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Thread: Kinetico softener head rebuild with pics

  1. #16
    Radon Contractor and Water Treatment 99k's Avatar
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    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.
    Gary:
    For the record, Walmart sucks and I refuse to shop there! If you think the ideal business model is being the cheapest, then let's look at the discount retailers and the wake of dead bodies. Hmmm ... Caldor, Bradlees, Ames, Grants, Montgomery Ward, Woolworths, should I continue or do you get the point. Never, Never compete on price only ... knowledge, service, etc gets the order. If you try to get every order (with the lowest price strategy), then you are doing something wrong. BTW, I shop at Targets and willing to spend more.

  2. #17
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking Kenitico and culligan

    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    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.
    as far as I am concerned both Kinnectico and Culligan are overpriced junk.......

    The electricity factor is a "bell and whistle" that probably saves only about 2 dollars a year..
    Of course they dont tell the customer how much they actually will save.....
    then it would be a complete joke.





    its all in the mass marketing that they do,
    TV and getting their foot into the new customers home first .......
    before they have a chance to cool off and weigh their optioins...


    I am presently getting a flyer put together right now
    to send out to people that have just bought a home.
    something like Culligan and kinnectico do....

    Planning to offer them a CLACK and a Rheem Pro water
    heater for less than what Kinnectico will cost them alone.$2250.
    ...around 1999 installed for both....

    I am very nterested to see if I get any takers...

  3. #18
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 99k View Post
    Gary:
    For the record, Walmart sucks and I refuse to shop there! If you think the ideal business model is being the cheapest, then let's look at the discount retailers and the wake of dead bodies. Hmmm ... Caldor, Bradlees, Ames, Grants, Montgomery Ward, Woolworths, should I continue or do you get the point. Never, Never compete on price only ... knowledge, service, etc gets the order. If you try to get every order (with the lowest price strategy), then you are doing something wrong. BTW, I shop at Targets and willing to spend more.
    Well you're certainly in the minority if you don't shop at Wal Mart. We do, every chance we get, we especially like Super Wal Marts.

    The point is Wal Mart is the biggest and most profitable because they give their customer quality merchandise at very affordable pricing; in many cases the lowest price but that doesn't mean "the cheapest" quality.

    The companies you mention didn't do that and are out of business. That's life.

    Just a little while ago I sold a 2.5 cuft softener with a Clack WS-1 control to a guy with a busted down 6 yr old Hague that had Kinetico out a few days ago because his father has had a Kinetico for years and suggested them. Kinetico was way too high priced so he called Culligan out this morning and they were too high priced. So he ended up online, somehow he found my customer comments forum, read for over an hour and called me. We went 'round'n round about twin tank softeners and he was about to hang up on me but eventually he came around to understand how they work and that he has no need for one.

    Now from my limited research my price is on the lower side of 'average'. We spent over an hour and a half on the phone. He learned a lot about how softeners work and the different types and correctly sizing and programming a softener and the 'why' behind all of it and salt efficiency. Neither Kinetico or Culligan gave him a 10th of the information I did. So, as I was ready to hang up and telling him to think it over and check with his CFO, He says his wife looked at my prices for a twin and a regular softener from his notes, and she didn't care which he went with and he said let's order it. As usual I did not mention Kinetico's or my competitors' prices but he said Kinetico was over $3,000.00 and Culligan IRC was like $2100. With special resin and distributor tube my delivered price was under $1375.

    Someone here recently mentioned my "mobile home". The only way we can support the fulltime living in it is to buy 'cheap' at Wal Mart and make a lot of softener sales. Yes I could put softeners in the trailer. If I'm right this is in a Wal Mart parking lot.
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    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.

  4. #19
    Radon Contractor and Water Treatment 99k's Avatar
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    Well It is a beautiful rig Gary ... in your case, I can understand your comittment to Wal-Mart since you get to park for free

  5. #20
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Free parking but with groceries and such plus our $4 per prescription life altering drugs we spend about $450 a month there. More if the place has fresh salmon.
    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.

