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Thread: Remove Kinetico Water Softener System

  1. #1
    Software Engineer AjayK's Avatar
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    Default Remove Kinetico Water Softener System

    We have a old Kinetico Model 30 system in our house. I believe the system is over 20 years old (same age as our house). All I want to do is uninstall/remove it. I have no instruction manual of it and Kinetico web site and Google didnt help. The system is not electric and has two tanks. I think this is the one: http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2992

    It has these gray adapters(?) on it: www.*******.com/8pwvfp
    What are these called?

    Can anyone tell me what steps should I take to uninstall this system. I will later replace it with another system but thats a different issue.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by AjayK; 01-16-2009 at 09:14 PM.

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    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Does the system have a by-pass? It should...all you need to do is by-pass it until you want to replace it...

    If the by-pass doesn't work or you don't have one then you need to shut the main valve, release the water pressure, cut the water line going in and out of the softner / by-pass and connect them, test for leaks and your done.
    Last edited by Cass; 01-17-2009 at 04:44 AM.

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    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AjayK View Post
    It has these gray adapters(?) on it ...
    What are these called?
    Those are possibly Qest fittings, and my own Kinetico has the same. They are like big compression fittings with standard pipe threads on one end for connecting to the incoming and outgoing supply lines. To remove them after turning off your water and de-pressurizing the system, unscrew the big nuts and pull the gray tubing away from where the nut had been fastened. You will ultimately end up with pipe threads on the ends of the incoming and outgoing lines where the softener used to be, and you will need to plumb those two lines together.

    Are you planning to get rid of the Kinetico altogether? If so, I would be interested in having it as a backup.
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    Software Engineer AjayK's Avatar
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    leejosepho,

    Thanks. Yes, it does appear to be Qest fittings. How do you depressurize the system?

    Also, I am planning to get rid of it altogether. I am in Eastern PA so it may be too far for you. I do see occassionally some leaking on it though. I rather not fix this unit.

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    Software Engineer AjayK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cass View Post
    Does the system have a by-pass? It should...all you need to do is by-pass it until you want to replace it...

    If the by-pass doesn't work or you don't have one then you need to shut the main valve, release the water pressure, cut the water line going in and out of the softner / by-pass and connect them, test for leaks and your done.
    Yes, the system does a bypass and I am going to put it on Bypass. How do I release the water pressure? That was my main concern. I didnt realize that this unit works on pressure w/o electricity.

    I am actually going to replace it with a high end Kenmore Water Softener and I am hoping that it should be simple once I have removed this unit.

  6. #6
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Why are you wanting to replace it...Kenmore is low end in my NSHO...

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    I agree with Cass, High End and Kenmore shouldn't be used in the same sentence.

    To depressurize a normal softener, you would put it in backwash after killing the valve feeding it. With the Kinetico this task wouldn't be so easy since you can't get your hands on anything in that head. If it's possible to kill a valve in front of the unit, simply open a faucet after it. Pressure will go to zero in a hurry.

    bob...

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    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AjayK View Post
    How do you depressurize the system?
    After shutting off your pump (if you have a well) or closing your main valve (municipal supply), just open any convenient tap or faucett to de-pressurize the entire house ... then close that tap or faucett to help reduce the amount of water that will begin running out when you begin disconnecting lines.

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    Software Engineer AjayK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cass View Post
    Why are you wanting to replace it
    It leaks. I got a call from installer about replacing the unit because some parts(resin?) have a shelf life of 7 years and that passed a year ago. He was going to charge $1800 for a new unit. I never like to pay for installation as I can figure out basic myself. It would be significantly cost effective for me to install a new unit.

    If you dont like Kenmore, what make/models are rated high for quality and durability.

    One of my main concerns is that our water consumption is close to 10000 gallons a month. It seems high for us (3 kids), 2 adults when I compare it to others. I do think this unit has something to do with it.

    Also, if I put the system in Bypass, does it effectively shut the unit so that it does not regenerate. If not, what can I do to shut it down completely without removing it.

    Thanks.

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    Software Engineer AjayK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho View Post
    After shutting off your pump (if you have a well) or closing your main valve (municipal supply), just open any convenient tap or faucett to de-pressurize the entire house ... then close that tap or faucett to help reduce the amount of water that will begin running out when you begin disconnecting lines.
    Thanks. I guess that would mean I should do this when I am ready to install the new unit.

