Kinetico RO Membrane Replacement Question.

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Old 03-12-19, 06:21 PM
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Kinetico RO Membrane Replacement Question.

I appreciate any help offered and am very thankful for this forum. I have an older Kinetico KRO+ VX, TF (516). It needs to have the membrane changed but I am having trouble opening the membrane housing. I have done extensive searches on the Internet for information on how to open the housing but this seems to be the best kept secret around. I haven't been able to find a single image, document, or video on the subject.

It looks like the housing should open from the top. The problem is the top of the housing almost appears to be glued shut. I have applied considerable force to the top of the housing but it will not budge. I have heard there is a "special wrench" that is used to open these housings. I am concerned that I will break something if I keep forcing the top of the housing. The "lip" at the top of the housing is so narrow I am assuming any threads that unscrew must be down on the inside of the housing. I hope someone can confirm this for me. If anyone has photos of an opened housing or detailed instructions on opening it that would be great.

Thanks so much for any advice on this. I am including some links to images of my setup and the membrane housing. Please see the links below. Once you get to the image you can click the plus icon and zoom in on the image. You will see that it almost appears to be glued shut.

System Setup

Membrane Housing Front View

Membrane Housing Right View
 
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Old 03-13-19, 01:04 AM
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The entire housing is replaced, just unconnect the john guest tube connections and reconnect the new membrane cartridge!
 
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Old 03-13-19, 12:40 PM
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Thanks for the prompt reply Marq1. I wonder why they sold me a replacement membrane for the RO when I first purchased it? Seems a bit shady to sell me a replacement membrane that can't be installed.

The company I purchased from is under new ownership and they want $300 to $400 to replace the membrane housing. I may try the link below as it seems like a viable option at a much lower cost for the DIY guy. Thanks again for your kind help.

http://www.waterfiltersonline.com/ki...eplacement.asp
 

Last edited by jglefler; 03-13-19 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 03-15-19, 03:08 PM
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After a bit more research I went with the following Aquapurion Reverse Osmosis Membrane Housing RMH-18 https://www.uswatersystems.com/aquap...e-housing.html

You will also need 3 of their 1/4" x 1/8" MPT John Guest Quick Connect Elbows https://www.uswatersystems.com/1-4-x...nnect-ell.html

I ordered their 75 GPD membrane https://www.uswatersystems.com/us-wa...ne-75-gpd.html

To maintain proper membrane function you will need a Capillary Flow Restrictor for Reverse Osmosis System - 550 mil - https://www.uswatersystems.com/capil...em-55-mil.html

At the time I ordered these items they were on sale and the total for everything was only $71.41.
 
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Old 03-15-19, 03:53 PM
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they want $300 to $400 to replace the membrane housing
Water treatment is nothing special, I can not tell you the number of horror stories I have read where people are ripped off big time by water treatment companies.

If I recall my system uses membranes that cost about $40, the filters are around $8, the entire unit only cost around $150!
 
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Old 03-15-19, 06:27 PM
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If I recall my system uses membranes that cost about $40, the filters are around $8, the entire unit only cost around $150!
Well said Marq1. The upgrade I purchased was under 72 bucks and moving forward I will pay about what you quoted for membranes and filters. I love not being at the mercy of these "professionals". I feel sorry for folks who don't have the basic know-how to do some of these fairly simple DIY projects. If you don't have at least some basic understanding of these systems I could see where it would be daunting to many people.

The nice thing about today's DIY environment is all of the available info on forums like this and YouTube. If you have some basic mechanical skills you can find tutorials on almost anything you want to do.
 
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Old 07-27-19, 10:24 AM
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jglefler, Thanks for sharing all of this. I have the same old Kinetico unit as you except it is a (518). The replacement RO membrane has been discontinued and the Kinetico dealer says the only option is to replace the entire system with a new model for $700! Having made this change are you satisfied with how everything worked out with the parts you described above? Thanks!
 
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Old 08-04-19, 06:50 PM
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Hi thwilsonjr,

Sorry I didn't respond sooner. I'm installing some Weatherables replacement PVC posts and rails on my front porch and have been so preoccupied that I forgot to get back to you.

I am very happy with the new setup. A Kinetico dealer was going to charge me through the roof to upgrade my RO and this mod I installed is working fine. I monitored the time it took for the Kinetico auto-shutoff MacGuard filter to cut off at 500 gallons of RO water production so I can switch over to the much cheaper generic MacGuard type filter as seen here https://www.waterfilterstore.com/rep...0-125-975.html

It took 4 months for us to go through 500 gallons of RO water using the Kinetco MacGuard filter. So I will be switching over to the generic MacGusrd type carbon block filter and will change them 3 times per year (every 4 months) since they do not have the automatic shutoff feature the Kinetico MacGuard has. At less than half the price of the Kinetico MacGuard filter, I'm good with that.

When I first made the upgrade I was getting RO water with a TDS reading of 10 parts per million. I think this Kinetico system was around 4 PPM when it was new. I changed the 5-micron pre-filter and MacGuard filter about 2 1/2 months ago. After 2 1/2 months, the RO has drifted up to 15 PPM. Our water is terrible. It is full of iron and a challenge for any system. We have an old Kinetico K60 softener ahead of the RO. Some say the TDS level should be between (50 - 150) PPM. If that is true I am ok with 15 PPM.

A neighbor of ours has a cheap RO system and he is getting around 5 PPM. I was a bit surprised the Kinetico wasn't doing better than it is. We had a Kinetico dealer install a SHURflo 82-100-00 booster pump to the RO system a few years after it was originally installed and I'm not sure they hooked it up properly. That may be affecting the TDS of the system. It looks as if they set it up so it may be drawing water incorrectly. I don't understand the way they have the lines routed. It just looks strange to my untrained eye.

I will do a video of my system in the near future so you can see how I have it set up. It may take me a few days to get to it because I need to get this PVC post and rail project finished. I got sick of scraping, patching, and painting the old wooden posts and rails. I love DIY projects and am very thankful for this excellent forum to share ideas with fellow DIY folks.
 
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Old 08-04-19, 10:31 PM
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and will change them 3 times per year (every 4 months)
That seems excessive, my system recommends changing every 6 months, but I have a very robust water treatment ahead of the RO (chlorine, carbon, softner) so I now go a year between changes without any effect!

But every system is different!
 
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