Do I need a new Softener - Have Kinetico?
Long post, some background and advice needed....
Bought a Quad 50 and RO from Kinetico dealer about 12 years ago, about $4K installed, shortly after I bought the house new.
Within no time, I felt much better showers and the ice cubes were clear. I was a happy camper.
About 9 mos later the RO shut down - it's apparently metered and this is what it does after 500 gallons (needed or not). I called them out to install new filters - $150 or $200 as I recall. I asked if I could do this myself after the second time, they said no problem, comes w/instructions etc.
I bought filters next time at $50 or $60, they wanted to know if I wanted to be added to the "yearly reminder" to change filters. I was like :confused:
About a year or 2 later the cubes were no longer clear - even after a new fridge.
I had to have them come out a few times to check the quad 50. At only a couple years old it had to have a carbon rebed. They only charged me labor. Hardly trouble free to say the least.
Last time they were out (don't recall what the problem was, Quad leaking or something) I told them I had to manually "twist the knob" to get water once in awhile. I was told to take apart the valve and clean it by the tech. I only clean the brine tank but the guy said it wouldn't be any problem for me to do it myself if I didn't want to pay $250 for them to do it.
Then I noticed after a year of much RO usage, this thing didn't shut down and was making odd noises. I requested it be repaired under warranty and was told I didn't have a warranty from both the dealer and Kinetico due to
"all service must be preformed by an authorized Kinetico technician only while the warranty period is in effect".
Lucky me, I got 5 years out of them, they got another $1K+ out of me after this repair (good thing I was changing filters myself or it would have been double that)...
I ended up sending the RO out of town to another dealer to fix under warranty. He said I needed all new filters and membrane @$250 - the filter head assy was replaced under warranty (so much for membranes being good for 10 years w/a whole house Quad 50).
Since then, never have seen clear cubes and since the last time they serviced the Quad 50, we have to jump out of the shower a few times a year, run around the yard and twist the knob so we have water (guess a little dirt isn't going to filter itself out).
Mail ordering filters has been a hit and miss proposition all along, gotta make 3 calls every time for the most part, tried 3 or 4 different dealers to boot. All the same frustration, at a slightly reduced cost vs the local dealer.
About a year ago I opened up the tank to look at the bladder. It had all kinds of rubber residue on the inside walls. I like the design, looks like the bladder is replaceable. I cleaned it the best I could.
So last month I needed filters again and figured I get a bladder too. No dice, gotta buy the whole tank. No prob, send filters and tank, $150....
Except after 3 calls to one dealer, we'll get it right out, never showed, called a 2 or 3rd time as usual, "let me check the price and I'll get back to you", I gave up. Called 2 or 3 more dealers, never got a return call.
Kinetico dealers want to soak you (pun intended), not for the DIY'er. Only took me 10 years to figure that one out. And to think, I thought Harley was bad, Harley is GREAT in comparison :eek:
I finally gave up on this thing and tossed it out the window, got a 5 stage RO w/filmtec membrane and permeate pump. Supposed to be a great membrane and w/permeate pump much more efficient - less water waste, better pressure to the fridge. Got a set of filters too, all for $250. Google airwaterice (I'm a reefkeeper as well). I had a bad pump out of the box, they got a new one right out. They claim lifetime warranty on all parts (not that there is many) filters get changed 1X year, membrane every 3-5 years. I hope the service stays good - everyone that deals w/them says it is and will.
Now you know what life is like owning a Kinetico.
When it worked it seemed like it did a good job but I've learned consumers are probably better off with an "inferior" product with great service, than a "great" product with lousy service, no matter the cost - which is a double whammie w/Kinetico.
With the valve being goofy and carbon, resin or whatever, at about the 10 year mark, I think it's time to throw this thing away too. I might tear it apart and see if I can clean it but want to be prepared to replace it if I have to buy parts.
It's difficult to find active forms on the subject and even more confusing looking around for info. Seems *most* of the industry just wants to test water, tell you you're gonna die without owning what they're peddling.
I don't mind the salt and the old dealer told me not to switch to potassium when I asked them about it (I'll take that w/a grain of salt (yet another pun) considering the treatment of the past).
Salt free sounds good, catalytic converter on my water softener??? I don't like the idea of any electronics outside, near salt in an enclosed container that houses the whole mess. I also see "on demand" regeneration rather than timed - sounds more efficient.
I called a local dealer that sells Warren Buffets stuff, sounded like Kinetico all over at first glance and $$$ quote for an RO. I think I'm gonna have to tackle this on my own, know that I can get parts at a reasonable cost and if by chance anyone can recommend a dealer that provides a good product with great service I'm willing to pay reasonable cost, let them do it from beginning to end.
I'll do anything I need at this point except allow history to repeat itself.
Suggestions for a guy in Dallas????