    Also, my Qest fittings are on copper piples. Do I use a regular wrench for it or does it come with special wrench. I am assuming its just like a regular nut.

  11. #11
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    $1800 is steep for any Kinetico softener.

    Using the bypass valve (if it is operable) will shut off water to the unit completely. It will make it like you don't have one in line at all. As for those fittings, I'm not familiar with them and recommend standard tried and true fittings that any Plumber would use. Not something that is proprietary or hard to find replacements.

    Gary Slusser is lurking around somewhere, I suggest you talk to him about buying one and installing it yourself. That's his specialty, and his pricing is very low.

    bob...

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    DIY Senior Member Probedude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AjayK View Post
    One of my main concerns is that our water consumption is close to 10000 gallons a month. It seems high for us (3 kids), 2 adults when I compare it to others. I do think this unit has something to do with it.
    10,000 g/month is only 333 gallons per day. This isn't that unreasonable.
    We only have 1 child and between the three of us, our daily water usage I think is ~ 200 gallons.

    Our biggest culprit WAS the top loading washing machine. We do about 1.75 loads per day and sometimes double rinsed them. Our water usage dropped by 1/2 with the front loader.

    Our 2nd culprit is landscaping.

    I'm sure your usage is higher WITH the kinetico than without, but I'll bet your usage is high too. The more water you use, the more often your softener has to cycle.

    We have a generic Fleck water softener, 48,000 grain with demand metering - I think I paid $600 for it delivered (Gary Slusser knows A LOT about water softeners).

  13. #13
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Kinetico has modified their control valves many times over the years. And they have added new models to their line. Reusing an older model that has been discontinued may not be a good thing; especially if you want spare parts.

    Yes to get non electric to work, they use water power which depends on pressure.

    QEST fittings are great and very easy to use, only tighten the nuts until they squeal and then a 1/4 turn; do not over tighten them. Actually they do not have pipe thread, the threads are not used to make the seal, the white piece in the picture seals against the fitting's seal surface and the nut forces the two parts together. The SS retainer ring, and nut, then holds the pieces in place. You can also use Shark Bite fittings.

    Although I'm seeing more'n more people posting problems with Kinetico equipment, on average Kinetico softeners work well but so do many others. Others can be just as "efficient" but won't be regenerated near as often as the small Kineticos so you can actually get better efficiency with a different type.

    Kinetico control valves will not allow the customer to change the hardness or salt dose setting without the customer buying a new parts; or calling for service at whatever the one'n only local dealer wants to charge for it and the parts. I.E. recently on another forum I saw a dealer wanted $200 for a new salt tank and $80 just for a salt tank float that they use to set the salt dose with...

    Kinetico simply put are sold for rip off prices and, you pay for the name only because all the rest of the softener, tanks, resin etc. is the same all the rest of us sell. IOWs, Kinetico only makes the control valve. The sales people hype the non electric and I ask why they cost so much since they have no motor, computer, wire/cable etc. etc.? (it's so they make more money)

    Anyway, I strongly do not suggest any big box store brand. They last about 2-5 years before they have expensive problems.

    I do suggest a softener with the Clack WSW-1 control valve that is correctly sized for your family size, number of bathrooms and the type of fixtures in them that will usually give you a regeneration on average once every 8 days using very little salt and water.

    Fleck valves and especially the 5600 can not compare to the Clack WS-1 for features, ease and speed of repair, especially for a DIYer and simplicity.

    Check out the sizing page on my web site to learn all about correctly sizing a softener.
    Last edited by Gary Slusser; 01-17-2009 at 10:46 AM.
    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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    DIY Senior Member Probedude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Fleck valves and especially the 5600 can not compare to the Clack WS-1 for features, ease and speed of repair, especially for a DIYer and simplicity.
    Gary,
    From your website I see that the Fleck 7000/7000SE is not recommended - that it is not as efficient with water as the Clack WS-1. Does this hold true for the 5600SE also?

    Specifically why does the Clack WS-1 minimize water usage over the Flecks?

    TIA
    Dave

  15. #15
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking kenmore is very low end

    the kenmore wont even hold a candel to the CLACK

    the Kinnecteco brand is very high priced and we are
    seeing them go bad more and more in this area due to
    the high water pressure in our area 110psi


    you ought to Get the Clack from Sussler and you wont go wrong...

    My Clack 45,000 grain unit used only
    13 40 lb bags of salt last year


    CASS...
    I bet 50 bucks that he already has that
    cheap Sears unit out of the box..

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