Kinetico MACH 2175s vs K100 reconditioned/rebuilt?

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Old 11-20-09, 07:47 AM
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Kinetico MACH 2175s vs K100 reconditioned/rebuilt?

Hi - wondering if anyone can help....we need a new water softener - our water is horrible: 105gpg Harness, 7ppm Iron and total comp: 133.

Kinetico says MACH 2175s is needed (everything taken care of except smell - for that may need to shock system or get a chlorination system) anyway, they are saying the cost is $3500 for this or they can get us a reconditioned K100 (with more media and changed gearing?) that will also work for $2500. Do you think either would work and how long do you think each would last? We'd love to save 1K if possible, but are a little leary of a reconditioned / lower version product.

ps - There's a 10 yr warranty on parts for 2175s and 5 yr warranty on k100. I think a one year service warranty on both.

Thanks!

Jim
 
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Old 11-20-09, 12:37 PM
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I stop recommending K-100 (MACH 2100) 85 grains CH and above. So no, don't get the K100, with more resin even if it is a fine mesh resin. Your iron is too high and will cause problems in the future. Adding more resin and regearing is an in-shop remedy and may work in some situations, but with water like yours (whew!), it is taking a big chance.

I can send you details on settings, capacities and controls if you like. Get the new unit and feel assured.
K-100 gas 1.5 cuft in each tank; the 2175 has 2.25 in each tank.

I hope you are planning on getting an RO as your sodium levels will be VERY high.

Your waters are very similar to ours--you're probably in Ohio or Michigan.

Andy Christensen, CWS-II
 
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Old 11-20-09, 01:56 PM
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Thanks Andy! Yes, PLEASE send any info you have...

Hi - guess we'll have to get the 2175s... Do you think Kinetico is the best way to go? I was hearing about magnetic softeners, but don't know anything about them...

We have 2 reverse osmosis things under 2 sinks for drinking water... is this what you mean?

Our neighbors have some kind of whole house system - maybe from Aquasystems or somewhere...do you think we need that? We use LOTS of water.

Any advice including info on what system we should get and approximate costs would be GREATLY appreciated!

We'd really love to get the water taken care of - and yea, we're in Ohio - west of Columbus.

Thanks again!
Jim
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Old 11-20-09, 03:19 PM
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Yes, the 2175 will work wonderfully.

Goind witn the magnet, EasyWater,. salt-free softener will be disasterous. I would avoid them completely.

An RO uses a membrnae technology to remove dissolved solids down the molecular size of H2O. Very effective. Kinetoc makes the K5 model which is very good and has a very cmprehensive warranty.

Can you describe the odor you have? Rotten eggs or old, wet, smelly tennis shoes? Did they describe the chlorination system at all?

Later,
Andy Christensen
 
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Old 11-20-09, 07:46 PM
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I would like to see a 2.25 cu/ft softener handle 7 PPM iron at any kind of significant flow rate. I guess if the pH were lower than 6.8 and 6.5+ PPM of that iron was clear it MIGHT work. On water like yours I would use a sulfur/iron removal system (assuming the smell is "rotten eggs") and follow it with a large softener to handle the hardness.

Please post back after you install the softener and let us know how it performs 6 months or so after it's installed.

What flow rates do they advertise the softener will work at?
 
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Old 11-21-09, 08:28 AM
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thanks for all your help shane and andy.. i'm completely uneducated on all wells/septic systems/softeners/etc. - we've just been renting the old unit that was in the house when we bought it... i really don't know much about any of this coming from city water....

We do have a horrible rotten egg smell - especially bad when we're low/out of salt. Kinetico suggests shocking the well with a kit and if that doesn't work adding some kind of cholorination system.

I've never heard of a sulfur remover? please reccommend.

and I think the 2175 is the biggest softener Kinetico has... ? should we look into an even bigger unit in some other brand?
we're a family of 7.

we have 2 reverse osmosis under sink things by Whirlpool from Lowes for drinking water... didn't know about the K5 when they were installed
 
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Old 11-21-09, 08:42 AM
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oh - the kinetico salesrep did mention something about putting a prefilter before the softener - or some kind of filter. does that help remove sulfur or iron?
 
