out and quote me a $4k system immediately. NOPE.

    They have this on file from the last owner (serviced 11 years ago), Macrolite is in the 2 top portions, and their Fine Mesh Resin softener material is in the bottom 2 portions.

    If anyone can weigh in on my plan:

    • Empty 0ne side of the quad unit(since I lifted the tube partway out) saving the media for possible reuse.
    • If all looks well, do the same for the other side-saving the media
    • Install it empty(entire quad unit) with no resin or filter material at all...to see if we now have flow @ the top valve initiates the various manual cycles when advanced.
    • If this test works...and the media's look ok--reinstall the cleaned material back in.
    • Test unit after proper backwashes etc.
    Does anyone have any recommendations to use in place of Macrolite, and thier brand Softerner resin? Seems $1k for .7 & .2 cu/ft of material!

    I have experience with other units, and I do like what I see with this one and am learning about it. I would like to keep it if at all possible.
     
  7. Mark rothfuss

    Mark rothfuss New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2021
    Location:
    Plympton MA
    Took the quad tanks apart.

    Lower larger tank was full (complety full) of softener resin, and the smaller upper had tank has maybe only 1/3 full of Macrolite (Kinetico's filter media-small pebble like gravel).

    While everytjing looked good, including the tubes and basket filters, im concerned about the full load of Resin in the bottom tanks.

    I wonder if a full load of Resin is normal in this type unit? or did this break-down and expand blocking water flow? In my hand it is very mushy with tiny round pieces seen. Going to dry some out to better feel it. According to the Kinetico dealer, that lower tank is supposed to have .7cuft of resin. I cant judge what that will look like in a 8" x 26" round tank. But it was full.

    Otherwise at this point, im thinking of emptying both sides of this quad unit, saving the material, and reinstalling with no resin or filter material to test it out, ensuring house flow and operTion of the valve by manually advancing thru the cycles...also ensure its metering my opening several fixtures nd watching the metering gear and arm.

    Any thoughts on this resin load i saw?

    Thanks
     
  8. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    This is the usual indication the resin has failed. Softener resin should feel granular, similar to beach sand. Resin will expand when the cross-linking has broken down.

     
  9. Mark rothfuss

    Mark rothfuss New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2021
    Location:
    Plympton MA
    Update:

    I dried out some resin and ot appears round nd slippery. So it seems at least normlly intact.

    By my extimate the .7cf would fil the lower tanks, and ive read some posts of other similar model Kinetico's calling for a full bed. So that must be what im seeing.

    I put the whole unit together empty, with valve head, and water flows to house. Ive manually advanced thru the cycles for each side of the quad, and its working.

    So, not sure why the sudden house water stoppage originally.

    Im going to get new resin, keep the rinsed Macrolite media, refill them and install again and re-test.
     
  10. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Resin is not utilized in a dry state. You previously stated the resin felt 'mushy' which is an indication the resin requires replacement. As full water flow was restored by only removing the media, it appears you have confirmed the media was the cause of the flow restriction.

    Because K equip their twin systems with small tanks, it is common for regeneration to occur daily or every other day. Because the tanks are so small, K will often fill each tank with a greater quantity of resin than will be installed in a conventional softener tank.

    A conventional softener tank will be usually filled to 2/3 as the remaining 1/3 will provide the required space for the resin to expand and circulate during the Backwash phase of regeneration. This will allow sediment, debris and worn/broken resin to be easily flushed to drain and will also expand the space between resin granules, thereby increasing contact of the brine with the resin granules, which will improve regeneration efficiency.

    It was previously recommended to obtain a full lab test for your raw well water. While you said your water is 'very good', that statement does not define the condition of the water so as to determine if your current water treatment system is appropriate for the conditions encountered. Suggest posting your current test results so as to obtain feedback and advice relative to your water conditions.
     
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