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Advice Please - Andy (CWS)

 
 
djl
 
Reply Sat 2 Aug, 2008 08:11 am
Dear Andy,

I've read a number of threads and find your answers thoughtful, comprehensive, professional, and always polite.

Could I have your personal opinion on the quality of three systems I'm considering purchasing? We live in Harrison, AR and have city (chlorinated) water that's quite hard. I don't have the stats - sorry.

We're looking at comparative quality of the systems and value your experience in the industry. The three are...

an EcoWater 3500 softener and a EOR 375 RO unit
a Culligan Medalist softener and their RO unit (not sure which one)
a Kinnetico city softener and their K5 RO unit

The EcoWater package is $2661.88 installed with 2-yrs. service (salt, etc.)
The Culligan package is $2581.20
We don't have a price on the Kinetico package yet.

Thanks very much,
DJL
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Andy CWS
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 Aug, 2008 12:36 pm
djl,

Thank you. I have just stopped in the check email but will get back with you as soon as I can. Thank you for your patience.

In the meanwhile, do you have any water test results. All the inforamtion you can provide is a help to determining the best choices.

Take care and talk to you soon,
Andy Christensen, CWS-II
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Andy CWS
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2008 01:41 pm
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djl
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2008 06:30 am
Thanks very much!
Dear Andy,

I'm humbled by and thankful for the time you took to give your comprehensive answers. I'm hesitant to say I do have a few more questions.

(1) The Eco man did offer me the ERO 375 RO system, even though I can clearly see the superiority of the Kinetico K5. Any comments on the ERO 375?

(2) Unless I'm missing it, you didn't reply about the Kinetico water softeners except to mention that dual tanks have their advantages. It would seem to me that not having as much electronic gagetry (using water flow and pressure instead), the Kinetico softener (theoretically) should be less expensive and have less repair issues than either Culligan or Eco. Would that be true?

(3) Realizing we have a bit of chlorine in our city water, I noticed Culligan boasts a lifetime guarantee on their resin - isn't that the stuff that deteriorates over time because of chlorine? Neither EcoWater nor Kinetico have lifetime warranties on their resin. We had chlorinated city water in NJ and our Eco softener gave us 9 yrs. of trouble free service. What should I be considering with regard to the chlorine issue?

(4) On a related note, the length of the Kinetico softener warranty is dependent on either having a carbon-combination system installed or a dechlorination system unit preceding the softener and the carbon media replaced when exhausted. (a) Could you please explain the relevance of the chlorine issue (if any) and why Culigan would offer a lifetime on their resin without mention of chlorine. (b) Additionally, do you have any kind of sense of what the added expense the added combo or dechlor system might be, including a comment about estimated frequency/expense to replace the carbon when exhausted?

(5) EcoWater gives a lifetime warranty on their tanks whereas Culligan and Kinetico give less. Should that be considered important?

Thanks again for your time and for sharing your expertise.

DJL
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djl
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2008 07:13 am
additinal question
Dear Andy,

I just realized that you did address the Kinetico softener question, asking which unit (the 2025, 4040, 2040) they offered. Actually I haven't spoken with the Kinetico rep. yet. What are the differences between these units? Or, if simpler, can you give me a link to a PDF or a web page describing the three?

Thanks again,
DJL
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H2O MAN
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2008 08:00 am
Nice work Andy Cool
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djl
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2008 08:01 am
Feel free to chime in, H2O man....
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H2O MAN
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2008 08:06 am
djl wrote:
Feel free to chime in, H2O man....


Thanks, but unless Andy requests my assistance I'll just watch.
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djl
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2008 08:08 am
That's kind of you, but I do value your thoughts too...
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djl
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2008 11:53 am
Dear Andy,

I found out that our city chlorine amount is only around 1 or 1.1. I spoke to the Kinetico rep. just now. They wanted $3350 for the Mach 2040 and the K5 RO unit installed. That's $768.00 more than the Culligan package and $687.12 than the EcoWater package. That seems like a lot of money. I'm convince the K5 RO unit is probably worth the money but please help me understand why the softener is (if it is).