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Old 11-21-09, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by SmithJennings View Post
I've never heard of a sulfur remover? please reccommend.

and I think the 2175 is the biggest softener Kinetico has... ? should we look into an even bigger unit in some other brand?
we're a family of 7.

(
A filox filter will remove the iron and the sulfur (depending on the amount of sulfur) and given the levels of iron a separate filter for those elements would, in my view, be preferable. A continuous feed of chlorine may be necessary with filox depending on your water conditions.--I agree with Shane that a separate filter for the iron and sulfur is preferred.

If you go with only a softener your adjusted hardness level of 133 and 7 people in the house (assume 420 gallons of water a day or 60 gallons per person) you will use a capacity of 56,000 grains per day. Softeners only produce the "rated" grain capacity with very inefficient use of salt. For example 1 cubic foot of resin removes approximately 19,000 grains with 6 lbs of salt and approximately 30,000 grains with 15 lbs of salt. So it is preferable to buy a bigger softener and regenerate with 6 lbs of salt per cubic foot.

With the Kinetico and 2.25 cubic feet of resin per tank the maximum capacity per tank would be about 67,000 grains and it would take 37 lbs of salt per regeneration to achieve that capacity. If you lower salt dose with the 2.25 cubic foot tank to get more efficient regeneration you would get into a situation very quickly of more than one regeneration per day.

If you were to buy a 3.5 cubic foot softener (110,000 grains)--single tank-- and regenerate it with 6 lbs of salt per cubic foot--21 lbs per regeneration you would get a capacity of about 66,000 grains. Thus you could regenerate once per day in the middle of the night when there is no water use. Single tank units are less expensive than twin tank systems and for the typical home provide fully satisfactory service. Twin tanks are only really necessary where water use is continuous.
 
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Old 11-21-09, 07:20 PM
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Thanks Bob - ugh - i really am beyond confused about this. Do you recommend a certain brand of softener and service company? I didn't realize you can have them regenerate at night only? Will this ensure we have enough treated water during the day - we usually run the washer twice a day and the dishwasher once per day? Is there a timer you can set on some of them? The one we are currently renting runs on it's own every now and then. Kinetico says theirs calculates how much water you are using and then regenerates - but I'm reading regeneration uses/wastes alot of water... is that right? We are already using the max amount of water for our septic system

Thanks!
 
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Old 11-21-09, 09:35 PM
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With a family of 7, your water use will be quite high. An iron filter that can also handle the sulfur can greatly benefit your set up. This will make the softener work more efficiently. If you use a chlorinator, it will require a large retention tank (at least 120 gal.) and a backwashing carbon filter.

Aeration will be over taxed. I have never worked with a Filox system and don't know how much sulfur it can remove in conjunction with removing iron that high. Do you have sulfur numbers?

No one needs water 7/24 and that is never the reason for getting a twin-tank system even though it can do it. It is the other benefits that provide great results.

I would only recommend a lower salt dosage if iron levels were low. At those levels, a higher dosage would be needed.

There will be days where more water is used than others, of course. Do you have a submersible pump?

This was install about ten years ago on 95 grains and 4.5 ppm iron. It is serving a family of four with weekend guests (grandkids, etc.). It is doing a fine job with no stains. The prefilter can help with sediment. The old softener leaked badly but I don't know why.


Iron can cause a major problem. This place had 5 ppm iron and 115 grains hard. No sulfur. A 2175 works very well.


Mind you, whatever system you use, you will have a large salt usage and the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) will be very high. This water will not be drinkable. +This would be another reason to have a seperate iron filter ahead of the softener. An RO will be needed if you wish to avoid bottled water in great quantities.

Did you get my email?

Andy Christensen, CWS-II
 
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Old 11-22-09, 06:16 AM
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Thank you again... I guess my main question now is which system, the 2175 Kinetico or a 3.5 cubic ft Softener will use less water overall. We are starting to have issues with our septic system and getting a new softener that uses lots of water will cause huge problems for us. I'm a little confused on that however - does it use the water when regenerating only? And, thank you andy for your email! I think the specs for the 2175 say 142 gallons of water for regeneration on there! That seems like alot and I'm guessing we'd need to be regenerating every day or multiple times per day....I try to spread all dish and clothes washing out over each day and week, but we average one dishwasher and 2 clothes washings per day. Let me know - Thanks!!!!
 
