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Old 06-27-2013, 11:47 AM  
Groves Groves is offline
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Water softener dealers?

We're getting a water softener.

Hello soapy froth. Goodbye clogged sink sprayers. Among other things.


Don't want a big box unit, but will be getting something with a Fleck or Clack valve.

About to pull the internet trigger, but I'd prefer to help the local-ish little guy if he can come close.

Anyone here deal in Fleck or Clack equipment?

We'll be getting a 1.5cu-ft system, probably with 10% resin due to Springfield's chlorine-happy disposition.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:18 PM   #2
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My experience with a water system is that showers are quite pleasant now, didn't expect the difference but it's real. I did think my dishes and shower doors would be cleaner than they are but that hasn't really changed all that much honestly.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:50 PM   #3
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been researching myself as well, and seems like the online deals are the best.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:54 PM   #4
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I am going to follow this thread as well. We need a water softener system badly at the Missouri place (well water), but haven't every really needed one anywhere else.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:19 PM   #5
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My Cullican lasted for about 8 years. I had to put $300 to fix it after 7 years and then a year later they told me the whole thing had to be replaced. F that!
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:32 PM   #6
Kerberos Kerberos is offline
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http://www.kinetico.com/

See if they have a dealer near you. You can go on just about any message board about water softeners and there are numerous people that have reported having 20+ years with their kinetico system and with very little routine maintenance. Google Kintetico VS (any brand water softener) see what people have to say. Nothing better than words from people that have owned different brands and what they think is the best.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:39 PM   #7
Kerberos Kerberos is offline
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One other thing... Kinetico systems use absolutely NO electricity. Even their reverse osmosis unit has no plug.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:14 PM   #8
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I found this site interesting reading on the subject.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerberos View Post
http://www.kinetico.com/

See if they have a dealer near you. You can go on just about any message board about water softeners and there are numerous people that have reported having 20+ years with their kinetico system and with very little routine maintenance. Google Kintetico VS (any brand water softener) see what people have to say. Nothing better than words from people that have owned different brands and what they think is the best.
This is what I have. I've only had it for four years or so, but have had no problems.
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:01 PM   #10
mikeyis4dcats. mikeyis4dcats. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerberos View Post
http://www.kinetico.com/

See if they have a dealer near you. You can go on just about any message board about water softeners and there are numerous people that have reported having 20+ years with their kinetico system and with very little routine maintenance. Google Kintetico VS (any brand water softener) see what people have to say. Nothing better than words from people that have owned different brands and what they think is the best.
that's great, but for the cost, you could replace your big box or Clack valve system multiple times.
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:10 PM   #11
Groves Groves is offline
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Here's what my research has turned up. Take it or leave it, or use it to buy me old woodworking tools.

1. Most all of the units sold in HD, Lowes, Sears, etc are all made by the same company, and can last, but often don't. Each brand puts their label on it, and has their own plastic containers. Valves are usually PVC or something that embrittles with age. They generally use non-serviceable valves and have parts that are expensive. Their resin is not high quality, and the only possible upside is the cost, which even then isn't necessarily lower than other options. If you're a builder and just need a unit, these do work, but for how long.

2. The high-dollar/high-quality options: These are the rainsoft, ecco, culligan lines. Kinetico is included here, too. Much higher quality in the valves and resins. Lasts for years and years, and usually not too hard to repair if something does break. Parts not available outside the dealerships, with prices to match.

3. Industry standard units: Water softeners are both complex and very simple. All you need is a resin tank, salt tank, and the valves to make it all happen. On the one hand, it shouldn't be hard, but there are lots of ways to screw it up at the same time. The most complicated part is the valve. Some companies specialize in valves and have gotten pretty good at it. All companies can lapse in quality control, but companies like FLECK and CLACK have long histories of great valves. While metered demand valves (that measure your water use, instead of just working on a timer) used to be a luxury, they're commonplace now, and can significantly save on your salt use. The Auto**** (can't remember, not a slur) valves are just ok from what I read.




Sizing the unit is important, but it's not life or death. An oversize unit can have issues, and an undersized unit has other issues.


The only place near us that sells CLACK is 2-3X in cost what a fleck system online will be.

Sites like these have quality units, i'm sure there are others:
qualitywaterforless.com
ohiopurewater.com


Obviously, knowing what's actually in your water will also determine what you need in a system in both size and features.

Cities will put out a yearly water quality report, or your can get your water tested.


As long as you get a correctly sized unit with a long lasting valve using good 8% or 10% resin, you should be set for many years.


This is all just gathered info from many sites and forums. (like any INTP would do)


I've got to figure out how much I'd like to remove the chlorine and decide which GAC (Granular Activated Charcoal) device I'll purchase.

Hello blowtorch and solder, too.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:01 PM   #12
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I hate sites that can't just put the price on their webpage. Nope, they MUST send a dealer to your house and talk to you about it for 2 hours before finally giving you the price.

Just go to sears.
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:52 PM   #13
Groves Groves is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guru View Post
I hate sites that can't just put the price on their webpage. Nope, they MUST send a dealer to your house and talk to you about it for 2 hours before finally giving you the price.

Just go to sears.

This "no price given" is a popular strategy with the high-quality/high-price crowd.

Pretty sure we're going with Fleck units from qualitywaterforless.com, though depending on the carbon filter we may go with ohiopurewater.com


Heck, the Sears units are just as much or more as those sites.
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:57 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Groves View Post
This "no price given" is a popular strategy with the high-quality/high-price crowd.

Pretty sure we're going with Fleck units from qualitywaterforless.com, though depending on the carbon filter we may go with ohiopurewater.com


Heck, the Sears units are just as much or more as those sites.
SEars units are under $1000. Those units are generally over $4000. I've had a few come to my home and they are always over 4k
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Old 06-27-2013, 06:10 PM   #15
Groves Groves is offline
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Quote:
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SEars units are under $1000. Those units are generally over $4000. I've had a few come to my home and they are always over 4k
I'm with you.

The culligan/rainsoft/ecowater/kinecto (sp) brands are those high end/high price places.


What I'm saying is that you can get a fleck valved system for $400-$600 at those other online places, which is right at sears prices, even under.

I don't work for or have any interest in any of these thing, I'm just sharing research from other professionals I've gathered over a few weeks of reading.

For that same $400-600 that you would have spent at Sears, you get these bonuses over Sears:
1. Valve that everyone says is bulletproof and long lasting. Nobody says that about the Sears unit.

2. Valve internals that are 1 1/4inch, not just 1 1/4 inch inputs with smaller internals.

3. Resin that is legit 8% instead of the 5% resin you'd find in the big box units. This alone is huge in extending the life of the unit. I can't find Sears's resin specs anywhere on their site. It's like not putting how many horsepower a car makes. Strange to leave it out. If it is indeed 5% resin, I sure wouldn't put it out there in print either.

4. Parts may from Noryl instead of pvc or abs that becomes brittle over time.


I think all the Sears units will work. They're not faulty, they're just not built to last, and everyone in the industry knows it. Just know what you're getting and if that's what you want. They do a good job of matching up parts and materials that will work together for the relatively short life of the unit.

People are transient these days. Why buy a unit that will last for 20 years when you'll only be there for 4? Huge market for short life units, and they're filling the void.

Not my style, though. (Neither are the $3000 units, yikes!)
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