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Thread: Kenetico Water Softener claim question.

  1. #1

    Default Kenetico Water Softener claim question.

    I have posted this exact message on the Able2Know forum. No need to reply if replied there.

    Someone once said "There are no stupid questions...only stupid people" and I am one of them. I have been trying over the past couple of weeks to educate myself on water softeners. I have been leaning towards a Fleck, Clack or Autotrol type system, but had a Kinetico rep out today to give them a fair shot also. Not that I desire to spend 2500 on unit, but I want to be as informed as possible. I am not good at repeating what other people have said, so please do not take this as an exact quote from the rep. I may be misstating things. On to the issue...

    The rep claimed that ANY electronic system is not as efficient because they regenerate before the resin tank has not reached full capacity yet. This seems to me to be more a function of the twin tank design than the electronics. The claim also seemed to go something like this...Because the of the reserve capacity design of (single tank/electronic) systems they will regenerate before reaching capacity and since when they regenerate they use the same salt dose regardless of capacity used, salt is left in the tank or that the resin is over cleaned. The result being salty/slimy water for a while after regeneration and a decrease in effectiveness of the resin. After time this somehow lessens the ability of the system to soften the water.

    This seems to go against other things I have read. I believe once the resin is cleaned everything is just rinsed out. Is it possible to "over clean" the resin? Now of course if the system backwashes with hard water some the resin will not be at full capacity, but is this really an issue when a tank has be ability to clean 2000 gal of water between regenerations.
    BTW( 15 gpg, city water, 4 person household, 2.5 bath, I have estimated a 48k grain single tank unit would be a sufficient size.)

    If this is an issue with one tank systems wouldn't a Fleck 9000 twin tank design accomplish the same thing for less than half the equipment cost?

    The "down time" of a single tank design a small but not completely insignificant concern because my wife does get up at 3:00 am and I go to bed at 12:00 am. But that still leaves 3 hours of no water use except an occasional toilet flush.

    Thanks,

    Thor
    Supreme Commander of the Asgard Fleet
    (I am a Stargate fan)

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default softener

    The newer systems have a water meter to determine when the softener should regenerate. Kinetico salespeople have a talent for hyperbole and dissing other units, although theirs are extremely overpriced.

  3. #3
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    This is a copy of my reply in other forums.

    I say no stupid question except the one you don't ask. And since all of us are ignorant about many things, I don't find many stupid people.

    The electronics part refers to all softeners other than their alternating twin tank counter-current (upflow brined) regenerated non-electric models.

    The less efficient part is because they mistakenly think their counter current (upflow) regeneration is more salt efficient than co-current (downflow) brining which is used by the vast majority of softeners. Upflow will use the same salt dose, therefore regenerate the same capacity as a downflow softener, so it is not more efficient. Upflow brined units are used to reduce leakage; meaning the amount of hardness left in the softened water. In residential, that is measured in gpg (grains/gallon), and 0 gpg is soft water but... in other applications, leakage is measured in ppm or mg/l, the same measurement. It takes 17.1 mg/l to make 1 gpg. So when the softened water has to have less hardness than 0 gpg, like in certain industries etc., then up flow is used. Any correctly softener can produce 0 gpg soft water, for the total length of the service run meaning number of days between regenerations.

    They also say a twin tank type softener is more salt efficient than a regular softener because they don't require a reserve capacity as a regular softener does. What they don't like to calculate in their comparison is the fact that a twin tank uses capacity equal to or greater than the reserve capacity of a regular softener due to the twin tank softener using softened water for each regeneration of each tank each time a tank regenerates. That capacity uses salt to regenerate the used resin.

    There is little to no benefit in a residential softener regenerating with softened water; or using upflow brining. I size a softener for a regeneration once every 8 days. They say their softener can regenerate a tank every 45-90 minutes, and only uses say 2 lbs of salt and maybe 15 gallons of water BUT... they usually don't say how many times a tank will be regenerated per day. Doing the math with say 2 regenerations/day (30 gals and 4 lbs) means that in 8 days they use more water and salt than my softener using 45-75 gallons and less than 10 lbs of salt every 8 days.

    Very few regular softeners are ever set up to use the maxium salt dose to get the maximum capacity of the volume of resin in the tank. Yet they say their softeners use all of the capacity; which they would have to prove to me that they actually set the salt dose at maximum for the volume and type of resin they use (C-249 and C-266 [fine mesh]) in their softener. Maximum salt dose is usually stated as 15 lbs/cuft of resin. Many of their softeners only have 1/8 to 1 cuft of resin in each tank.

    All softeners rinse all excess 'salt' out of the bed before the unit is put back into service at the end of a regeneration. So you can't over do it but if you use a salt dose higher than 15 lbs/cuft of resin, you're basically throwing it away.

    To get upflow softeners to work well, you have to regenerate them with soft water. Regenerating a downflow softener with hard water is not a problem, but they always say it is.

    Contact me to go over correct sizing, the 1.5 cuft is fine for salt efficiency but, it may not have the SFR (service flow rating) your house requires.

    Yes, a Fleck twin would do the job but you don't need a twin with the increased expense and floor space a twin requires.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

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