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Old 11-22-09, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by SmithJennings View Post
Thanks Bob - ugh - i really am beyond confused about this. Do you recommend a certain brand of softener and service company? I didn't realize you can have them regenerate at night only? Will this ensure we have enough treated water during the day - we usually run the washer twice a day and the dishwasher once per day? Is there a timer you can set on some of them? The one we are currently renting runs on it's own every now and then. Kinetico says theirs calculates how much water you are using and then regenerates - but I'm reading regeneration uses/wastes alot of water... is that right? We are already using the max amount of water for our septic system

Thanks!
There are a large number of quality softener products. Many are proprietary brands sold only through exclusive dealerships. These are typically more expensive.

Of the non proprietary brands there are three major manufactors of the control (head)--Autotrol (GE), Fleck, and Clack. My personal preference is Fleck or Clack. There are obviously other components of a softener--tank, resin, and other parts but typically in non proprietary softeners the unit is referred to by the name of the head manufacturer.

A single tank system is typically set up to regenerate at 2 or 3 AM. While other settings are possible it is also typically set up to regenerate only at those times unless the user initiates a manual regeneration. A single tank system set up to regenerate only at night could possible run out of capacity in your situation if you set the regeneration capacity to be equal to a typical day's usage and then use an abnormal amount of water. If you were to buy a 110,000 grain unit and regenerate it at maximum salt dose (as Andy seems to be suggesting would be appropriate for your high iron content) so that it would typically regenerate every other day then it would be less likely that you would run out of capacity during the day. Only a twin tank system will virtually eliminate the possibility of running out of capacity. However a twin system with 2.25 cubic feet of resin in each tank will definitely regenerate more than once per day if your usage is abnormally high.

Softeners only "use" water during regeneration.

One disadvantage of a separate iron filter in your situation is that the iron filter would have to be backwashed regularly and this uses a fair amount of water.

I would expect that there would be independent dealers in your area that sell units with the Fleck or Clack head if you want to investigate that option. Additionally units with the Fleck or Clack head can be purchased from internet suppliers. Typically lowest prices are available from internet suppliers. If you go this route you are responsible for installation--either do it your self or hire a plumber. The degree of help and support varies with internet suppliers--some provide almost none while there are suppliers who provide good support.

One final point--a softener won't remove the sulfer and if you want that removed you are going to need additional equipment.
 
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Old 11-22-09, 10:27 AM
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Thanks Bob! One last question - sorry, this may seem obvious, but I'm clueless about softeners/septic systems and am still a little confused... Which do you think will use less water overall - the Kinetico 2175 or a 3.5 cubic foot single tank softener for a family of 7 with water usage spread equally spread throughout the week (no one big washing day.)? Will the difference be a large amount? We're probably going to need to decide based on this since our septic system isn't able to handle more water than we're currently using.
 
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Old 11-22-09, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by SmithJennings View Post
Thanks Bob! One last question - sorry, this may seem obvious, but I'm clueless about softeners/septic systems and am still a little confused... Which do you think will use less water overall - the Kinetico 2175 or a 3.5 cubic foot single tank softener for a family of 7 with water usage spread equally spread throughout the week (no one big washing day.)? Will the difference be a large amount? We're probably going to need to decide based on this since our septic system isn't able to handle more water than we're currently using.
If the conditions are the same--comparable resin in each system--a twin tank system--Kinetico or Fleck--will have an advantage because it can/will be set up to regenerate
when the resin is exhausted. With a single tank system and regeneration only at night there is inevitably some wasted capacity with translates to increased water usage when measured on the basis of gallons used per 100,000 grains of hardness removed.

If you don't currently have a softener then any softner is going to significantly increase the amount of water to be disposed of. Typically a family of 7 would use 420 gallons of water per day. For example, the Kinetico system will regenerate approximately once per day and I believe you posted a figure of 142 gallons per regeneration. That would be an increase of approximately 1/3 in the amount of water flowing into your septic system.

