Kinetico Water Softener - Math Doesn't Work?

homerguyApril 8, 2009

I hear a lot about how good Kinetico Water Softeners are. We just moved into a new house that has hard water (19-20 Grains), so I had a Kinetico rep come out to the house. He was very thorough, and I like the overall system, but I donÂt see how their system is any more efficient or better than competitiors.

Maybe my calculations are incorrectÂ..Please double check me.

At our hardness, the Kinetico will need to regenerate every 313 gallons, and will use 29 gallons of water to do so. 29/313 = 0.093 Gallons of Regeneration Water per gallon of Softened Water Produced.

Another item that scares me is that when our household expands, this system could be regenerating daily or even more frequently. IÂve heard that too frequent regenerations inhibit a strong brine solution from having enough time to form.

A traditional 40,000 Grain unit will regenerate every 2000 Gallons. (40,000 grain capacity / 20 grains per gallon = 2,000 gallons?). LetÂs estimate it uses 125 gallons to regenerate. Therefore the efficiency is 125/2000 = 0.0625 Gallons of Regeneration Water per Gallon of Softened Water Produced.

Even if this traditional unit is only 75% efficient, and needs to regenerate every 1500 gallons, the efficiency is 125/1500 = 0.083 Gallons of Regeneration Water per gallon of Softened Water produced.

The traditional water softener is still more efficient by my calculations.

IÂm not trying to bash the Kinetico. I like their system, IÂm just looking for reasons to justify the 40% price premium for a Kinetico. Their RO System Carries a 150% price premium! IÂm all for buying quality, but I'm wondering if these price premiums exceed the return on investment.

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I prefer the Hague Watermax over anything on the market. Kinetico is a good softener but won't compare to Hague. Don't pay more than 2,500.00. They all try to sell you for 4 or 5k. There are also descalers that are new to the market that were developed in Europe. They don't filter like Hague but there is no brine to deal with.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 12:27PM
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Most people do not realize the effects that water overall has on a softener. The resin is specifically produced for the removal of calcium and magnesium hardness ions which exchange with the sodium ions 2 to 1, hence the reason that the sodium level is so high. Regardless how hard or how much the softener is suppose to soften, there are other factors in the water that affect the resin therefore putting a strain or extra duty on the resin to perform its job. So, with that said, iron, sulfide, alkalinity can all affect the resin and deplete its ability over all to do the job. The water "conditioning" business is a real racket, granted a needed one but still a racket.

If you find a water professional to assess your water and what is actually in it and someone who can get the equipment without wanting to make 300 to 400% markup on the item then you can get a good deal for your money and know how to care for the system.--Just a thought here!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 1:33AM
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Since you didn't include the model of Kinetico or it's volume of resin for each tank nor the 40k softener you quote I can't check your math but I'll offer the following...

In order to make an accurate comparison you need to consider at what salt dose each softener is regenerating and what volume of resin is being regenerated?.

For example, 1 cubit foot of resin will soften:

20,000 grains with 6 lbs of salt
24,000 grains with 8 lbs of salt
27,000 grains with 10 lbs of salt
30,000 grains with 15 lbs of salt

Another consideration of efficiency is that a twin resin tank softener will regenerate very close to the complete exhaustion of the resin's hardness removal capability while a single resin tank softener will regenerate early and usually lose the calculated reserve that has been set aside which wastes salt and water and over time will add up.

Twin resin tank softeners make brine with softened water AND regenerate with softened water while some single resin tank softeners make brine with softened water but none that I know regenerate with softened water. Regenerating with soft water = longer resin life and reduces operating cost long term... efficiency related if you consider service life and repair cost.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 5:50PM
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Two Kineticos at two different locations for 17 years (installed '92; twin-tank systems). Yes, I paid that "premium" price for both.

Trouble-free for the duration. Had both refurbished and resin changed a few years ago for a couple hundred each. Both still performing like new. IMHO, Kinetico has held up their end of the bargain. Also nice not to have any electrical connections. In my situations, getting electrical to the best location would have been a pain so that was part of my decision.

City water at both locations about 7 grains hard.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 8:19PM
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What unit did he recommend? Do you have iron? How many people are living there? There are so many factors to consider and water used in regenerating is rarely one the customer considers unless they are on city water. Is that the case here?

My calculations for the Kinetico that is properly set up would be 0.0324.... gallons. Not sure where you got your statistics (did the salesman give them to you?). The unit recommended was not what I would have recommemded for your water conditions.

But not to worry, the salt efficiency is even high than the water efficiency to the so-called "traditional systems".

Andy Christensen, CWS-II
justalurker drop me a line....

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 8:50AM
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An ode to a churlish mhlurker, no doubt.

Seemed like someone was very curious for answers but decided not to continue.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 11:09PM
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