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Thread: Kinetico RO trouble

  1. #1
    Gman is offline Junior Member
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    Mar 2011
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    Default Kinetico RO trouble

    Hello
    Glad to find the site.Im new here.
    Got a Kinetico softener and Kinetico Plus VX Deluxe RO.Was installed new by service guy about 7 or 8 years ago.I have done all my pre and post filter changes over the years and never had any problems.The whole system is a well water system and has very clean soft water coming into the house.Lucky!The main pressure holding tank is set at 40 psi to turn pump on and shuts off at 60 psi.Has been this way for the whole time and has worked great.Last week I noticed the RO drain was running full time.The company that sold the system is no longer a sales rep for Kinetico so I have had to get filters from a different city 5 hours away.So getting a service call isnt really an option.The warranty is probably over at this time so I looked at this myself.
    Drained the black style holding tank,labeled the hoses and took the tank down.Always got about 11 or 12 quarts of water per drain as we always run the system empty when we use water and put into big jug for easier and faster pouring.Was told not to pour just one glass at a time from tap by sales rep as causes more wear and tear on the system.
    Taking the drained tank down I noticed it still held lots of water.Unscrewed the top and with the bladder still attached was able to pour out loads of water from the tank from between the outer bladder and the tank.A couple gallons or very close to it.No tears or holes in bladder.I took the bladder off the head and took head apart.Very little gunge inside all on the drain side pathways of the head.Impressed me for 7 or 8 years of use.Slow careful cleaning and relube the rubber plungers and orings.Bleached and rinsed several times all parts and bladder.Reassembled and reinstalled.Turning the water back on slowly as per usual so as not to shock and membrane or valves I can hear water completely filling the black holding tank.
    Took down and drained again,put on new pre and post filter.Left over night to refill.Morning comes and the drain is still running and now there is no water produced out of the tap.Big burp of air but no water.Sigh...
    With the head unscrewed from the tank I can see the 2 passages on the sides of the head threads that have water running out of them that are filling the tank not the bladder.The 2 plungers in the head are nice and clean move easly.The white spring loaded check valve opens and closes fine and has what I feel is good spring pressure to seat it.I used vasoline to lube the orings and the plungers.No external leaks anywhere.
    My question is did I miss something or do I pack up the whole RO and ship it to the other city to get serviced.Or scrap the tank and get a new one and start fresh?I am assuming the filter and membrane head is ok and my troubles lie at the tank.
    Any help before I call the service guys in the land far far away would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
    Grant

  2. #2
    pawaterguy is offline Senior Member
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    Mar 2010
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    It's more than likely a bad tank module. That's the part on top of the tank where the lines tie into it. There are 2 pistons in there. When they fail you either get a run to the drain, delays at the faucet or both. The tank is water over water so there will always be water on the inner and outer side of the bladder. The outer water used the water pressure of the house to drive the water out of the inner bladder when the faucet it opened. Getting air int he system when changing filters is one of the most common ways to "kill" your tank module. Always fill your prefilter with water before putting it on, etc etc. Hope that helps.

  3. #3
    pawaterguy is offline Senior Member
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    PS: never use vaseline to lube anything in your water system. If you feel compelled to lube use silicone. vaseline is petroleum based and will wear the seals over time.

  4. #4
    Andy CWS is offline Moderator
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    Dec 2006
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    Port Clinton, Ohio, United States
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    Agreed on the petroleum-based lubricants. They make o-rings swell and over tighten housings, etc., and eventually deteriorate the o-rings, making them fail.

    Another way to change filters is to remove the 1/4"line next to the 3/8" on top of the tank before filling the unit. The air will blow out. when water appears, reconnect.

    But now that you have taken it apart, I'm not sure what alterations occured or what repairs will make it work. The modulator can't have any airlocks.

    Kinetico did have issues with this particular design although there are thousands out there still going strong.

    Andy Christensen

  5. #5
    pawaterguy is offline Senior Member
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    If I had a dime for every time I saw the vaseline sitting near the water equipment and had to have "the talk" with the owners. Also, I don't know why I never did that trick with the 1/4" line before. I still service quite a few of the ole KRO's that we haven't upgraded to K5's yet and that may save me some time. Thanks, Andy!

  6. #6
    Gman is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks guys.I did have great luck with taking it apart yet another time and bleeding the air out.The drain stops fine and the volume is right up to original again.I will tear it down again and get the vasoline out of there this weekend.I know the little beast inside and out now real well.Took some time and thinking but was sure in the end that the water in the tank outside the bladder had to be there.So hearing it from the pros was good news.
    Im so happy to have saved the trouble of a service call and the dollars out of the pocket for something I could do myself.
    Thanks again for the tip on the silicone versus vasoline.Never again!
    Grant

  7. #7
    PRR
    PRR is offline Junior Member
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    +3 on no petro lubes on most water seals.

    I put Vaseline on a GE filter O-ring. A month later when I opened again, the 4-inch ring was about four and a half inches around, was NO-WAY going to go back into the groove.

  8. #8
    Gman is offline Junior Member
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    Took it all apart again and did a cleaning of the 2 o-rings.Lubed with silicone and reassembled.All is working great one more time.
    Grant

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