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Advice on selecting water softener, leaning on Kinetico

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  • Advice on selecting water softener, leaning on Kinetico

    I have been researching whole house water softeners for some time.

    I had spoken to Pureonics, a vendor for Home Depot, a vendor for Costco, Kinetico and maybe 2 others (I don't recall each brand name).

    Most of the sales people did not have technical answers or had pitches that were not grounded in facts that they could point to. For example, the Home Depot's vendor's system didn't even have carbon standard on all models! I'm clear that carbon filtration is required to preserve the life of the resin, and to remove chlorine/etc.

    The Kinetico system stood out to me in a number of ways as superior. I believe the only model suggested was the 4040s (dual alternating carbon/resin system). It comes with a 10 year warranty, and is being sold for about $4995 including tax + $585 installation. While I think this is a steep price, the other vendors were coming in between 3500-6000 as well including installation and with varying qualities of product (all were single resin tank systems), however all came with under-sink RO.

    At the $4995 Kinetico price point, that's without the K5 or any RO system which would add about $2000 more to the price.

    I'm thinking about skipping the RO system. We have about 18gpg hardness and we're in desperate need of a softener on our new home. I'm a little troubled by the thought of drinking excess sodium or potassium. Not even sure if Na or K is better (aside from price and efficiency)?

    I don't really care about the non-electrical/purely mechanical nature of the Kinetico, I also think that if a recharge happens at 3AM, it probably will never bother me that I need 2 tanks, but I get the concept of always flushing with softened water and brine with softened water (seems like it makes sense that it would last longer). The flow rate on the Kinetico seems important, but all the other vendors said their slightly lower flow rate shouldn't matter. I have a 3 story town home.

    I believe there is an option to rent the system monthly for about 45-55$ per month which sounds appealing (indefinitely).

    While I'm leaning towards Kinetico, at the price point offered to purchase, I could not also get an RO. The other systems would include the RO (but I'm sure nothing like the K5 system).

    Really troubled by the conflicting information that each sales rep of each company shared and their lack of in depth knowledge. Kinetico rep by far had the most technical knowledge, but the highest overall price.

    What do you recommend? and can you please be specific and technical if possible? All of my neighbors seem to have one or another system, don't seem to understand why their system is better, and don't seem to care, other than they work and get the job done and have an RO included. It's a new community, so no one has the experience of time to see how each system holds up.

    Much appreciated for the guidance.
    Last edited by dps098; 03-20-2016, 06:33 AM.

  • #2
    Go with the Kinetico. The unit is leaps and bounds better than the other options. More efficient, longer lasting thanks to the way it regenerates (uses treated water from the opposite tank rather than untreated raw water)...it is the way to go if you can swing the money. The RO's quoted with the other systems will be "ok", but generally you get what you pay for. The air charged tanks don't hold up all that great (either the bladder fails completely or you need to adjust the air pressure up every year to compensate for loss). The TDS reduction is "ok" but generally not great. With the K5 from Kinetico I can count on 90+ percent reduction a majority of the time. With the other stuff out there I am happy if I can get 80% out of them. Differences in design and membranes account for it. Plus, the WOW tank Kinetico uses delivers high flow all teh way through the tank rather than how a bladder tank works...delivering good at first and dying off as you get through the tank. Yada yada yada...Kinetico every time.

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    • #3
      I did a little research, but got confused.

      The reason I wanted a water softener is because I noticed that when ice melted, I would get this white powdery substance in the bottom of my glass. Its odd, because it only comes from melted ice. I can fill a cup of water and let it sit all day, and none of this white stuff appears.

      Before my fridge made ice from filtered water and this stuff would appear with the filtered water. Then the ice make broke and now I use tap water and the same thing happens. As it turns out, minerals from hard water can not be filtered out, so any kind of water filtration system can’t remove these minerals (and much less efficient). The solution is a water softener.

      Then looking at theses, there are a few kinds and they need salt although some of them use other things that are far more expensive. Then I read something about issues with people with low sodium diets and salt-based water softeners. Will the water taste salty? I can’t have that. Then there are secondary things like reverse osmosis filters you can use and so on.

      Hopefully we can get some good advice.

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      • #4
        You will never go wrong with Kinetico

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        • #5
          As a water filtration system, Kinetico works great. As a water softener, it does not compare to a regular salt-based softener. I base this on the fact, the water still leaves my skin feeling dry and itchy and I get hard water marks left on the shower glass door. The water is crystal clear and tastes great. I may add a conventional softer after the Aquasauna system. When installing make sure you use pink thread tape and the correct pipe adhesive, Install was a breeze with the PEC system. You may need to build a structure as I did to install the filter housing. Since writing this article, I found that I need the water softener tank to go with the filtration unit. I have ordered this part and will add my findings to this article once installed and tested for a few weeks.

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