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Thread: Water softener issue: Try to repair or replace?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Debthegardner's Avatar
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    Default Water softener issue: Try to repair or replace?

    Having exhausted myself searching the web for water softener comparisons and/or repair of my old, existing unit, I find myself here!
    A bit of background:
    Currently have a Kenmore Deluxe Demand Water Softener in place, originally purchased in 1999. OK, it's Old. First symptom of trouble was very low water flow in shower and kitchen faucets. One plumber found nothing wrong. Second plumber found evidence of resin beads in the shower faucet, which he said indicated my water softener was going, going, not yet gone. I am concerned about these resin beads clogging up the plumbing. An RO unit under the kitchen sink has stopped functioning except for a few drops. I have purchased replacement filters for that unit but do not want to install them until the water softener issue is addressed.

    It seems everybody has a fave as to which is the better softener. Sears carries several Kenmore models, all but one of which is LESS expensive than the one I purchased 14 years ago. How can this be? I have been unable to locate anyone in this area to check out/repair the old unit (ie. replacement resin beads, etc.) Hubby is leaving it to me.... Any advice would be much appreciated.

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    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    I am a 25+ year technician and will not, nor have I ever touched the Kenmore softeners. I would recommend a Fleck, Autotrol, or Clack based system. No cheap imports or big box store units. Most of those are "lowest bidder wins" units.

    The unit costs have gone down since they only push price. It is a race to the bottom with many of the water treatment units. Remember the race to the cheapest cars in the 80's? Hyundai, Yugo, etc... The cars kept getting cheaper, and worse.

    Spend a few extra bucks and get a high end unit.

    Send me a PM, I know several companies locally that will get you a good deal on a real unit.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member Debthegardner's Avatar
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    ditttohead,
    I sent you PM's and am waiting for your reply. Thanks!

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    DIY Junior Member Debthegardner's Avatar
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    Still looking into the units you recommended. Any advice on those local companies? Thanks!

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    DIY Member silversaver's Avatar
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    the softners are much cheaper than before, I have ask the same question almost 6 months ago. I got Fleck 7000 and they are ok

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    DIY Junior Member Debthegardner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silversaver View Post
    the softners are much cheaper than before, I have ask the same question almost 6 months ago. I got Fleck 7000 and they are ok
    Hi Silversaver,

    Thanks for responding! I have pretty much decided on the Fleck 7000 also. My question to you is, did you buy it online or from a local dealer that installed it for you? I'm having difficulty finding a local installer and am wondering if an installer would require me to purchase the unit from them or be OK with installing one I purchased online. Am not sure of the price differential in buying online versus buying from the installing plumber.

    Did you install your Fleck 7000 yourself or have a pro do it? If a pro, would you recommend your installer and give me a referral? This would be great as we are both in Orange County!

    Thanks again for any help you can provide.

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    DIY Member silversaver's Avatar
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    I use the guy referral from Dittohead (Jason). He is good and I'm sure Dittohead can forward his info to you. I pay $700 for system (1.5 cu/ft, 8% crosslink, brass sweat, 32mm hi flow distributor) and $500 part and labor installation, he will deliver and install the system. pm me if you need his info. I also need to contact the installer for Fleck recall tomorrow.

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    DIY Junior Member Debthegardner's Avatar
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    Default Water softener info

    Quote Originally Posted by silversaver View Post
    I use the guy referral from Dittohead (Jason). He is good and I'm sure Dittohead can forward his info to you. I pay $700 for system (1.5 cu/ft, 8% crosslink, brass sweat, 32mm hi flow distributor) and $500 part and labor installation, he will deliver and install the system. pm me if you need his info. I also need to contact the installer for Fleck recall tomorrow.
    Hi again, Silversaver!
    Thank you for responding with this info. I haven't received a reply from Dittohead for his referral, so if you can pm me with Jason's contact info, I would very much appreciate it. I am not sure of the 1.5 or 2.0 cu/ft. issue, or the rest, either, but am hopeful that the referral can figure this out for me. Did Jason sell you the unit AND install it? Just wondering about this as there seem to be some less expensive prices online for the same unit

    By the way, what's the issue with the Fleck that's causing it to be recalled?

    Deb

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    DIY Member silversaver's Avatar
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    For yorru info, but nothing to worry about since the new batch shouldn't have any issue

    http://www.terrylove.com/forums/show...ck-7000-valves

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    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Sorry for not responding, it has been hectic with all the travel the past few weeks. Pricing for units online can be a little cheaper, but often times you get what you pay for. If someone can do it locally for under $1000 for a high end unit, you are doing fine. Many of the internet companies that we supply are always looking for the cheapest items to make their units $5 less than the other online guy. We keep different equipment for different companies. We do not recommend the low end equipment, but we also supply what our customers want. Local guys will almost never source any of the low end stuff since it will come back to bite them since they will be the one going back on the service call. It is also highly recommended the units be installed by a licensed contractor, and in many states it is required.

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member Debthegardner's Avatar
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    Default Water softener advice

    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    Sorry for not responding, it has been hectic with all the travel the past few weeks. Pricing for units online can be a little cheaper, but often times you get what you pay for. If someone can do it locally for under $1000 for a high end unit, you are doing fine. Many of the internet companies that we supply are always looking for the cheapest items to make their units $5 less than the other online guy. We keep different equipment for different companies. We do not recommend the low end equipment, but we also supply what our customers want. Local guys will almost never source any of the low end stuff since it will come back to bite them since they will be the one going back on the service call. It is also highly recommended the units be installed by a licensed contractor, and in many states it is required.
    Thanks for the info. It looks like the real deal is going to be much pricier than I thought. Quotes of $1800-$2280 for a Fleck 7000, installed. Was told that some of the online stuff is fake, or from China. Go figure....
    I have found a licensed contractor (C55 license) that I will probably hire. Sure did learn lots more than I ever imagined about water softeners (from internet, blogs like this one and speaking with contractors.)

    Thanks guys!

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    DIY Junior Member Debthegardner's Avatar
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    Default Pentair?

    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    Sorry for not responding, it has been hectic with all the travel the past few weeks. Pricing for units online can be a little cheaper, but often times you get what you pay for. If someone can do it locally for under $1000 for a high end unit, you are doing fine. Many of the internet companies that we supply are always looking for the cheapest items to make their units $5 less than the other online guy. We keep different equipment for different companies. We do not recommend the low end equipment, but we also supply what our customers want. Local guys will almost never source any of the low end stuff since it will come back to bite them since they will be the one going back on the service call. It is also highly recommended the units be installed by a licensed contractor, and in many states it is required.
    Hello again,
    I did get a quote for a Pentair system which uses the Fleck 7000 valve. The unit cost was $1880, plus $400 for installation. This is the first time I heard of Pentair and the cost of $2280 for unit & install seems quite a bit more than others have mentioned on this thread for a similar system. I do want to use a C55 contractor and get a quality unit, but how does Pentair figure in this picture? I do not know the particulars of brine resin, how much capacity (ie 48000 vs 30000) this unit is, as I have only heard about the unit over the telephone. Pentair's website doesn't tell me much about the product, either.

    What would you suggest for a model number for this Pentair system? Apparently Fleck only makes the valves for other company's units.

    Could you PM me with your local, recommended C55 contractors in my area?

    Thanks!

  13. #13
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    PM sent,

    Call one of the guys I pm'd you with. they will get you a great price without sacraficing quality.

    Pentair makes complete systems but these are not their high end units. Stick to the real systems.

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