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Question DetailsAsked on 9/19/2013

What are the pros and cons of various Kinetico home water treatment systems?

I am considering replacing the aging electric water softener system that came with my home with a Kinetico system. I am hoping for advice about the pros and cons of the "Essential" single-tank system as opposed to the mid-level "Signature" dual-tank system, and whether going with the top of the line dual-tank "Premiere" system is really necessary or worth it. I am also hoping for feedback about the perceived quality of Kinetico systems generally in the industry--i.e. if I should be looking at an altogether different manufacturer for my new system; if Kinetico is considered to be the "Yugo" of the industry, I'd want to explore my options.

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6 Answers

Voted Best Answer

I bought a home with a 9 year old Kinetico in it in 1989. With our family of 6 the Kinetico used 1/2 the salt of two other brands we owned in previous homes, even though the water was harder in the home with the Kinetico non-electric system. When I sold the home in 1993, the buyer insisted I leave them the Kinetico. I bought a new one for my new home, my family grew to 8 and now after 21 years, it has only needed one repair (new resin) 5 years ago.

To answer your question...Kinetico would be a "Mercedes" while others carry the "yugo's." Kinetico offers many models to meet the needs of all families. The single tank Essential unit works well in homes with no iron and 1 or 2 people. Like other single tank systems, it can't provide soft water to your home while it regenerates. However, the Essential only takes 15 minutes to regenerate where electric units might take hours from start to finish. It also carries a full 5 year warranty on all parts. Other systems typically exclude the most important parts after only 1-3 years. All single tank softener can and will occasionally run out of soft water. (laundry day)

The Twin resin tank Kinetico models have several advantages like...5 yr warranty on Signature and Premier models have a 10 year warranty on all parts. So with the twins, you get better water, have virtually unlimited capacity, use less salt, are quiet, use soft water to clean themselves, use no electricity, have no clocks, batteries or computers to ever repair or reset. Power outages & surges have no effect on them. Having a Kinetico sold me on their value. Ask your dealer about renting one, so you can try before you buy.

P.M. Kalamazoo

Answered 5 years ago by BaldGuy


I can't speak to the quality of the Kinetico system as I've never owned one. I can comment that when I got ready to install a water softener at my residence, I did consider and get a quote from the local Kinetico Dealer. I elected to go with a more conventional sytem (A Kenmore) primarily because of the cost. The Kinetico dealer tried the sales tactic that the Kenmore system is built almost entirely with plastic parts, while the Kinetico is metal (therefore it is better). I didn't see the advantage of the metal parts, as plastic won't rust or corrode like metal. The Kinetico dealer also was pushing using potassium instead of sodium salt -- (Bananas are healthy because they have poatassium in them, and everyone knows that sodium is bad for you). He went on to explain that even though potassium salt is more expensive than sodium salt, you would save money in the long run because the dual-tank Kinetico uses less salt than a conventional single tank system. I wan't convinced. The frosting on the cake was a sales pitch for a reverse osmosis filter system for drinking water and ice to get rid of the potassium taste.

My Kenmore is going on 8 years old now, and all I've ever done is put salt in it. Since it was less than 50% of the cost of the Kinetico, I figure I'm money ahead even if it completely dies tomorrow and has to be replaced. One of the things that you might consider is how old your "aging electic" system is, and factor that into your cost of ownership calculation.

Good luck!

Answered 7 years ago by Guest_99424751


We've had our Kinetico dual tank system for two years now. They are expensive but the lack of electricity and slow salt usage can return the cost over time. However, we no longer experience soft water and are collecting scale on all the faucets in the house. The closest dealers are in Ceresco and Omaha, each just over an hour away. Omaha will charge $125 just to come look at the system. Possible problems: We did have a new rural water line installed, but had the system flushed. There may be an obstruction. Cheap salt. I've watched videos on YouTube on how to maintain them, but having a professional come may ease my mind.

Answered 4 years ago by Hankenheimer


The salt mixed water from water softener should not connect to your kitchen pipe because you use that water there for cooking and drinking. In installer or company should know this as I was explained by Cullingan water company. So Kinetico want you to buy another the unit just to filter out the salt from your kitchen tap, all I can say is, this is the work of a cowboy. Should get city permit to make sure they install it right. My installer screwed it up big time. Remember, many companies today are underpaid their import workers so it will always a hit or miss.