Thanks!
DJL
0 Replies
 
Andy CWS
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2008 04:06 pm
Re: Thanks very much!
djl wrote:

Dear Andy,

I'm humbled by and thankful for the time you took to give your comprehensive answers. I'm hesitant to say I do have a few more questions.DJL


You're welcome.

djl wrote:

(1) The Eco man did offer me the ERO 375 RO system, even though I can clearly see the superiority of the Kinetico K5. Any comments on the ERO 375?DJL


http://www.baylakeseco.com/Site/PDFs/EWS-ERO375.pdf
This is the company's brochure on the RO. I think the nicest feature is it can be expandable with pre- and post-filters but not sure what filters it includes, exactly. It mentions a 17 gpd production rating. So about 3/4 gph. Warranty is 1 year on membrane but will last longer depending on source water and prefilter configuration.

Kinetico's is ten years on parts and membrane (four on membrane if it doesn't follow a Kinetico sofener).


djl wrote:

(2) Unless I'm missing it, you didn't reply about the Kinetico water softeners except to mention that dual tanks have their advantages. It would seem to me that not having as much electronic gagetry (using water flow and pressure instead), the Kinetico softener (theoretically) should be less expensive and have less repair issues than either Culligan or Eco. Would that be true?DJL


I am not sure how non-electric can cause it to be cheaper to produce but it tends to work more efficiently and for longer periods of time than Culligan models. I replace many of those.

No, I didn't go into a great amount of detail, sorry. The non-electric operation assures there will be no electronic maintenance, repair or replacements for the life of the unit...I guess that would be called a true lifetime... ;-}

Warranty is ten years on all parts and resin except as you stated concerning chlorine; then it is seven years. Regenerates with treated water keeping the valve clean and resins fresher.

All parts are corrosion resistent. 1.5" ports for high flow rate. High salt efficient design. True demand system that regenerates immediately not at 2:00am and it uses treated water.

http://www.kinetico.com/KineticoSystems/WaterSofteners.aspx

djl wrote:

(3) Realizing we have a bit of chlorine in our city water, I noticed Culligan boasts a lifetime guarantee on their resin - isn't that the stuff that deteriorates over time because of chlorine? Neither EcoWater nor Kinetico have lifetime warranties on their resin. We had chlorinated city water in NJ and our Eco softener gave us 9 yrs. of trouble free service. What should I be considering with regard to the chlorine issue? DJL


I googled 'Culligan Lifetime Resin' and this came up. Some customers who complain don't get all the details just right and present views of their own. Ask for detials before you buy.
http://culligan-water-conditioning.pissedconsumer.com/culligan-warranty-is-a-deceptive-sham-20080303114473.html

"Lifetime" anything raises red flags for me. It is really a matter of carefully looking at the asterisks (*) and fine print. The reality is that resins will deteriorate while soaking in chlorinated water. How does Culligan specifiy that? Not sure how they handle chlorine issues.

The valve has only one year on the entire unit. Five years on the valve 'body' (not internal parts). Kinetico's is a full ten years on all parts.



djl wrote:

(4) On a related note, the length of the Kinetico softener warranty is dependent on either having a carbon-combination system installed or a dechlorination system unit preceding the softener and the carbon media replaced when exhausted. (a) Could you please explain the relevance of the chlorine issue (if any) and why Culigan would offer a lifetime on their resin without mention of chlorine. (b) Additionally, do you have any kind of sense of what the added expense the added combo or dechlor system might be, including a comment about estimated frequency/expense to replace the carbon when exhausted?DJL


Dechlorination methods come in four basic forms: 1. Replaceable carbon filter (KDF can be added for prolonged service) cartridges that can be GAC, pleated carbon or carbon block either nominal or absolute micron ratings. 2. Upflow carbon tank (0.7 - 1.5 cuft). Single or twin-tank backwashing filter or varying quantities, or 4. Kinetico's combination filter/softener. Some softeners combine carbon and resin in the same tank. I don't strongly recommend this.

djl wrote:

(5) EcoWater gives a lifetime warranty on their tanks whereas Culligan and Kinetico give less. Should that be considered important?DJL


This is good. Tanks on the other hand rarely suffer failure unless they collapse or expode (crack). Broken foot valves can cause a collapse and I have seen this once. Freezing can make them explode. I suppose city water pressure could shoot up enough to cause it to split but noneof these would be covered by warranty anyway. Tanks last long after all else fails.

djl wrote:
Thanks again for your time and for sharing your expertise.

