Kinetico K5 drinking water system questions

beckyg75August 1, 2010


I've read a lot about reverse osmosis filters on this site and others, and have decided that I'd like to get the Kinetico K5.

We have a small place, and live in a condo, so a whole house filtering system is out. We plan to filter the water we drink and cook with.

Here are my questions:

1. I found the dimensions of the box that holds the filters as 19" high, 15.5" deep, and 5.9" wide. However, I see in photos a pic of the tank (think it is 3 gallons) that is required and can't find the dimensions of this. Anybody know? Our base cabinet is only 24" wide and also has to fit the kitchen trash, so wondering if it will fit.

2. How much did you pay for your system and were you able to negotiate a discount?

3. Did you choose to add back the beneficial minerals or not and why? (taste, health benefits?)

4. Our water has a strong chlorine smell. Is there some kind of thing we can use in the bathrooms that would be cheaper for when we shower or wash our hands or face?

Many thanks in advance!

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On page three of this forum is information I posted about my own recently installed K5W.

Your specific questions:

1) WoW tank is 18.19" tall. ( From Kinetico spec sheet.) It holds 2.7 gallons.

2) K5W MSRP is 1800 but most sell for 1600. Air-tank version, K5A sells for 1300. Factory incentive available to previous owners to replace their old Kinetico systems of -400. Kinetico controls their market very tightly. I would be surprised if you were able to "deal", but who knows? In any event, those are installed prices. They do everything, you do nothing.

3) Mineral add-back module is taste-only consideration. I have no experience.

4) Chlorine is taken out via activated charcoal filter. K5 and every other RO unit I'm familiar with has one pre-membrane and post membrane. How long they would last with your chlorine level would be something your local vendor could tell you. Your bathroom chlorine consideration unrelated to RO unit. Would require completely separate charcoal filter for that purpose only.

Be advised that hard water degrades membrane performance more quickly than soft water. Your vendor would also be able to tell you what to expect there based on your hardness.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 1:36PM
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Hey Asolo,

Thanks for the info - I actually had seen one of your previous posts when I was trying to decide which brand to buy, where you said that a previous Kinetico unit had lasted with routine maintenance for around 18 years, which really impressed me.

We do not plan to be in this condo for such a long time, but even over a 5 year period, I don't want problems and am willing to pay for quality.

The water on water system is very appealing. We don't want to wait for a tank to refill. If I am going to draw 2 gallons out for a big pot of pasta and washing vegetables and all, I still want to be able to draw a glass to drink!

Also read your post about how it may take a few days of use for the exclusion ratio to get up to the specified level of at least 91%. Thanks for posting that b/c I will be testing it and now I won't be dismayed if it is under the ideal for a few days. This is our primary residence so it will happen faster for us than for you using it only on weekends.

I will have to start googling and searching on this forum for how to handle the shower issues. I understood that it is a different issue than the RO unit in kitchen, just figured that maybe others who did RO in kitchen had found bathroom filters that were cheap and good (if such a creature exists!)

Thanks again for all the helpful info in your various postings. This forum is a God-send!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 3:31PM
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Thanks for the kind words.

Be advised that fill-rate for the tank and flow-rate from the spigot are completely dependent on your household water pressure. That's why I mentioned my household pressure of 60-65psi. More would make everything somewhat faster; less would make everything somewhat slower. In any event, the WoW tank is much superior to air-bladder alternative. Frankly, with the availability of this WoW way of doing things, I don't know why they bother selling the air-bladder versions at all. I regard as huge benefit living-with day-to-day.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 4:09PM
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I did note that - how do I test water pressure?

One of the plumbing salesmen where we bought a shower hose a while back was telling another customer something about how in this area it is around 45 psi, but I don't know if that is b/c of being in apartment buildings (instead of a house) or what contributes to that factor. If you know, please clue me in!

If there is no way for me to control or boost the water pressure, then oh, well.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 6:08PM
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The water pressure delivered to the dwelling by the water authority is a limiting factor for the water pressure in the dwelling.

Often the water is delivered at a higher street pressure than code dictates in the dwelling and a pressure reducing valve (PRV) is installed at the water service entrance to reduce the pressure in the house's plumbing system and they are adjustable.

IIRC the code says water pressure in the dwelling should max at 80psi with 60psi being a common setting.

