Why Is My Kinetico Water Softener Not Working?

Why Is My Kinetico Water Softener Not Working?

Kinetico water softeners can last many years without any problems. Having a service professional check them out regularly for any faults is still a good idea. So, how can you tell if your Kinetico water softener is not working properly?

Your Kinetico water softener will not work correctly if it does not have enough salt, the water levels are too high, there is a leak in the softener, the bypass valve is stuck open, the softener is dirty, or its motor is damaged. 

Just because you hear motor noises from your Kinetico water softener does not mean that water is being softened correctly. Keep reading to learn simple steps to fix your Kinetico water softener!

Reasons and Fixes for Why Your Kinetico Water Softener is Not Working

Several reasons can make your Kinetico water softener malfunction. You can identify and fix these problems in many ways, so keep on reading!

Related articles:
Ultimate Guide to Water Softeners: Everything You Need to Know
10 Tips for Maintaining Your Water Softener

1. Test the water

When testing the water in your home, make sure you do so from a tap that supplies soft water. If you have an Essential or a Sumo water softener, ensure that the softener is not regenerating when you test it. If it regenerates during the testing, run the tap for an additional 2 minutes.

2. Refill the salt

If your Kinetico water softener has run out of the required salt, refill it with the correct salt. Then, manually regenerate the water softener. Allow 14 days before you test the water again because this is how long it takes for a softener to achieve its results.

If the water softener does have salt in it, ensure that it is not stuck onto the sides of the cabinet. For block salt, ensure that the indentations on the block face the front and back of the Kinetico water softener.

If you have accidentally used granular salt or salt meant for a dishwasher, you will need to call the local professional service. Your Kinetico water softener will need cleaning as these salts can damage the softener.

3. Check the water in the water softener cabinet

After the water softener has regenerated, wait for 20 minutes and check if the salt is sitting in the water. If no, add water to the cabinet until the water level is approximately 1” above where the salt sits. Then, manually regenerate the water softener.

If you have to do this repeatedly, you are advised to call the local professional help in your area. They will help to investigate why the water softener is not refilling correctly.

4. Check whether your softener is bypassed

If your Kinetico water softener is in bypass or has the bypass valve open, it will be unable to provide soft water. To prevent this, follow the hoses from your Kinetico water softener back to the plumbing. Check that the bypass valves are in the correct position for the water to flow.

The Kinetico water softener uses around 4kg of salt per month. This varies according to the amount of water used. You will need more salt if you use more than the average amount of water. However, if your water consumption remains the same but salt usage increases, it means that the water level is incorrect and needs readjustment.

5. High water levels

To check whether water levels are high, remove one of the salt blocks from the water softener. If the water level is 1” above the salt platform where the salt sits, your Kinetico water softener will use more salt.

If the main water supply is turned off, water from your home may have filled your Kinetico water softener’s cabinet. To reduce the water level back to normal, restore the water supply to your property.

6. Check for leaks

Your Kinetico water softener is responsible for metering all water that flows through your home. You should be careful to check for signs of overflowing tanks or toilets.

When your water softener becomes too old to handle the water pressure, it becomes damaged. Over time, the damaged areas will get opened, and water will start leaking. You need to inspect the softener’s outer layer, pipes, and insides to find the cause of the leakage.

Low water pressure in the tank could result in broken pipes, causing leakage. To prevent this, check the outflow from the water softener tank. Look at where the pressure drops and observe the pipe’s condition.

7. Cleaning the softener

Over time, dirt and other particles get trapped inside the pipes. When this dirt gets washed out suddenly because of regeneration, it can cause the water to turn brown.

Cleaning your Kinetico water softener would help eliminate this problem and bring back clean water. If you are unable to clean the softener yourself, you should hire local service professionals to ensure that it is fully clean.

8. Motor failure

The motor in your Kinetico water softener is its most vital part. Motor parts tend to decay over time as they are made from metal. Repeated friction and heat cause the surface to get damaged.

If you cannot hear the motor, you should inspect your Kinetico water softener’s engine. Check for wire connections because sometimes they get disconnected and disrupt energy flow. Wires tend to get damaged because of the wear and tear that occurs after frequent usage.

If you face any of the abovementioned problems, your softener is not working correctly and requires a fix. However, you should also be able to tell when your Kinetico water softener has problems. So, let’s discuss signs indicating whether your softener is working well.

Signs That Tell if Your Kinetico Water Softener is Working

Even high-quality home appliances tend to face some problems over time. Sometimes, repairing them is the only way to get your device back to its normal condition. Knowing more about these problems can help you fix them or get them fixed by a professional.

1. Test the water to see if it is soft

If your Kinetico water softener has been working properly for a long, you are used to having soft water. Thus, you will instantly be able to figure out if the water is no longer soft. It will start to feel rough on your skin. Other signs, such as the amount of lather, will also tell that there are hard minerals in the water.