DJL


There are many good choices out there.

Andy Christensen, CWS-II


PS H20MAN chime in if you like....
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djl
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2008 06:28 pm
one last request
Dear Andy,

As usual, your answers were thorough and satisfying. Thank you.

If I could ask a final favor - would you mind sending your thoughts about my last post I wrote before this one? Thanks much in advance.

DJL
0 Replies
 
djl
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2008 06:47 pm
To H2O Man
I'm sorry, Kevin. I did receive your pm but because I'm new to the forum, I don't have pm privileges to return an answer. I'm wondering if, with your advice, you could give a bit more rationale. It's clear you favor the EcoWater product line, but I'm trying to compare it with the Kinetico units. I would really like some clear answers why the EcoWater 3500 beats the Kinetico Mach 2040 or the carbon block you recommended is a better buy than Kinetico's K5 RO unit.

Thanks in advance,
DJL
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Andy CWS
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2008 06:49 pm
Was your question about chlorine effects?

Andy
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djl
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2008 07:02 pm
Not exactly. Here's the question again, taken from the bottom of page one of this thread...

Dear Andy,

I found out that our city chlorine amount is only around 1 or 1.1.

I spoke to the Kinetico rep. this morning. They wanted $3350 for the Mach 2040 and the K5 RO unit installed. That's $768.00 more than the Culligan package and $687.12 than the EcoWater package. That seems like a lot of money.

I'm convinced the K5 RO unit is probably worth the money but please help me understand why the softener is (if it is).

Thanks!
DJL
0 Replies
 
Andy CWS
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2008 08:15 pm
When you say you spoke to him, do you mean he gave a presentation at your home or he just quoted prices over the phone?

I have mentioned a half-dozen aspects already. I was wondering how much more detail you needed?

The EcoWater unit is highly efficient (around 5100 gpps) and has many great features. Choose that one if you wish. Have you been quoted the 3500R20 or 30? The Culligan is an older design, not as efficient and not so great a warranty.

The 2040 has a salt efficiency of 5222 grains per pound of salt. It uses only one pound per regeneration and only 7 gallons in a 11 minutes. Did you tell me your water conditions? It uses a fine mesh resin rather than standard mesh found in most softeners.

Its operation is extremely simple: add salt. It is certified NSF and WQA in performance catagories. Its flow rate is 11 gpm with a peak flow of 15.

The twin tank performance allows it to regenerate immediately and this provides endless, continuous service. A single tank softener can remove perhaps 27,000 in a 24 hour period. The Kinetico can remove more than 300,000 grains in the same period. This will never be needed but it shows the ability.

Expect to use it for 25 - 30 years under normal operations.

I can email you specs sheet, if you like.

Andy Christensen, CWS-II
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H2O MAN
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2008 08:15 pm
Re: To H2O Man
djl wrote:
I'm sorry, Kevin. I did receive your pm but because I'm new to the forum, I don't have pm privileges to return an answer. I'm wondering if, with your advice, you could give a bit more rationale. It's clear you favor the EcoWater product line, but I'm trying to compare it with the Kinetico units.


The solid carbon block Multi-Pure drinking water filter is a simple in and out filter that does not require any maintenance
other than a cartridge change every 12 months at a cost of about $60.00, it will not reduce salts though.

The only experience I have with Kinetico in my area is that factory service is hard to find and extremely expensive when it is found.
I have replaced a few Kinetico systems because they were not working and a few working units because the client wanted reliable local service.