You can buy a pressure gauge that screws on a hose bib at most hardware stores. Always check the pressure with NO water running. That is the static pressure.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 6:26PM
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Pressure gauges are easy to find, easy to use, and cheap. Any hardware store will have one. The comment you overheard about the "psi in this area" has no value. Too many factors in play to depend on that being the case in your own residence. If you want to know it, measure it. Quick, easy, and cheap. If you don't have a hose-bib in your place, ask hardware guy for an adaptor that that will allow you to attach to a faucet or shower head. Yours will not be the first request he's heard.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 7:06PM
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Justalurker and Asolo,

Thanks! I will look into getting a pressure gauge or ask my contractor if he has one.

Because we don't pay for water (it is covered in our monthly condo fee to the building), I always wonder about if the building somehow reduces water flow to the apartments to keep people from wasting so much.

It will be interesting to find out the real deal on our pressure.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 7:12PM
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I just bought the K5 yesterday. I have had a Kinetico whole-house water softener and their RO unit for almost 15 years. The RO unit still works (as well as the softener), but I knew it wouldn't last forever so I decided to upgrade as they had a good deal with the install company in my area (AAA Water Systems in CA). The K5, with installation, was $990 total. It was marked down as I was an existing customer and I "traded in" my old unit. I see by the age of your original post that you probably bought the unit already, but wanted to respond to your comment that you may only be in your current home for about 5 years. When I moved about 10 years ago, I had my water softener and RO unit pulled out and installed in my new home. You may want to consider doing this when you move.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 5:52PM
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Hi Grey Parrot, great idea, we will definitely pull this out and take it with us when we move, as in NYC, the cost for the K5 with all pre and post filters, installed, was $2260!

There is apparently only 1 distributor for NYC - Westfair Water. I dealt with Frank (the son, not Frank the father) and he was very nice. Actually, the price would have been $2460, but they took off $200 when I waffled on it due to price.

I called a distributor in another part of the country and it was about $500 less, but we are used to paying a LOT more for everything here, as taxes and real estate are super high.

One of the other tradespeople who did work on our renovation said that they automatically add $200 to jobs in Manhattan (he was located in the Bronx) just to cover a parking ticket (?? about $125 I think he said), tolls, extra time, and aggravation. I appreciated his honesty.

I will say, I am happy with with the K5 - there is a big difference in the taste of the water. Also, we are no longer buying bottled water, so I guess there is a slight offset in price there (although we did not spend very much on bottled water - just to go to the gym and stuff, but now we can fill a stainless steel water bottle at home.)

If we did not live in an apartment building, I would want a whole house filter - as it is, we just have it at the kitchen sink.

Hope this info will be useful to others - I have appreciated the wealth of information on this website!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 10:11PM
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"... and he was very nice"

I'd be nice too padding my the price and gouging the customer at suggested retail price plus. If that's how they treat you during the sale I can't wait to see your post when you need customer pay service down the road and routine replacement filters for that K5 and you see what that nice dealer charges you.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 4:30PM
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Ditto justalurker.

Repeating: K5W MSRP is 1800 installed. You're getting nicked.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 4:43PM
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It doesn't cost any more money to ship ROs from Kinetico to NYC than it does to Newark so why does the K5 cost more in NYC?

Price gouging reflects badly on the manufacturer, regardless of the industry, especially when the manufacturer enforces a legally questionable fair trade policy regarding pricing that guarantees the dealer a better than industry standard profit.

Me, I'd rather have the second best RO for FAR less $$$, be able to get parts everywhere, and never let that dealer set foot in my home again.

In the marketplace we only get to vote with our wallets and when we don't we get what we deserve.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 5:04PM
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I have to second what justalurker said. I was 100% convinced that I wanted a K5 system until I tried to buy one. I am doing a ground-up remodel. And I am doing all of the work myself. So, I can plumb the entire house, but Kinetico won't let me connect two 3/8" lines to their precious system. I contacted my local dealer here in Arizona, and after a firm response, I contacted the main office in Canada.. and got a worse response. Very snooty. Well - I am done with Kinetico. They could care less about us wee folks since 99% of the rest of the purchasers are willing to bow down to them. I am going with second best. Now I have to remember which one that was??

    Bookmark   December 29, 2011 at 1:26AM
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