Kinetico's latest after two weeks

asoloJune 28, 2010

For your information / possible interest. Reporting some things here not available at their site.

Replaced 18-year old Kinetico softener and RO unit with their latest models. New warranty is 10 years and is transferable. Reason for change-over was 1) parts for old RO unit becoming unavailable; 2) Factory incentives to encourage replacement; and 3) Faster flow from WoW RO tank appealing feature. I knew the time was coming. Thought I might as well do it now. Old equipment was still functioning fine.

I have city water regulated to 60-65psi for the house. About 10 grains hard. Moderate chlorination just barely detectable via taste/smell untreated.

4040S Softener is practically a work of art. Similar to previous two-tank design except valving and controls much improved. Includes two charcoal canisters upstream of softening media. Advised may be some discoloration in the beginning but have had none. Excellent performance from the first drop. At my chlorination level, advised replacement of charcoal modules in about five years -- a several hundred dollar expense at that time, I'm told. I have seen the effect of my chlorine level on the softening media previously so I'm thinking perhaps performance and expense-wise, the thing may balance out over time. Brine tank is similar to old with just a few improvements although it looks exactly the same as previous.

K5W RO system is a complete redesign compared with my old unit. The water-on-water tank is a significant improvement over air-bladder tanks. Holds 2.7 gallons and re-fills with no back-pressure in under an hour. The spigot provided is also a vast improvement that uses a 1/4-turn ball-valve instead of the el-cheapo lever-valve most of them use. Flows 1.2 gallons per minute using household line-pressure which I estimate is about 3x what the old air-bladder tank put out even when full....and without any fall-off in flow-rate from full to empty. Really worthwhile improvement. Much more convenient and useful. Highly recommended.

The filters are self-contained 1/2-turn screw-on design as opposed to the older housing/cartridge design. They are the same price as the old ones. There is also provision for adding three other filters of various kinds for those (not me) who desire customized filtration or added minerals for taste. Everything is better designed and simpler to service. Has an indicator to show when you're getting close to filter-change time so you can be ready with new filters before it shuts itself off. (Auto shut-off after 500 gal.)

Some disappointment: Kinetico's specs for this unit are for minimum 90% exclusion ratio. This is less than my old units both of which have consistently given 95-98% exclusion. (This is something I knew before making the purchase. Don't know the reasons.) This location is occupied only on weekends so there is not daily use of the unit. In the beginning, the TDI readings were showing only 70% exclusion. After 9-10 tank fillings/emptyings the readings have steadily improved, the latest being 83%. I am expecting these to continue to rise to specification-level as the new equipment settles in so I'm not ready to rant just yet. In any event, I cannot detect by taste or smell any difference from the old so we're clearly in the ball park.

The installation took about three hours for both. The installer was knowledgeable, competent, and considerate. Didn't rush anything and was thorough in his instructions to me.

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Adding this response so it scrolls down as it should.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 7:45PM
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FYI....about that exclusion ratio.....

Previous post mentioned unsatisfactory exclusion ratio which I suspected had to do with "newness" of the installation. Apparently I was correct about that.

Happy to report that as of this weekend, exclusion ratio has risen to specification-range. (Kinetico says 90% or better). This weekend I measured 91%. I would estimate 40-50 gallons have been processed during my weekend visits. Each time the measured exclusion ratio was seen to improve. Based on Kinetico's advice I would expect stabilization around present range. Obviously, this satisfactory point would have been reached more quickly if I was there every day. If it continues to improve from here, I'll be back to say so.

Nothing additional about other observations from first post. Continue to be VERY pleased and impressed with the WoW (water-on-water) storage tank with its faster fill and more powerful discharge and with the new ball-valve spigot. Compared with previous air-bladder tanks and lever-spigot this is a tremendous improvement.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 11:28AM
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FYI.....Why it took some time for my June K5W install to reach satisfactory exclusion ratio...

That ratio is currently 94-96% after approx, 90 gallons processed. Second installation at different location accomplished this morning. That installation delivering 97% from the beginning. Why the difference?
This morning's installed unit was run-in at Kinetico's facility for a couple of days first. Everything was checked ln-operation and flushed through before it arrived. This is their standard procedure.

There was a miscommunication with previous installation. The work order was written with the air-bladder tank. That tank was run-in and ready to go -- but that's not what I wanted. I wanted the new WoW (water-on-water) tank. They did have a WoW tank on the truck so the installation could be completed. However, that tank was not flushed and run-in previously which is their usual procedure. Essentially, I've been doing that service in-use that is usually done before installation. This is why I've noted the steadily increasing exclusion ratios as more water has been processed.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 5:35PM
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