Have you explored the possibility of an alternative to the existing septic system to dispose of the regeneration water from a softener and, if you were to install one, an iron/sulfur filter? Perhaps a dry well of some sort could be installed to handle this effluent.
 
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Old 11-23-09, 02:05 PM
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I know we generally discharge drain water from water conditioning equipment (softener or iron filters) to an outside downspout. This eliminates the chance of flooding a basement when the sump pump quits AND keeps all that extra water out of the septic system. This assumes that your downspouts are piped out to the ditch by the road or to some other point so all the salty water won't kill the grass. Also make sure that the discharge water goes through a common drainage area and not through your neighbors yard as it could then be killing his/her grass.

As for the equipment, I always use manganese greensand and chlorine to handle iron and sulfur issues. About the hardest thing to remove from water is sulfur. The higher it is, the harder it is to remove. If it's as bad as you say, someone should be able to test it for you and give you accurate reading. Before you purchase anything I suggest posting those sulfur test results and getting some more opinions here.

Lastly, a carbon filter to remove chlorine from the water is NOT NEEDED. It CAN be installed if you don't like the taste/smell of chlorine but most people leave it in. If the unit is sized and installed correctly the chlorine should be adjusted so that it never gets higher than what municipal water uses everyday.
 
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Old 11-23-09, 05:45 PM
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(Bob) If the conditions are the same--comparable resin in each system--a twin-tank system--Kinetico or Fleck--will have an advantage because it can/will be set up to regenerate when the resin is exhausted.
That was the original intention of Bill Prior and Jim Kewley when they invented the twin tank design. So, if the softener is due to regenerate at 10am, noon, 3:46pm, after dishes are washed, or while you are doing a loads of whites, it just resumes into its regeneration and switches tanks and continues it softening ability without a bleep, each time getting maximum efficiency. In fact, a twin almost never regens at the same time. Consistently inconsistent.

Of course, no one really uses water 24/7 in residential applications so that is never a key point, albeit true.

Another key point is that there is no reserve capacity which, on a single tank, is rarely ever realised to its capacity and more often either regens too early--wasting salt/water, or too late permitting iron to emerge into your plumbing, water heaters, dishwasher and laundry; not all the time but it can happen and with 7ppm iron it WILL be noticable. For a demand system that is predicted to regen almost daily, that further increases the risk of mssing the mark.

One of my favorite features and associated benefits is that the twin regens in softened, iron-free water. When you reg a softener with 105 grains plus 7 ppm iron, especially with a 110,000-grain unit, the resins begin to decline in quality much faster and fouling is much more likely.


With a single tank system and regeneration only at night there is inevitably some wasted capacity with translates to increased water usage when measured on the basis of gallons used per 100,000 grains of hardness removed.
A unit this size needs to have a reserve capacity, normally set to accommodate enough water for one-day's use by all individuals. If only half the capacity is uses due to low usage one day--and it doesn't kick into regeneration at 2am, and the next day higher water demands are needed, it is a very good chance that the resins will become exhausted prior to that pre-set regeneration cycling time. A twin is designed to prevent this all the time. My feeling is: the worse the water, the more a twin is beneficial.

If you don't currently have a softener then any softner is going to significantly increase the amount of water to be disposed of. Typically a family of 7 would use 420 gallons of water per day. For example, the Kinetico system will regenerate approximately once per day and I believe you posted a figure of 142 gallons per regeneration. That would be an increase of approximately 1/3 in the amount of water flowing into your septic system.
I'm not sure where the 1/3 increase comes from. My sources say a 110,000-grain unit (Fleck 2510) will use 136 gallons. A Fleck 5600 would use even more if it could be set up to attempt to acheive that total grain removal. Perhaps there are other sources that I am unfamilar with.
Water Weekly From Water Value

Moreover, with 7ppm iron, I would never recommend a low salt setting. In fact, I recommend it to be maximized, with resin cleansers of some kind either as an additive or a component of the salt. Remember, that a single tanks system 'cleans' itself with hard water containing very high levels of iron, which, in many cases, also is used to dissolved the salt in prepartion for the following regeneration.


