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Thread: Is this a Proper Config for Kinetico 4040S OD/RO system?

  1. #1
    deeonline is offline Junior Member
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    Default Is this a Proper Config for Kinetico 4040S OD/RO system?

    Hello,
    We have a 2 story house in Los Angeles. I've just got a quote from a Kinetico dealer for the following Water Softener/RO configuration (see below). Could you please tell me if this looks OK? Did the dealer miss anything (like a prefilter or something)? Are there are any additional questions I should ask them? I am very new to these systems. Thank you very much in advance.

    Kinetico 4040SOD Carbon/Softener with 18x35 Brine Tank
    Sediment PreFilter with 20" BB Housing
    Carbon/Sediment Filter 10 micron

    40 lb. Solar Salt
    Kinetico K5 Reverse Osmosis system with Water-on-Water Storage Tank
    with Optional VOC Guard Filter
    with Hi-Flow Shiny Chrome Faucet

  2. #2
    Andy CWS is offline Moderator
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    Everything looks good. You might waqnt a smaller brine tank (12x16x20) if space is an issue. It holds about 50lbs. I am not sure why there is a carbon/sediment filter before the softener when a plain sediment filter is all that is necessary.

    The VOC filter is a fine option as it removes far more than a typical carbon filter. I don't recommend solar salt as it may not be as clean as 'evaporated' type salts. Definitely don't need any iron-out salt.

    Andy Christensen

  3. #3
    deeonline is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you very much, Andy. I will make sure to ask those questions.

  4. #4
    motwinsplus1g is offline Junior Member
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    I'm curious if you'd want to share the quote he gave you? I just received a quote for the same system and wondering if it's fair. Thanks

  5. #5
    pawaterguy is offline Senior Member
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    If space isn't an issue I never like using the 4040 units. From a service perspective they stink compared to a dechlor1060 and K2040 system. Also, any Kinetico softener will serve you better with the use of salt pellets over solar salt. Solar salt carries some impurities that will eventually cost you a service call where the pellets are cleaner and will avoid the issue. And, as Andy said...I wonder about the carbon filter as well.

  6. #6
    motwinsplus1g is offline Junior Member
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    I am looking into the same systems, the K5 and 4040S units. I'm trying to decide if we need the K5, or if we can get by w/just the 4040. My main concern is whether or not the K5 takes out things we actually need, like calcium, etc. Besides things like arsenic and other chemicals, what does the K5 remove that the 4040 doesn't? Sorry, I don't have the literature in front of me at the moment to be more specific. I'm looking for solid information regarding the benefits of an RO vs not having one. Thanks

  7. #7
    pawaterguy is offline Senior Member
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    A reverse osmosis unit will remove dissolved solids from the water. Things like Nitrates, sodium, lead, etc. The softener removes calcium, iron and manganese. The idea of not wanting to take the calcium out of the water "because it's good for you" is a bit of a misunderstanding of the calcium in hard water. Hard water calcium comes from limestone and is insoluble. Your body does little to nothing with it. It goes in and it goes out. Things like calcium and other minerals should be coming from your food intake and not your water. Water is used by the body to hydrate your cells and allow them to work properly. BUT, if you want a few minerals in your water that are actually going to be used in your body then add the Mineral Plus cartridge on to your K5 unit when you get it. It's the only one out there that I know of with the option for extra filters to customize your end product.

  8. #8
    motwinsplus1g is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you. I was curious if anyone knows how much the replacement filters cost? I have been searching everywhere for this answer and can't find it. I even asked the Kinetico sales rep this question and he never answered me, which I thought was odd, although, we were talking about a lot of things. Again, this would be for the K5 and 4040s, which is what we're looking at. Do we order from "him" or where? And how often do they have to be changed? We have a family of 5 and do use quite a bit of water. I don't know how to start a new post, so hope it's okay that I'm asking here. Thanks again!

  9. #9
    Andy CWS is offline Moderator
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    K5 filters are metered to be changed every 500 gallons; how long would it take to drink 500 gallons? The 4040 should have a prefilter and that may changed about once a year or when pressure drops.
    Costs depends on local dealer. Try to negotiate a spare set of filters at time of purchase. K5 has a wide variety of filters (color-coded) so cost will vary.