  6. #21
    In the Trades Jon Heron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy CWS View Post
    Jon,

    Am I mistaken here, didn't you put it back together and have it working without any of my assistance?

    You came on this forum with a problem and clear explanation of the symptoms and subsequent procedures in correcting the issues. You have handled it in a professional and respectful way and I can respect that.

    Clearly there is no need for confrontation and belligerence to garnish assistance and advice in this forum. It serves nothing and reveals much.

    As for the rust in the valve, as I said, it is not serious and you have already answered the likely cause which you have corrected. Nice job.

    99k, nice analogy on WalMart. I guess McDonalds has the finest cuisine and Bata makes the best footwear, right....? I can see where some would prefer WalMart, though. Any guesses?

    Good luck,
    Andy Christensen, CWS-II
    Yep thats correct!
    It never worked for the 7 months after I put it back together because I must have misaligned the blue balls. However I didn't spend any of that seven months even thinking about it as the water very gradually started getting hard, not to mention the 100 other things weighing on my mind this year....
    And yes I stand by my original statement that I was impressed by this simple and elegantly designed valve. Anybody with some mechanical aptitude and a desire to repair this valve will be pleasantly surprised at how simple they are. All total I probably spent an hour or less and that includes tearing it down twice. I have spent more time on typing and posting pics in this thread then I have on the valve...
    At my last house I had to rebuild my softener and it was a piece of junk. I cant remember what it was called but it had the valve assembly hanging out the back consisting of several rubber flappers held in place with little steel clips. The rubber flappers were wore and that created major water hammer during the regeneration. It also had an electronic timer for the regen cycle that consistently lost time causing it to regen during the day... Anyways I am sure that is the valve you would find at Wall Mart... Even the tank was blue
    Jon

  7. #22
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sammyhydro11 View Post
    Gary uses this forum to peddle his product. When someone mentions anything about another water treatment brand, he gets very defensive. Jon wanted help, and Gary went into attack mode.

    sammy
    Actually I was the first to reply to Jon Sammy. I answered his question. I guess the attack I made IYO was mentioning the lack of Kinetico in providing a manual online etc..

    It happens to be true, so I don't see an attack in any way or me being defensive. Here's a copy, show me what you are talkng about.

    Gary Slusser Gary Slusser is online now
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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.
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    Quality Water Associates


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by biermech View Post
    Well Gary, let me ask you a question. Why do sell Clack units for more money than you sell Fleck unit for when you buy the Clack for less money? Remember I proved to you that I can buy a Clack cheaper than a Fleck but choose to sell Fleck. I believe it is because YOU want the highest profit you can get from a customer.[/quote]

    Quote Originally Posted by biermech View Post
    Why won't you answer the question Gary? Is it because you are a hypocrite? You talk bad about others maximizing their profits and yet you do the same thing. Tell us why you sell the Clack for more than the Fleck but pay less for the Clack.
    Biermech, I typed a reply to you last night but can't find it. I know some of your posts have been deleted but, I closed a browser window by mistake but I thought that was another reply, it may have been yours.

    I sell softeners and filters with the Clack WS-1 control valve because it is the most featured and easiest control valve to repair and, out of roughly 1240 sales, I've only had 22 problems which is many fewer than when I sold Fleck all but exclusively for 18 yrs.

    I have been looking for a new supplier lately and found one that I've been ordering from the last few weeks. I also contacted another and your Coast pumps; Bob Caswell Water Treatment Sales Manager Coast Pump Water Technologies, you may not know him, and I'm waiting for him to get back to me. I'm not sure they will be able to supply me, or if they will be competitive with my other two; one I've been with 5 yrs.. And the new one is preventing me from having to raise my 4 yr old prices!! Which means I should be able to make more sales when someone is buying based on price, right? Kinda like Wal Mart huh.

    Anyway, let's look at your claim. You are paying $8 less for an L model 5600MM control valve than you pay for a Clack WS-1 control valve. If you bought the regular head 5600MM you should pay more than for the L model but maybe not, it doesn't make any difference. Your invoices are below although they are very hard to read without serious zooming in.