Have you explored the possibility of an alternative to the existing septic system to dispose of the regeneration water from a softener and, if you were to install one, an iron/sulfur filter? Perhaps a drywell of some sort could be installed to handle this effluent.
Drainage can be a serious issue, especially if your septic is already over taxed. As mentioned before, a dry well may be an alternative. Check with local codes, you might be surprised what's on the books.

Andy Christensen, CWS-II
 
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Old 11-23-09, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by shane21 View Post
As for the equipment, I always use manganese greensand and chlorine to handle iron and sulfur issues.
I don't care for Greensand filter due to the potperm solution and problems. With chlorine used as a regenerant, are you using GreensandPlus?

Andy Christensen
 
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Old 11-24-09, 05:58 PM
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I have used regular inversand greensand, the greensand plus and the clack mtm version. Have had great luck with all 3 so far. I totally agree that greensand and pot perm is a terrible idea. That stuff is so expensive, messy and requires too much service.
 
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Old 11-25-09, 12:59 PM
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Shane,

That's the media I was speaking about. I have wanted to try one of these as a medium priced but effective sulfur system.

I hate potperm and the problems it is associated with.

A few questions if you don't mind.

1. What size tanks and volume media do you use?
2. What chlorine dosage do you set? 4oz?
3. Do you use a potperm brine tank?
4. Can H202 be substituted?
5. What levels sulfur/iron are recommended?
6. Do you have a backwashing frequency for differnt sulfur levles and no. of people?

Thanks,
Andy
 
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Old 12-01-09, 09:37 AM
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Andy,

I use chlorine feed pump injection rather than "draw" injection. I have seen people try using a standard pot perm "brine tank" and add pellets, or the large "hockey puck" tablets but it's just too hard to regulate the chlorine levels. I have found that injection is the only real way to maintain the correct levels plus it's easy for the customer to use a simple chlorine test kit and monitor the water if they are prefer to be hands on.

The only problems I ever have are the customers themselves. I am surprised everyday at how hard simple chemistry is for so many people. I leave explicit mixing details, make sure to use standard Clorox and people still routinely mess up the mixtures. I have learned that too much chlorine will render theses systems almost useless. I think it's because the greensand struggles to "hold" onto the iron when chlorine concentration gets too high. I guess there are drawbacks to all systems.

As for the particulars, I try to make sure the chlorine level is about 1 - 1.25 PPM free chlorine entering the unit. I backwash usually every other day. That's a lot of backwash but when you consider the only ingredient being used is chlorine and literal chlorine costs on these systems are less than $20 a year, I'd rather over backwash the unit then have issues with clogged mineral bed. I have experimented with 3 and 4 day windows and have seen some iron slip through. I assume it's because at 1 PPM chlorine the bed is under oxidized and thus backwashing everyday helps eliminate that issue.

I would say the sulfur limit w/o a contact tank is about .3 PPM using a 10" x 54" tank. I have treated up to 3.5 PPM with a 120 gallon contact tank installed before a 10" x 54" unit. I would have uses a larger filter but there simply wasn't an extra 2" of area to use a 12" tank. Around here sulfur concentrations above .5 PPM are VERY rare. Usually the sulfur content is so low it's hard to test for but still makes the water smell.

Iron varies greatly with pH. I have successfully treated up to 15 PPM with 2 12" x 48" tanks plumbed parallel with 5 GPM flow controls on the outgoing water. I did this without a contact tank AND with water registering a 5.9 pH. This is the worst iron I have used the system on but it's been almost 3 years and I have yet to hear a complaint form the customer.

For standard usage homes (no multi-head showers, no irrigation systems) with 3 PPM iron or less I feel very comfortable with a 10" x 54" filter and feed pump w/o any contact tank (other than what little time I get from the pressure tank depending on cycle). I have been using theses systems for about 8 years now (my parents were the guinea pig) and have had GREAT success. When you show people the real money savings over a 10 year period vs. pot perm they like the fact that they pay for the entire cost of the system and NEVER have to deal with permanganate.
 
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