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Thread: Kinetico softener head rebuild with pics

  1. #1
    In the Trades Jon Heron's Avatar
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    Default Kinetico softener head rebuild with pics

    Hello all,
    Great looking forum here!
    I have acquired a 2 tank well water Kinetico softener along with our house 3 years ago... Long story short there has been a long line of butchers "renovating" ()this old home and one of these butchers had installed this softener. The butcher also left a complete valve assembly completely disassembled in a heap in an old box I found in the basement.
    So here is my story;
    I accidentally snapped the drain barb off the softener one day while working in the pump room and lucky for me I had a spare plate in the box of parts I found so I took apart the valve, cleaned it all up and replaced the plate with the broken drain barb. I then reassembled it all, put it back into service and never thought about it again. That was back in November.
    About a month ago we started noticing that the water was getting hard and we started to get large rust deposits on the tub and sinks etc. I determined that the softener is no longer regenerating/drinking in the brine even when manually turning the control dial.
    Here is what I have done so far based on other posts I have found here;
    1) Disassembled and cleaned out the brine pick up tube.
    2) I left the pickup tube off and manually cycled the dial to see if I had any suction on the hose, no joy, just water pouring out continually. The flow did slow during the "brine-rinse" cycle but it would certainly not pick up any water.
    3) I have now disassembled the valve again and made sure everything is clean and moving freely. I blew out all the orifices and the venturi with compressed air.
    4) Disassembled and cleaned the gear housing and screen and closely inspected the pawls and gears, all looked good to me.

    I then decided to have a good look through the box of parts and low and behold I found 4 plastic balls, 2 small blue ones and 2 bigger white ones (see pics) that I did not have in my newly reassembled valve??
    Does anyone know if these balls are part of this valve? Does anyone have an exploded view or diagram for this thing?
    In the pictures the valves are in the same position that they where in when I disassembled it, do they look like they are in the right positions? Anything else I should do while I have it apart?

    Any and all help is greatly appreciated!

    Sincerely,
    Jon Heron
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  2. #2
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Balls are check valves.

    I have looked for years for a parts breakdown and have never found one. No one has said they found one either. It's part of Kinetico's way of protecting their dealers from DIYers.

    If you had soft water for months and then it went hard, I wouldn't think there was missing parts.
    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.

  3. #3
    In the Trades Jon Heron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biermech View Post
    The check balls are located in the main base. I have had them fall out of place while reassembling the head.

    Thanks a million!
    I found the 2 pillars the blue balls sit on in the base but what about the 2 larger white balls, do you know where they belong?
    One of the blue balls was floating on the top of the tower and the other one is missing?? Should I try and flush it out of the towers or just not worry about it?
    Thanks again,
    Jon

  4. #4
    In the Trades Jon Heron's Avatar
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    Thanks guy's!
    I am going to put it back together now then and try it.
    Andy,
    I tried to send you a PM to see if you knew if these white balls are part of this unit but the board replied back that you are not accepting PM's.

    Finest regards,
    Jon

  5. #5
    In the Trades Jon Heron's Avatar
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    Also, the rust in the window is likely because the tanks have not regenerated since I "fixed it" back in November.
    I am pretty sure I misaligned one of the blue balls when I assembled it back then...
    I took apart the pickup tube and it looks pretty straightforward, there appears to be a floating ball type check in the bottom and a small rubber cylinder with a hole through it at the top above a screen? I cleaned the screen and check ball assembly... Is it worthwhile updating to the newer style? What is the advantage?
    Thanks again,
    Jon

  6. #6
    In the Trades Jon Heron's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Back in action!

    Thanks for your help guys!
    I had a nice soft water shower this morning reminding me of what I had been missing...
    I guess the white balls where from a different machine.
    Gary Slusser:

    I have looked for years for a parts breakdown and have never found one. No one has said they found one either. It's part of Kinetico's way of protecting their dealers from DIYers.
    Gary,
    You really wont need an exploded view to rebuild one of these valve heads, they are very simply and elegantly designed. Other than the 7 piston style valves (moved by water pressure) and the gears in the top the only moving parts are the 2 blue balls and a small rocker arm that you can see in one of the pictures above.
    Quite simple really, just got to pay attention to the blue balls!

    Thanks again all for your help!

    Finest regards,
    Jon
    Last edited by Jon Heron; 06-11-2009 at 05:34 AM.

  7. #7
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Yeah 7 months or so without soft water is no fun.

    The breakdown etc. wasn't for me, it was for guys like you needing or wanting to tear their Kinetico apart and put it back together correctly.

    I'm told a new Kinetico brine pickup is like $85. Quite pricey compared to what it is and regular softener pickups.
    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.

  8. #8
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Looking at all the plastic parts in the pictures, knowing there are many more in the head we aren't seeing, I wonder what makes Kinetico cost so much. They use the same tanks and resins I or any other dealer uses.

    Could it be it is simply to make the dealer more money?
    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.

  9. #9
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biermech View Post
    Who cares! Quite being such a dick.
    I care. And a lot of people that contact me care because they have had Kinetico come out and give them a proposal that they say is ridiculously high and they ask me why that is.

    Why do you care that I care and others care?

    BTW, that should be a ? after Who cares, and then QUIT, not quite. And if you check the user CP, there may be an option to ignore my posts since they seem to bother you so much. Otherwise, you don't have to read them.
    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.

