Best Water Softener

Kinetico Water Softener Review – Is It The Best?

A water softener and filter can be an important and necessary part of homeownership, and it is just as imperative to find the right one to suit your needs.

There are so many things to consider, such as the price of the unit, how big your house is, how many people are living in the house, what type of water you have, how handy you are, and how much you would like to spend on clean water, whether that’s drinking water or water for laundry.

If you’re looking for Kinetico water softener reviews, then you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ve broken down the details regarding one of the top water softener and filter brands today: Kinetico.

See all Kinetico water softeners here.

Kinetico water softener

What is a Kinetico Water Softener?

What’s all the hype surrounding Kinetico water softener systems? Why are they so popular, and are they really the best? Well, that perspective is entirely dependent on your personal, household water needs, but here is a quick breakdown of some of Kinetico’s main selling points.

  • It’s a true, salt-based water softener system that removes calcium and magnesium
  • It’s non-electric and uses kinetic energy (hence its name)
  • It is a dual tank system, and automatic regeneration means there’s no time without soft water
  • It cleans itself with soft water, which extends the life of the system
  • It can be used with both municipal and well water
  • It uses approximately 70% softener less salt than comparable units

Kinetico was started in Newbury, Ohio, in 1970. Two engineers, Jim Krewley and Bill Prior designed the first water softening system that used kinetic energy instead of electricity to soften water.

These are twin-tank, fully automated, non-electric, salt-based water softening systems. Since then, the company has built a solid reputation with its whole-home water softeners and reverse osmosis kits for all your water needs, including clean drinking water.

These are some of the highest-rated water softeners, and all of their water treatment systems are certified by the Water Quality Association (WQA) as well as The National Sanitary Foundation (NSF).

Kinetico water filter is a true water softener system, rather than a conditioning system. It removes calcium and magnesium from the water through ion exchange, rather than by merely changing the structure of the minerals as water conditioning units do.

As stated above, they are a salt-based water softening system (with softener salt) and are designed to use the kinetic energy of flowing water rather than electricity to achieve this effect. The downside to this water system is the environmental cost, as non-salt-based softeners are much more environmentally sound.

What Systems Does Kinetico Offer?

All of the Kinetico systems, except for one, are two-tank systems. A two-tank system means that there’s no downtime for regeneration. Also, regeneration is metered, so there is no wasted water. The system will regenerate more when more water is being used, for instance, if you have guests.

It will regenerate much less if there are fewer people than usual in your house. In addition to using approximately 70% less salt than other comparable systems, Kinetico water system does not use electricity, so they are less expensive to operate with less need for maintenance.

Another perk of the Kinetico water system is that it self-cleans with soft water instead of the hard water most systems use, so their life span is increased dramatically.

Kinetico water softener logo

Premier Series: As the bestseller, it uses fine mesh resin rather than resin beads, so the system adjusts to flow, resulting in higher efficiency.

Fine Mesh Resin

Details:

  • High cost
  • Duel tank water treatment
  • Non-electric operation
  • Can handle very hard water (up to 225 grains of hardness)
  • High capacity (removal of up to 200,000 grains per day)
  • High water flow rate
  • High efficiency water filter
  • 24/7 soft water
  • Can handle city water
  • Can handle problem water, or well water with one or more contaminants

Signature Series: Marketed as Efficient and Durable 

Marketed as Efficient and Durable

Details:

  • Mid-range cost
  • Duel tank
  • Non-electric operation
  • Can handle medium-hard water
  • Medium capacity
  • Lower water flow rate than with the Premier
  • High efficiency
  • 24/7 soft water
  • Can handle the problem or well water with one or more contaminants

Kinetico Essential Series: Marketed as their Simple and Compact Model

Kinetico Essential Series

Details:

  • Lower range price
  • Single tank
  • Non-electric operation
  • Lower hardness rating
  • Lower capacity
  • Lower water flow
  • High efficiency water treatment
  • Approved for city water but not well water

Powerline Series – Less Expensive

  • Electrical operation
  • Single tank water filtration
  • Integrated iron filter to remove iron deposits
  • Made for iron and sulfur removal

Kinetico is a company known for excellent quality, and the prices, which are on the higher end of the water softener range, are reflective of this. Unfortunately, you won’t find their prices on their website. Instead, they contract out sales and installation to affiliated dealers with qualified technicians.

The water filter system you end up with and the pricing of it will depend on what your water needs are and on the size of your household. They do state on their site that, depending on your water issues, you may need more than one system.

In order to have your water assessed by a Kinetico technician, you will have to fill out an online form and have a representative come to your house to assess your water softener needs. This has led some customers to feel they were being upsold instead of having their needs simply met. However, this may have been due to the highly technical language the reps used. According to consumer reviews, the end results have been for the most part positive.

Although the lack of a conventional pricing plan may seem suspect, Kinetico salespeople and technicians have helped give the company credibility, as they are reputed to be extremely knowledgeable and attentive during assessment and installation, as well as offering comprehensive follow-up and maintenance visits.