    For you to claim I buy/sell Clack because I pay less for the Clack WS-1 and increase my profitability is absolutely ridiculous.

    If I maximized my profit per sale, I would have raised my prices instead of eating the increases for over the last 3 yrs., especially the freight, as my wife has wanted me to; she's not in sales...

    Actually, I pay slightly more for an entire 1.0 cuft softener including my addons and my unpublished 'extras', that I see you don't include, than you pay for the control valve!

    You need more production to get that type discount pricing. I could help if you want any sales help.

    Jon, you had an Autotrol 155 or 255 control valve on the old softener. It has 6-7 flapper discs/valves operated by a cam shaft and little SS springs. The time of day has to be reset after any power outage so since the time was off, that is your responsibility to keep it set correctly. The Clack WS-1 I sell keeps the time for up to an 8 hr outage and all the programming forever. It also has many features the Autotrol and Kinetico does not have unless you go to their new Logix timer and then it still doesn't have all the features. Any it was designed to be the easiest and fastest control to repair, by 3 ex Fleck engineers. Anyone with a pair of Channel Lock type pliers can replace all of its 5 parts and have the water back on in under 30 minutes.

    Below Biermech's invoices is a picture of the parts without the turbine wheel meter assembly, and we don't count the wrench or valve body. Valve bodies don't go bad.
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    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. #23
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    I previewed 3 pictures, the 2 invoices and the Clack WS-1 parts and see that only the parts pic showed up, That's odd. I'll try the invoices again.
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    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. #24
    Radon Contractor and Water Treatment 99k's Avatar
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    Gary:
    I'm very curious, looking at your rig and seeing the unit/trailer being towed from behind. Do you drop ship water conditioning equipment from a distributor or are you actually building equipment while "on the road"?
    Ken

  10. #25
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 99k View Post
    Gary:
    I'm very curious, looking at your rig and seeing the unit/trailer being towed from behind. Do you drop ship water conditioning equipment from a distributor or are you actually building equipment while "on the road"?
    Ken
    Yeah that trailer is something huh. I drop ship from 2 suppliers with a combined 8 locations around the country. For 18 yrs I assembled all my equipment out of my inventory. BTW, we are always home wherever we are.
    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.

  11. #26
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biermech View Post
    As the invoice shows, I pay $410.77 for a complete softener with a Fleck 5600 meter and $387.56 for a complete Clack softener. How is that only $8.00. I've alway said I can buy a Clack cheaper. If I can do it, so can you, but you sell your Clack for higher than a Fleck. Tells me your a hypocrite based on your comments ealier in the posts.
    I see $338.84 for the Clack on a 9x48 softener minus a bypass valve, and then $346.44 for the Fleck on the same 9x48 with a $36.89 bypass valve. Now as you say, that isn't an $8 difference, it is a $7.60 difference for as you call it a complete softener, which I don't.

    My complete softener has a safety brine system with #500 air check, brine well and cap, salt grid, gravel underbed, bypass valve and plumbing connectors on the Clack, a coil of drain line etc. etc.. If I told you my cost, you'd be calling me a liar.
    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.

  12. #27
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biermech View Post
    What I'm showing is complete units, softener, brine tank and bypass (the bypass comes with the Clack but not the Fleck).
    The whole point of this is why do talk smack about others companies when you charge more for one product than another but pay less. If you pay less the sales price should be less.
    What you are showing is the 5600MM that you actually bought.

    I guess they are "complete" because someone told you they are but IMO they are minimally "complete". You can't get any cheaper than what you are ordering unless you don't include a bypass valve.

    What I sell is a complete softener, and it will cost you a bunch more than you are paying currently. So what do you charge for that 5600MM softener compared to my prices that you can see on my web site? If it is not substantially more than my price, you will be out of business fairly soon unless you sell 20-40 a month as I do, and even then you won't be as profitable unless you have lower expenses than I do. Which I seriously doubt even if you work from home, as I did for 18 yrs.

    I am charged less for Fleck 5600s than Clack WS-1 control valves. Possibly it is the volume discount my supplier gets from Fleck and Clack compared to your supplier, I do not care, it is what it is and I can't control it.