  10. #10
    In the Trades Jon Heron's Avatar
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    I wonder what makes Kinetico cost so much. They use the same tanks and resins I or any other dealer uses.

    Could it be it is simply to make the dealer more money?
    DUH?
    Its called supply and demand Gary, if Kinetico cost too much money then they wouldn't be in business now would they? And yes the name of the game is to make the most money and keep the customers happy... What is the name of your game, make as little profit as possible and be regarded as a hero to your customers??
    Your logic just does not make any kind of business sense...
    So is your bitterness pointed at Kinetico because they cost more than your product? Or do you just feel bad for the consumer? If so DON'T because the consumer is always right and if they pick the more expensive Kinetico over your cheaper product its because they WANTED the higher end unit...
    Its called CAPITALISM!
    Grow up and figure it out! Your comments are juvenile and show a lack of understanding of how the world turns... At least you can spell though eh!
    Carry on,
    Jon

  11. #11
    In the Trades Jon Heron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy CWS View Post
    Jon,

    Let me know if they came through OK. Glad it was easy to manage.

    Andy
    Andy,
    THANKS VERY MUCH!
    I received the entire thing.
    If you EVER need any electrical advice or information don't be shy!

    Finest regards,
    Jon Heron
    PS. its still working great!

  12. #12
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default kinetico

    IF you have the only softener that "does not use electricity", have a controlled sales and servicing environment, have a huge advertising campaign, and charge a lot for it, you can sell it based on "superior" technology, but mostly it is because you have to charge a lot to pay the expenses, not build the softener.

  13. #13
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Heron View Post
    DUH?
    Its called supply and demand Gary, if Kinetico cost too much money then they wouldn't be in business now would they? And yes the name of the game is to make the most money and keep the customers happy... What is the name of your game, make as little profit as possible and be regarded as a hero to your customers??
    Your logic just does not make any kind of business sense...
    So is your bitterness pointed at Kinetico because they cost more than your product? Or do you just feel bad for the consumer? If so DON'T because the consumer is always right and if they pick the more expensive Kinetico over your cheaper product its because they WANTED the higher end unit...
    Its called CAPITALISM!
    Grow up and figure it out! Your comments are juvenile and show a lack of understanding of how the world turns... At least you can spell though eh!
    Carry on,
    Jon
    Supply and demand.... really! Ok, maybe because of the fairly few Kinetico dealers.

    "... to make the most money...". I don't agree. The largest, most successful and profitable retailer in the world is Wal Mart. They did not get there by charging the most for the products they sell as Kinetico dealers do. And the only parts of the softener Kinetico makes is the control valve and bypass valve, the rest is the same as I and other dealers sell. The problem with that is the Kinetico customer doesn't get a higher end unit, they get an over hyped and overpriced and very proprietary control valve that they can't get parts for anywhere except at the one'n only usually overpriced local dealer.

    Also, we aren't taking about people buying a Kinetico instead of the industry standard off the shelf softeners I sell. It's the other way around, the person doesn't buy Kinetico and then contacts me, and 7-8 out of 10 buy from me.

    As far as my business, I sell a lot of equipment by charging a fair price and I'm very pleased with what I make (I'm sure you'd be surprised). I've been in direct sales for 28 yrs and I'm set in my ways so I won't be changing anything, especially when it ain't broken. But thanks for your concern.
    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.

  14. #14
    In the Trades Jon Heron's Avatar
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    Forget it Gary, you dont get it. Your posts speak for themselves. No point in continuing this line of discussion...

    Andy,
    Thats right! All I needed was a 5/16" and a 1/4" nut driver and a little soap and water to put it back together... Not bad for a dopey sparky eh!
    Then again unfortunately for my spare time DIY is my middle name!
    In all seriousness though the valve is quite easy to rebuild, I was impressed at the simplicity of the design. Not needing ANY electric motors or timers to fail and or reset after a power outage make you wonder why other manufacturers wouldn't move towards the same technology...

    Thanks again!
    Jon

  15. #15
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Heron View Post
    Forget it Gary, you dont get it. Your posts speak for themselves. No point in continuing this line of discussion...

    Andy,
    Thats right! All I needed was a 5/16" and a 1/4" nut driver and a little soap and water to put it back together... Not bad for a dopey sparky eh!
    Then again unfortunately for my spare time DIY is my middle name!
    In all seriousness though the valve is quite easy to rebuild, I was impressed at the simplicity of the design. Not needing ANY electric motors or timers to fail and or reset after a power outage make you wonder why other manufacturers wouldn't move towards the same technology...

    Thanks again!
    Jon
    Jon, you're right, I don't get why a bunch of blow molded plastic parts and a few gaskets cost so much.

    But, I do get that it has taken you, a seasoned DIYer as you say, 7 months and posting here numerous times over a few days and receiving whatever Andy sent you or told you, along with biermech's input, before you could fix your Kinetico and you had a spare valve in a box!! And for most of the 7 months, you thought you had fixed it. LOL

    Hopefully Andy told you what could be wrong that is allowing rust up in the head.

    BTW, the rest of the industry doesn't go with Kinetico type water powered control valves because they don't have 1% of the problems with their electrical or electronic components that Kinetico and their dealers' salespeople claim. Or that their duped gossip repeating customers claim. And, the electronic valves have many features that water powered valves can not have.
    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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