Sudden loss of water pressure with Kinetico

workingmomx3July 25, 2013

We had a complete loss of water pressure with our Kinetico water softener. It was so complete and sudden that we checked with the neighbors thinking there must have been a water main break. No one else was impacted, so we checked our outside water (bypassed) and there was no loss of pressure.

Softener salt was added and a a new sediment filter were installed less than 3 weeks prior. I replaced the filter (it looked like it had been there for months - nasty looking) and I poured the water from the filter into a clear bowl - full of suspended solids.

Our Kinetico rep said that was what they always looked like after a few days use.

After he inspected the system, he said we needed to replace the resin bed ($150 + trip charge) - it had been degraded by the chlorine added to our water. The system was installed February 2008. At first they recommended a dechlorinator, but then they decided that we didn't need it so one was not installed. Now they want to add one at $875.

I thought the loss in water pressure would be gradual. Is it typical to have a complete loss of pressure almost instantaneously?

How long do the resin beds typically last?

We don't intend to stay in this house much longer than 5 more years. We don't plan to put the dechlorinator in.

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justalurker

Would help to know your water source and water conditions.

Rather than guessing when the filter element needed to be changed the installer should have added pressure gauges before and after the filter housing so you could see the pressure drop across the filter and know when to change the element.

So, either your filter is blocking the pressure or your softener is. You can remove the element from the filter housing and see if the water pressure returns to normal.

If it doesn't then bypass the softener and see if the pressure returns.

I have not seen a correctly sized and properly set up softener fail to go at least 10 years on municipal (chlorine or chloramine treated) water.

Since your Kinetico has a pre-filter it most likely has a packed bed and they are easier to foul with sediment. If you have iron in your water and have not been following a routine maintenance schedule then the resin could be iron fouled. Only way to know is to remove the control valve and inspect the resin.

Don't Kinetico softeners have a 10 year warranty?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 11:12AM
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workingmomx3

Municipal water provided by Pennsylvania American Water. Their source is well water.

We have not had a recent water quality test completed. However, the Kinetico service tech did test my tap water for chlorine at the time of his service call. The result was negligible.

As for iron, it was also negligible at the time we installed the system 5 years ago.

I was told to change the 5 micron sediment filter every 6 months. I typically change it every 4 months, when I add softener salt. I use Kinetico's salt.

I did not run without the filter in the housing because I replaced the less than 3 week old filter with a new one. What would testing the system without a filter in place prove if I put a new one in and tested and had no water pressure? I'm assuming ti would only tell me I have a defective filter, but I don't think that is a reasonable assumption.

We have not had a recent water quality test completed. However, the Kinetico service tech did test my tap water for chlorine. The result was negligible.

As for iron, it was also negligible at the time we installed the system 5 years ago.

Yes, Kinetico softeners have a 10 year warranty for parts, but not labor.

I'm still concerned about the sudden, rather than transitional, failure of water pressure. Can anyone share on that?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 4:40PM
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justalurker

You asked for help and I've given you the best long distance preliminary advice for diagnosing your problem that I can and it would cost you nothing but minutes of your time to try.

I regret I couldn't have been more help.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 4:55PM
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workingmomx3

I appreciate your help Justalurker. I'm just a curious sort and ask lots of questions because I want to learn. Dang engineering background. You know us....always poking our noses into everything and trying to figure things out. Just wanting to know if I'm missing something because it didn't seem like - in this case at least - testing with/without the filter would make a difference.

Am I missing something?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 6:37PM
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