    Talk smack... I say that the Clack WS-1 is a much better valve than the 5600 or 2510 Fleck valves; even if they have the new SXT timer on them; they don't have all the features of the Clack WS-1. That is based on selling Fleck all but exclusively for 18 years and Clack and some Fleck for the last 5.5 years of my total of 23 yrs this year, and comparing the number of problems with both and how easy each is to repair when needed, and the price of the parts. They both have the same piston, seals and spacers design.

    I am looking at it from a prospective customer's point of view, not the amount of money I make. I've been doing that for all but 30 years in direct sales. The person has the option of Autotrol, Fleck or Clack, which you are not giving your prospects because you say electronics are not good. You're wrong.

    I set my prices based on my expenses and the gross profit I want and can still be competitive with other online dealers. I gross very little per sale compared to say you, a local dealer. I do not compete with local dealers, I compete with online dealers. Local dealers can not compete with the prices of an online dealer.

    So really, you selling online or want to? Otherwise why do you care what I sell them for or how much I charge or make?
    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.

  13. #28
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    What is the #500 air check and where does it go, what type media comes with your Clack setup? What are the plumbing connectors?

    witch
    A 500 air check brine pickup is much better than the J brine pickup Biermech uses. It goes down to the bottom of the brine/salt tank; inside the 4" brine well I use and it hangs off the bottom of the 2310 float controlled safety brine system in the brine well that I always include. It prevents salt water overflow from the salt tank if the salt tank overfills due to numerous causes. Biermech doesn't include any of that, just a lower priced J brine pickup.

    So far in 1230+/- Clack sales over 5.5 yrs, I have had only 6-7 complaints of too much water in the salt tank; Fleck is much more prone to that problem than Clack.

    Media in a softener is the resin. There are thee types, regular or fine mesh or SST-60. Regular mesh resin is resin like regular gasoline is regular gasoline; little to no difference from one brand to another.

    Plumbing connectors... they are what are used to connect the water line PLUMBING to the control valve or bypass valve. Clack has many different types and sizes of plumbing connectors for the Clack WS-1 and 1.25 control or bypass valves. More than any other manufacturer; Fleck has none, you use threaded male or female adapters, it's your only choice.
    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. #29
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biermech View Post
    You talk about other companies as to their pricing....

    All I've every said about the electronics on softeners is that I've seen the effects what moisture (salt, water) does to them.

    I've seen the Eco, Sears, Culligan and Hauge units (with electronics) have problems only because of the electronics. Soon I will see Clacks with the same type electronic problem. I don't care who makes, the electronic will go before anything else. And they don't save that much money.
    Yes Kinetico is way overpriced and over hyped for what you get, just the Kinetico valve and the same tanks and resins that you and I sell, and not worth but a 1/3rd of what they charge for them.

    Yes as a serviceman for big box softeners for like 16 yrs, you have undoubtedly seen more problems with them than I have but, you are making a big mistake.

    You are comparing Autotrol, Clack, Erie or Fleck control valves to SEARS!! and other Ecowater built poor quality excuses for softeners!!

    They use cabinet models and most cover the control valve which seals it in the salt water environment of the salt tank. And you won't admit that a softener with a separate salt tank and resin tank a few feet away are not going to have the same problems. BTW, you sell a 5600 Fleck with a metal motor and metal brine and piston stems. Why aren't they having salt environment caused problems? Do you slop grease all over them? Also, real control valves have a full 5 year warranty on the electronics, SEARS! and Ecowater built brands (GE, Whirlpool, Northstar, mortonsalt.com) have 90 days. I'm not sure you can you understand why.

    As to salt savings, the brand of control valve has nothing to do with it. It is a function of how much and what type of resin is used and what the salt dose lbs are set at. Am I to understand that you sell softeners and don't know that?
    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.

  15. #30
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biermech View Post
    Now tell all how you can flow more water through a 1.25" valve when you still have the same size distributor tube.
    The velocity (the speed) of the water increases through the distributor tube.
    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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