Kinetico water softeners come with two tanks instead of just one. So, when one tank needs a repair, the system automatically shifts over to the other tank, which already has regenerated resin. This will continue to make the water soft.

This means that if working correctly, there should not be any instance where hard water comes out of your Kinetico water softener. To check whether it is working correctly, you can test your water with a water hardness test kit to determine if it is soft.

Testing your water for softness just once will not be enough, as it will tell the water-softness level for that time only. To confirm whether your Kinetico water softener is always providing soft water, you will need to test the water numerous times, at least over a week, depending on your usage.

2. Does the water feel silky on your skin?

If your Kinetico water softener works correctly, the water on your skin should feel smooth and silky. After washing your skin, it should feel hydrated and moisturized instead of dry and rough patches.

The moisturized feeling arises because when the Kinetico water softener works correctly, it leaves no hard minerals in the water to make it rough. If your skin does not feel smooth and silky after being washed, your Kinetico water softener is not working to soften the water correctly.

3. Does soap lather when you wash your hands?

Another way to tell whether your Kinetico water softener is working correctly is through soap lather. As a Kinetico water softener is always designed to give soft water, soap and shampoo should create a thick lather whenever you wash your hands or hair.

So, if your lather consistency changes over time to produce a lesser and thinner lather, there is something wrong with your Kinetico water softener.

4. Does water taste salty?

Saltwater is referred to as brine. Kinetico water softeners need a good and steady flow of water to use the brine from their brine tank. Good water flow regenerates the water softener resin of the kinetic water softener and rinses away the excess saltwater.

As a Kinetico water softener depends on water pressure to operate, the system cannot rinse away all the brine if debris gets stuck in the tap. This will leave the water from your Kinetico water softener tasting salty. It will remain salty until you use enough water to eliminate the excess brine stuck inside.

Read my article about why your softened water tastes salty.

5. Have you added salt to your brine tank?

It can be hard to tell whether your Kinetico water softener uses the same salt after every refill. However, if it works properly, you should add salt to the brine tank.

Your Kinetico water softener uses the saltwater in its brine tank to regenerate the water softener resin. The resin removes hard minerals from your water.

So, a water softener regenerates itself whenever needed. If the amount of water used in your home remains the same, the amount of salt required for the softener to work should also stay the same.

Put simply, if your water usage has remained constant, but you have to adjust the salt added to the brine tank by making it higher or lower, your Kinetico water softener may need to be fixed.

However, hard water may start flowing through your home if your softener does not get enough brine refills. If it gets too much brine, the water may taste salty.

6. Are there spots on the faucets and showerheads?

When your Kinetico water softener works properly, water that remains on faucets and showerheads after use should dry itself without leaving hard minerals. These hard minerals leave a cloudy appearance on any surface water settles on, including dishes, glasses, faucets, and showerheads.

If you observe a cloudy haze on your water fixtures, it could indicate that hard water is flowing through the faucets or that there is an excess of salt in your water. Both can tell you that your Kinetico water softener is not working correctly.

When this residue comes off quickly using little water, it tells you that the softener is unable to rinse away all the brine from its system when regeneration happens.

7. Does your Kinetico water softener discharge water?

If your Kinetico water softener is not regenerating regularly, it is not softening your water properly. If there have been leaks or discharges of water recently, your Kinetico water softener may not work.

A Kinetico water softener can only regenerate when a pre-set amount of water is used. This can happen at any time during the day when water is used. Regeneration may start when someone is in the shower, laundry is done, or the toilet is flushed. So, it is hard to observe whether it works properly because your Kinetico water softener may regenerate anytime.

If you observe that your Kinetico water softener is not regenerating or using salt from the salt tank, it will be unable to soften your water.

8. Is your Kinetico water softener in service?

If you have a curved, two-handed bypass handle, you must check to ensure that your Kinetico bypass is in the green position and not in the bypass position. A yellow sign on the softener can tell this.

If your Kinetico water softener is not regenerating even though it is not in the bypass position, it is not working properly.

The control valve is controlled by water only, so any obstacles, such as lodged particles, that prevent the correct water flow can cause problems. Your Kinetico water softener will be unable to provide soft water if dirt or debris prevents the valve from opening or closing correctly.

The abovementioned signs indicate your Kinetico water softener needs to be fixed so that you can take the necessary maintenance steps.

Final Takeaway

Your Kinetico water softener may not be working correctly because of several reasons. These include high salt levels, water levels, motor failure, and blockage of pipes. Many signs indicate a dysfunctional Kinetico water softener, so be sure to look for any of them.

The Filter Guy

Scott Birch is a water filtration installer and designer. He has worked in the industry for many years and is very familiar with and knowledgeable about residential water treatment equipment. Scott enjoys helping people get the most out of their water filtration systems and ensuring that their homes are getting the best possible quality of water.

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