In my professional opinion, the ERR3500 is hands down the best water conditioning system for chlorinated municipal water on the market.
The local ECOwater dealer in my area has installed hundreds and they have had zero issues.
Their clients are happy that their new system uses less salt and water than the competition.
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djl
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2008 08:29 pm
I thank both of you gentleman for going beyond the call of duty for our family, patiently answering all our questions. We'll prayerfully consider what you've said and make our decision soon.

Thanks much for everything you do on these posts, not just for us but for everybody you've answered.

Respectfully,
DJL
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Gary Slusser
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 11:47 am
For DLJ, and especially others that read this thread... you hear the great things about Kinetico and Ecowater like 11 gallons of water per regeneration and such high salt efficiencies but... absolutely no negatives or disadvantages. It has been said that of it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't true...

Is it possible there are some negatives or disadvantages to those brands and types of softeners, of course, every type of equipment has disadvantages along with their advantages.

When a softener regenerates with only 11 gallons of water and only 2+/- lbs of salt, you need to ask how many times it regenerates.

When all twin tank softeners like Kinetico regenerates, the water to do so comes through the other tank and that's where any water you use while regeneration comes from. So you get to share your water pressure and flow with the water flow the other tank is sending to drain. That reduces your pressure and flow at your fixtures.

Unless you need softened water 24/7, like shift workers, car washes etc., you do not need a twin tank type softener.

So I ask why pay for two resin tanks when a regular softener with only one would work for your family? I say it is because the salesperson wants you to own a twin tank... and charge you whatever he wants you to pay for him for it.

The truth is, a twin tank softener may regenerate numerous times per day and the smaller the resin tanks, the more frequently they MUST regenerate.

On a weekly basis, they will use more water and salt than a regular softener that costs many hundreds to thousands of dollars less.

I or any other dealer can sell softeners using fine mesh (or SST-60) but I tell my prospective customers any disadvantages or negatives and fine mesh has a higher pressure loss than regular mesh or SST-60 resins.

People don't like anything that will reduce their pressure or flow of water at their fixtures. Fine mesh also costs more per cubic foot than regular mesh resin and SST costs even more, and on average you can never save enough salt to make up the price difference. Fine mesh gets about 20% better salt efficiency BUT, a softener not using fine mesh resin can get the same salt efficiencies. SST-60 gets 30% better salt efficiency.

Warranties... first you pay for the warranty whether you ever use it or not. Is that smart? I don't think so.

It can be a very expensive part of the purchase price of the softener and it will be higher priced based on the length of the warranty.

And IF the equipment is as good as they say it is, why do you need to pay for something you shouldn't have a need for? It's like extended warranties, they are very expensive and rarely needed or used; and therefore a dumb purchase but they are SOLD every day (to the less knowledgeable among us).

The fact is that if you buy any softener using a high quality control valve, that's where all the moving parts are, you get very long service free operation measured by a decade or more years.

And you really need to read the gray fine print of all warranties but then, any warranty is only as good as the dealer selling the softener. Many people tell me of problems getting dealers selling high priced equipment to live up to the warranty; either the fine print gets them out of it or, the dealer is out of business or simply won't accept phone calls or email etc.. Then when the person calls the home office, they have been told that the dealer is an independent and they can not force them to do anything.

Of course that can happen with any dealer but from my experience a dealer or salesperson selling the highest priced equipment does so because of the money they can make. Of course they say otherwise but on average, it's the money.

There are other disadvantages but I'll leave them until someone asks for more info.
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djl
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 12:20 pm
Dear Gary,

Thanks for taking the time to write a lengthy reply to this thread. Of course, after all you've written, my obvious question is, what do you recommend? I'm not exactly a DIY'r but would be willing to consider alternatives to what I'm considering if I could get someone local to install them. Try to be really specific about your recommendation - brand, model numbers, estimated costs, etc. - whatever might be helpful.

I'm looking at a softener for a family of five and a good RO unit for under our kitchen sink. The local chlorine is about 1 or 1.1. I'm not sure about the hardness, but it's certainly hard. My TDS meter is still packed in a box somewhere.

Thanks,
DJL
0 Replies
 
 

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