Most Kinetico reviews have stated that these are reliable units and that the only real maintenance they need is a salt top-up. You will need to purchase evaporated salt, as other products can cause particles in your water, which can mean that your softening unit will require additional maintenance. If salt top-up prices are a concern, these softeners use 70% less salt than similar units.

Kinetico has one of the best warranties in the industry. However, it is void if any maintenance is done by anyone other than a certified technician, and labor and shipping is not included. The warranty stays with the softener system, transferring to the next homeowner if the home is sold.

The water softening system lasts between 10-20 years, which is a long life span for any water softener. This is partly due to the fact that the systems use soft water to clean themselves rather than the hard water most systems use. This avoids limescale buildup, preventing the need for maintenance or repair.

As Kinetico softeners can cost a homeowner anywhere between $500-$5000, it’s important to pick the system that is right for your home. Although the initial cost is high, the cost of operation and maintenance is low, and there is metered regeneration on most models, so there is no downtime where you will have hard water.

As stated above, consumer reviews are generally positive. Most complaints about this water filtration are regarding a salty taste to the water, which according to Kinetico has been addressed in their newer models or an iron taste to the drinking water in the reverse osmosis filter systems.

Another consumer concern is the technical language salespeople tend to use, which can lead customers to believe they may be purchasing more than is really necessary, as stated above. 

One issue often associated with Kinetico is that there is no indicator to let customers know when salt needs to be replaced.

Kinetico water softener under sink

Positive Kinetico Reviews

  • A Colorado customer wrote a review based on three separate Kinetico system purchases. He purchased a combination softener, charcoal filter and reverse osmosis system. He is very happy with the duel-tank, which guarantees his family won’t run out of soft water, and with the taste and feel of the water.
  • Another five-star review was from a New Mexico woman who had incredibly hard water with a number of contaminants, including arsenic. A plumber recommended the Kinetico system, and she is pleased with both the simplicity of the system and the prompt and polite service.
  • Price is an issue that came up in two different four-star reviews, including one woman from Colorado who says that she ended up paying for services and items that she wasn’t told about in advance. Another issue came from a man from New Mexico who lives in a rural area. He said he finds that having a service person come all the way out to the house is far too expensive, yet as stated above, any work done on the system must be done by a certified Kinetico technician, or else the warranty is void.

Negative Kinetico Reviews

  • A one-star review was given by a woman who had repeatedly had bad luck with her Kinetico system. Weeks after installation, she discovered the salt water from the system draining into the crawl space under her house, which resulted in her having to purchase additional tubing to drain the brine reservoir correctly. Secondly, she found it difficult to upgrade her kitchen faucet with standard compression fittings. Then, she recounts being told that there is little to no interest if payments are made within a couple of years, but realized that she was being charged $20 per month on each bill.

Kinetico seems very concerned with customer service and satisfaction, as they have taken the time to respond to most if not all of the reviews on the Consumer Affairs page. Most notably, they left this response to the above reviewer:

Kinetico Response

Hi Kelley,

We are sorry to read of your concerns. We had the opportunity to review this matter with the management team of your area’s independent dealer. They will contact you to discuss these concerns, as they have no record of having heard from you since the installation.

Kinetico has a very long, positive history with this dealer and are certain they will want to regain your confidence.

Thanks for making us aware of your dissatisfaction and allowing us this opportunity to serve you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us at 800.944.9283 or customersupport@kinetico.com

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Running costs are lower than usual for a water filter
  • Low salt use
  • No regeneration down time
  • Lower electricity costs
  • Trustworthy sales and technical team
  • High consumer satisfaction
  • High quality systems
  • Easy-to-maintain water filtration
  • Fantastic warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not as environmentally friendly as other methods
  • No published prices: must have in-home evaluation to determine which model is right for you
  • You have to check salt levels yourself and refill as needed
  • There is no meter to tell you when to add salt, as with some other brands
  • Takes up a lot of space

Concluding our Kinetico Water Softener Review

If you can afford this water softener system and do not mind that it is salt-based, this would be a great choice for any household. Just be sure that you are aware of what you are being sold. Perhaps you can get the salesperson or technician to explain in layman’s terms what exactly your household water needs in order to achieve your goals.

Also, take a look into what the cost would be for a certified technician to visit your house, especially if you live in a rural area. Lastly, you’re going to have to have room for this system, as it’s a large, dual tank (for the most part) system that takes up 3’ by 1.5’ and is approximately 6’ high.

Additional space will be needed for the Kinetico softener, for the tech to work around the tank, for you to top up the salt and for salt storage. This is a top-of-the-line system, and the price is reflective of that, but so is the performance. Thank you for reading our Kinetico review. I hope we’ve answered your questions.

Click to rate this post!
[Total: 1 Average: 5]

Amanda Perkins

Amanda began her career as a technical writer for a healthcare group in 2008. Years after getting married and starting a family, she joined her husband Joshua on the Water Filter Authority journey to educate other families and households about safe, affordable, and effective water filtration systems.