Answered 4 years ago by Alan123


The kinetico works off of gears.. some of the gears are suspended with stainless steel parts. This adds to their durability. All softner systems are plastics as they handle water the best. This is the same with irrigation systems, plastic heads and valves. Omaha kinetico is set up by professional installers. They calibrate the systems based off of water testing at your house. This set up depends on whether you are on city water or a well system. The reason a kinetico outlasts is because the cleaning process is based on the water source and gallons used. Most competitors systems clean on a regular timed basis using more salt in the brine drum. A calibrated kinetico cleans after counted gallons. This gallon count is relative to the size of a unit installed. The size is based on how much resin/media is reacting with the water. All softners use basically the same media. the kinetico is calibrated to recharge/clean the media at the Perfect set interval every time. More resin mass amounts to less frequently cleaning, but it is a formula more in place for water usage. Hotels get larger resin tanks for an example as they have many more people using water. The kinetico corporate are constantly running strict quality control procedures on their systems. This is one more reason why their softners can last an upwards of 30 years if properly maintained with salt pellets on a regular basis. Mostly though when a system has problems it is because all sorts of things can get in a waterline before it enters a house. If a line breaks in the city a rusty nut or bolt buried near by can be flushed into a pipe and end up in someone's home. These unknown factors are why it is hard to guarantee everyone will last 30 years problem free. Now to a different topic, the Kinetico K5 reverse osmosis filter system... This is a nice system. Its like other drinking water filter systems except that the Kinetico k5 uses a filtered clean water cleaning process. This clean water maintenence process is why the system has won many awards. Ultimately people need to petition their city for higher water quality. In Iceland for instance the use a completely different water purification model. Omaha pumps it's water full of chlorine and then ammonia to mask the scent. Iceland has a safer process which uses radiation I believe which the end result is pure h20. Even their groundwater is probably safer than what is in our homes. We need to evolve.

Source: me. worked at kinetico a short time.

Answered 3 years ago by tealeef


I bought my 1st Kinetico about 1980, and living in an area with heavy iron and calcium, we noticed almost immediately the difference in water quality. One thing that doesn't get explained enough, is that there is a chemical to help clean the media and that needs to be done. This chemical finishes cleaning the media, but it only needs to be done on a periodic basis. I am ready to buy a new Kinetico for the house where I have lived now for 18 years. When I lived in the town where I 1st bought a Kinetico, the local McDonalds had to change their water filters every 4 days because of the water's iron content.

I am also looking into replacing all of the copper pipe in the house with pex tubing. I have noticed corrosion on the outside of the pipes and I think it would be a good idea to also improve our water quality. If anyone, who has the skills, wishes to do this in their home, I STRONGLY recommend they follow the original plumbers choice of pipe size as long as they have NO PRESSURE OR TEMPERATURE problems.

Source: Personal experience

Answered 3 years ago by zoomie6878


I was so impressed with my neighbors Kinetico Dual Tank non-electric 2030 water softener that I purchased the same unit. I am on well water in S. Texas with 19 grain hard water, small amount of iron also. After retiring from the Refining industry I needed to have some activity so I applied and went to work for the local Kinetico dealer. I sold about 26 units in the year I worked for the dealer. I always did a call back post installation to explain the dos and don'ts, demonstrate the unit worked as indicated by me upon helping the customer purchase their unit and requesting the customer call me first if any thing was amiss. The infamous "salt dam' caused one customer to call me, customer error that. What I remember most about my experience selling Kinetico was the anger many people expressed at their electrical softeners and the company that marketed those products. I saw most other softeners during my year and many stated they would not buy another electric softener. Many, not all. My opinion, and I HAVE NOT be associated with Kinetico for years is, as follows:

1. Kinetico is non electric, mine is next to my well, i.e., in the open. 2. It is rugged. 3. Virtually maintenance free. 4. Durable. 5. Never runs out of soft water. 6. Expensive, (?), up front, maybe, in the long run, no.,,, And so easy to enjoy. Think it over.

Source: S. Texan

Answered 2 years ago by KBTfrAPV

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