Kinetico 4040s without pre-filter? (city water)


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Old 12-16-10, 01:13 AM
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Kinetico 4040s without pre-filter? (city water)

Hi folks,

I noticed Andy C. help out another Kinetico 4040s owner in http://forum.doityourself.com/water-...040-price.html, but I still have questions.

Does this softener require a pre-filter? I asked the business owner, and the plumber (who works for him) who installed the system, and they both said for city water, a pre-filter was not required for the 4040s. I asked Kinetico, and they said, for the 4040s, it depended on the situation. The owner also said the 4040s has some kind of basket to catch large particles and drain them.

Then again, I received a letter from the local water utility that said they were switching to well water this month to do maintenance (maybe filtered to an extent?) .

The owner and plumber indicated hardness as both 22 gpg and 26 gpg -- the pamphlet from the utility is also in this range.

I'm in an evaluation period for this softener and need to decide in the next few days whether I should purchase the system outright. I was charged $585 for the install, with a buyout price of $3,990 (install fee credited toward this), or just paying $45/month, which I believe could increase over time (and even renting, I'd still pay the $300 every 8 years carbon replacement and maintenace).

Knowing what Andy C. wrote, I suspect they would rather not install the pre-filter as they'd get calls from customers about the filter often with not much profit margin. Who knows -- prolonging the life of the hardware may also not be what they want to do. Then again, they could be on the level and really believe what they say, and be right about it (i.e., maybe the 8-year carbon replacement is where they clean other things out).

What should I do, now the system is already installed without a pre-filter (I'm doubtful about space -- I can photograph the setup if it helps)? Is there some way to quantify how much more life I'd get out the softener if I had the pre-filter installed? I have six neighbors who have installed this identical system who did not install the pre-filter; five of them have purchased, one is on rental. I'm #7 I suppose. Thanks.
 
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Old 12-16-10, 03:58 AM
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Kinetico, Inc., requires all 4040s OD, 2040s OD, and any other upflow softeners to have a prefilter as stated in the service tech manual. Upflow models have no freeboard to backwash out sediment and can clog the base of the filter media.

City water is general free from sediment EXCEPT when city lines break or they flush fire hydrants, etc. I have an upflow model and occasionally my prefilter is plugged up witb these incidental water issues. The 4040 is a fine model but must be installed properly for optimum performance and service life.

Downflow models, filters are optional but recommended.
 
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Old 12-16-10, 01:23 PM
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Thanks. FYI, here was the response from Kinetico from a few months ago:

Thanks for contacting Kinetico Incorporated. We do recommend prefiltration to stop any possible debris from entering into the softener. The local dealer will provide the best advice based on their knowledge of the water supply. Well water is a definite yes to prefiltration. City water is dependent on variable factors.
The local dealer in this case said a pre-filter was not required "because it's city water", and getting one would be a waste of money and time to change it.

If I may ask, what would you do if you were in my situation? (Of course I won't blame you for advice freely given.) In hindsight, I should have pressed the dealer harder about the pre-filter until I was satisfied with an answer. I guess I still could ...
 
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Old 12-16-10, 04:30 PM
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Well, first of all two facts: 1. 4040s are used ONLY on city water (carbon and upflow) and 2. the service tech manual specifically requires a prefilter. I can send you a copy if you'd like. Send me a PM.

Who's to judge whether it is a 'waste of time and money'? If your system clogs up, it will not be covered by warranty and the time and money will go to them.

Moreover, I have a sediment prefilter that costs about $4.00 to replace and it lasts more than a year. Afterall, it isn't removing much, right? It is there as a pre-caution against unexpected sediment which comes through the lines not as a perpetual water quality issue, but rather a sudden situation similar to as I mentioned before.

Get a standard 25-micron 10" x 2.5" cartridge and it will work fine without any flow problems. get a clear housing if you want to judge for yourself the effectiveness. Photos below show a Kinetico brand filter housing and filter but a generic sediment filter will do just fine.

Where are you located?


 
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Old 12-16-10, 06:09 PM
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Thanks much for your opinion. In the best light it's two experts disagreeing. In the worst light, well the dealer just had seven installs of the 4040s on our block *without* the pre-filter.

I'm in Sunnyvale, CA. The utility is the California Water Service Company. Here's the water quality sheet: http://www.calwater.com/wq/ccr/2009/...s-2009_web.pdf. The dealer is De Anza Water Conditioning (same dealer as in the other post), person I spoke with was John Schafer, the principal.

I suppose my options are:
- Ask him to quote me a fee to install a pre-filter (now the system is already up without one)
- Ask another plumber ()
- Buy it outright, or continue renting -- without the pre-filter

Thanks again.
 
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Old 12-16-10, 07:17 PM
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Well, good luck. They seem to know their water very well. I was going on personal experience and technical literature from the manufacturer.
 
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Old 12-16-10, 07:31 PM
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Did you talk with him?

Anyway, if Kinetico corporate had told me, "Yes it's required", that's different, but they said "recommended" implying the same reasons you said, and then said, talk to the local dealer who would know best. You just hope the dealer is on top of things, right?

How about this ... assuming we had the pre-filter, from your experience, do you have an idea how long the 4040s would last on average assuming the regular carbon exchange (and occasional, hopefully rare repair) before we had to change to a new system?

That might help me decide how hard to push for a pre-filter and buy, or just rent.
 
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Old 12-17-10, 02:45 AM
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If you re-read the Kinetico statement, you can see they were generalizing. Did they specifically refer to the 4040?

Asking me how long the carbon would last depends on water usage and chlorine concentration.

The chlorine removing capacity of the carbon life isn't what I am talking about when it comes to prefiltering the 4040. The softener/filter can be clogged in one week of use given that a water main breaks and fills the bottom tanks (both) with foreign matter. The prefilter is used as a precaution not a constant water quality device as on a well water application.

Again, it is impossible tpo say when the next city water line problem may occur. In my area, about once every two years. The prefilter clogs up and water stops completely. I change the filter and let it go for (another two years). I can't imagine needing to rebed the bottom two tanks everytime that happens...which is not covered by warranty.

Again, I would be happy to send the service tech page that specific says for the 4040 a prefilter is REQUIRED. If they continue to refuse to do it, then have a plumber put one in and be finished with it. That's my advice! Very cheap and effective insurance. You will get decades of great service.
 
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Old 12-17-10, 09:53 AM
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Yes, they were referring to the 4040s. Here's my e-mail to them:

We are receiving city water and would like to know if the Kinetico 4040s requires a prefilter? If so or if not, under what water conditions should we have a prefilter? Does installing a prefilter drop the water pressure? Thanks!
When I mentioned the carbon exchange, what the dealer described was also general cleaning / servicing. I'm not quite sure. However if the softener gets clogged in one week due to a utility issue, that's a long time to 8 years, and I think I'd probably be paying the dealer to fix it right then, if it can be fixed. I don't know where and how the machine would collect the foreign matter without a pre-filter, so this is all a guess.

I'll send you a PM you for the page.
 
 

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