    Andy Christensen, CWS-II

  10. #10
    motwinsplus1g is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks, Andy. I just asked the question about the cost of filters on another thread as well, so if you see it, that was me ;-) The other questions I asked on the other thread pertained to whether or not we even need the RO or if the 4040s will suffice. In your experience, what have others done who are on city wells? We are on a city well that gets monitored, but the tests are drawn from one well. The Kinetico guy told us that we have a hardness of 8. I'm a bit concerned about taking all chlorine out and having bacteria grow.

    Our water report shows arsenic as between 0-4.0. Nitrates range between 0 - 2.5 But again, without testing myself, nothing is certain. The Kinetico guy in our region said that he would pay have the tax if we ordered in April. So, I don't have a lot of time if I want to take advantage of that.

    Thanks again!

  11. #11
    pawaterguy is offline Senior Member
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    Don't sweat the bacteria issue. Once the chlorine is used in the water it has done it's job and is from there on a nuisance. The bacteria issue is long dealt with by the time the water gets to your home. The chlorine will at the very LEAST cut your softeners life in half (or, the resins life to be more specific but there are seals and other things to be considered as well). This depends on how hard they are dosing the water based on their bacteria/coliform counts but it's generally pretty safe to say half. I've rebedded softeners on city water as early as 4 to 6 years already due to the chlorine chewing up the resin beads. Invest in the dechlor and sleep soundly.

  12. #12
    motwinsplus1g is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks again. You are both a huge help on these boards. One more question (okay, maybe not the last, but for now...) Is $4,740 too high of quote for the 4040s and K5? The 4040s is 3595 alone, which seems a little high to me. I know Kinetico is more expensive than most, but I want to at least know that it's fair compared to others.

    Thank you so much again.

  13. #13
    pawaterguy is offline Senior Member
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    I try to avoid stepping on toes and interfering with someones living so I won't be much help on the pricing. Kinetico's equipment comes with a price tag but is worth every penny over the competition is all I'll say.

  14. #14
    motwinsplus1g is offline Junior Member
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    I understand. Thanks anyway.

  15. #15
    riceburner99 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Kinetico 4040 vs 2040

    Quote Originally Posted by pawaterguy View Post
    If space isn't an issue I never like using the 4040 units. From a service perspective they stink compared to a dechlor1060 and K2040 system. Also, any Kinetico softener will serve you better with the use of salt pellets over solar salt. Solar salt carries some impurities that will eventually cost you a service call where the pellets are cleaner and will avoid the issue. And, as Andy said...I wonder about the carbon filter as well.
    I have been having problems with my Kinetico 4040 system installed 4 1/2 years ago. Getting periodic salty taste in water. I am assuming that something is going wrong during the backwash cycle and not completely flushing out the brine. The local distributor recently replaced the filters, made sure the drain pipe was clear, etc. When the unit was first installed, I remember that during the backwash, water was coming out of the drain pipe at a pretty decent pressure / rate. Now is it coming out much more slowly (even when I remove the drain pipe connection and just observe the water coming directly out of the head unit fitting).

    The manager at the local distributor says he now wants to start taking the unit apart to troubleshoot. He also suggested that he might just end up swapping the 4040 out with a 2040? I am trying to understand the impact of that from af functional point of view (less capacity?). I saw your comment about preferring the 2040 over the 4040 and I am just trying to understand why, and what the cons may be of the 2040 vs the 4040.

    I would appreciate any info you can provide!

    Thanks,
    Dave
    Orlando, FL

  16. #16
    pawaterguy is offline Senior Member
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    the 4040 has 4 tanks. 2 are the softener and 2 are usually carbon. the 2040 is just a softener...IE half of a 4040. Servicing a 2040 is easier in the long run because you don't have to take the tanks apart to rebed one or the other. I prefer a dechlor1060 in front of a 2040 with a prefilter between them. If you have to rebed the dechlor then you pop it off and rebed it. No screwing around with that extra tank connection. The settings aren't any different. Just preference mind you but for servicing it can't be beat that way in my opinion. If you're getting periodic shots of salty water there are a few things the service guy can check inside the head. Making sure the brine flow control is not clogged is up there on the list. Your service guy should know what to do.

  17. #17
    Andy CWS is offline Moderator
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    How many filters do you have before the 4040? What micron rating? Size? Incoming line pressure? Diameter of incoming pipe?

  18. #18
    riceburner99 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy CWS View Post
    How many filters do you have before the 4040? What micron rating? Size? Incoming line pressure? Diameter of incoming pipe?
    Unfortunately, the guys at Orlando Water never recommended any pre-filters when they did the install and I didn't know any better, so there are none... If I had to guess, my incoming line pressure is probably in the neighborhood of 60 PSI, based on a pressure gauge I have on a sink supply line inside the house. Not sure about the incoming pipe size, guessing 3/4" -- whatever the standard size builders typically used on spec homes 5 years ago... There were still new homes being built in my neighborhood when the unit was installed, so I'm thinking there was a high probability of debris. But I've had a least a 1/2 dozen service calls to address the issue over the last few years -- changing disks, removing debris, replacing drain line, adjust brine metering thing, etc. I still don't know why the flow of water out of the drain pipe during backwash is not nearly as much as when the system was first installled. My wife and I are at the point of being really frustrated and ready to switch over to a cheapie Sears water softener or something so that we have peace of mind that we won't have to spit out a mouthful of salty water when we get a drink... I feel like we have a "lemon" and are ready to be done with it... I think we have probably been through their whole staff of service techs and nobody has been able to give us a permanent fix. Sorry about venting.

    My original post was really about the 2040 vs the 4040, and why it might be better in my situation. The manager at Orlando Water says that since there is less media for water to be pushed through, that he thinks the 2040 is a better unit.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Dave

  19. #19
    Andy CWS is offline Moderator
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    Kinetico 2040 and 4040 are great little units but only when applied properly. These are high efficiency softeners that use little salt and water and should provide adequate flow rate when applied correctly.

    These are up-flow models meaning the water enters the bottom and flows upward during service and downward during backwash. All tanks are fully packed and fine-mesh resins are used. The bottom distributor is not like typical distributors which are conical or cylindrical in shape. They are rather flat and look more like a round screen. Because there is no freeboard (body of water above the resin in standard downflow systems), backwashing is not intended to displace debris or foreign matter but only brine solution instead. As long as nothing gets stuck in there, you will have no issues.

    The Kinetico service tech manual specifically states a prefilter for these two units is required whereas other K-softeners are only recommended. Many dealers don't put them in because they either feel they should not be needed on city water or just looking to cut costs, or both. Other dealers have given up on these because of similar service headaches.

    I have an earlier (18-year-old) version of the 2040 (50c) and I have a prefilter on mine and glad that I have because about twice a year we get a water main break or the city flushes lines and a load of crap goes into the filter plugging it up. Solution: simply replace the cheap prefilter and it works like new. I don't want that junk to go into my softener. This is clogged during service use (incoming upflow), but slow backwashing can result if the screen is clogged when flow reverses. Kind of like an asthma attack, you can breath in but breathing out is difficult.

    Without the filter, that crap gets clogged in the screen and may not be totally flushed out causing backwash flow rate to decrease leaving a salty taste in the water for a short time. Switching to a 2040 without a prefilter will only postpone the same problem. The 4040 tanks can be separated to replace the carbon. While it is apart flush out the bottom screen both ways as best you can. DON'T try to pull out the tube as it is permanently lodged in there. Be sure the cover the tube when replacing carbon so that none gets down inside. I can give you more details if you care.

    It sounds like some service calls were done as a method of frustration. These have only one salt setting (1 lb) and backwashing gearing should not have been altered. Changing discs would not have corrected the problem as they are determined by total hardness levels. As mentioned before, the backwashing control port may be clogged as well. This would require disassembly of the valve and cleaning the effected part. Not all is lost but it is best to understand the problem before charging ahead with a solution.

    Andy Christensen, CWS-II
    Last edited by Andy CWS; 06-09-2011 at 06:35 PM.

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