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Kinetico Water Softener Reviews & Price Guide

Scott Winfield
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by Scott Winfield

Around 85% of homes in the US have hard water flowing through their pipes. The best way to get rid of this mineral buildup is to get yourself a water softener. But should it be a model by Kinetico? That’s what we’re here to discover today.

Kinetico is one of the most prolific names in the water purification industry. They’ve been around for several decades, they have a giant selection of water softeners that you can pick from, and a lot of their units also have some very useful features.

In short, these are the major reasons why people like this brand, but if you want an in-depth look at this brand, then you might be interested in hearing what we have to say today.

Who Makes Kinetico Water Softeners?

Kinectic
Kinectic Water Softeners

Kinetico water softeners are made by Kinetico Water Systems. The company was started all the way back in 1970 by two engineers who had the goal of creating a self-sustainable water treatment system, a goal which they would achieve. Kinetico then spread to over a hundred countries before finally being bought in 2006 by Axel Johnson Inc.

Under the umbrella of the Axel Johnson corporation, Kinetico continued to grow and became one of the frontrunners in the water softening industry.

Today Kinetico offers everything you can think of related to water softening, from carbon and backwashing filters to aeration and arsenic reduction systems. It also has headquarters all over the world, including countries like Canada, Belgium, France, and so on.

This is a global company with a large selection of water-based appliances to choose from, so it’s easy to see why a lot of people consider it to be one of the best brands in the water-softening field.

List of Kinetico Water Softener Systems

Many people know Kinetico for its electricity-free water softeners. These devices don’t need to be plugged into an outlet, making the installation process simpler, and they save quite a bit of money on power bills. But the company is also renowned for having one of the largest catalogs of water softeners in the heavy water purification industry.

Kinetico water softeners come in three categories – the Signature Series, the Premier Series, and the Essential Series.

There’s an incredibly large number of models to pick from in each category, which means that anybody can find the water softener that’s perfect for their home.

The Signature Series

The Signature Series features whole-house water softeners with dual tanks that provide a great balance between capacity and regeneration time, and don’t use any electricity.

The 735 model has the lowest max hardness threshold in this particular series, but it has a shorter regeneration time than the other two, and the tank has just as much capacity.

The 1035 model has the largest daily capacity and max hardness threshold, which makes it a great option for areas that have a particularly high concentration of minerals in the water.

And finally, the 935 model is a great middle-of-the-road option that uses more salt per regeneration than the 735 model, but it has a larger grain capacity and can tackle as many gallons per regeneration as the 1035 model.

Model7359351035
Dimensions (HWD)41″ x 15″ x 7″41″ x 21″ x 9″41″ x 21″ x 10″
Max Hardness40 gpg60 gpg80 gpg
Max Daily Capacity10,614 grains15,957 grains21,276 grains
Water Per Regeneration29 gallons42 gallons42 gallons
Salt Per Regeneration1.8 – 3.0lbs3.3 – 4.4lbs4 – 6lbs
Regeneration Time40 minutes50 minutes50 minutes
Grains Per Pound of Salt4,1754,5924,592

The Premier Series

This series boasts the most powerful models that are ideal for large homes or even apartment complexes thanks to their high flow rates and their dual tanks that can run the regeneration process without any downtime.

If you live in an area with a particularly high concentration of hard minerals in the water, then you’ll need a softener with a high max hardness capacity like the 2030s or the 2060s.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for water economy, then the 404s, the Q850 XP, and the 4040s OD Chloroban use the least amount of water per regeneration cycle, and they all have a very short 11-minute regeneration time.

As for the S150 XP, the S250 OD XP, and the 4060s OD, they’re all great all-rounders that have decent stats in every category, so they’re a good choice for most homes.

Model2030s2060s4040sQ850 XPS150 XPS250 OD XP4040s OD4060s OD
Dimensions (HWD)41″ x 15″ x 7″46″ x 17″ x 8”42″ x 17″ x 8″42″ x 17″ x 8″41″ x 15″ x 7″46″ x 17″ x 8″42″ x 17″ x 8″48″ x 17″ x 8″
Max Hardness45 gpg66 gpg44 gpg33 gpg40 gpg29 gpg44 gpg31 gpg
Max Daily Capacity10,500 grains16,630 grains4,921 grains5,100 grains9,783 grains15,399 grains4,921 grains3,475 grains
Water Per Regeneration29 gallons35 gallons13 gallons15 gallons29 gallons35 gallons13 gallons50 gallons
Salt Per Regeneration1.8 – 3lbs2.7 – 4.4lbs1lb0.8 – 1lb1.5 – 3.0lb2.4 – 4.4lbs1lb3.3 – 4.0lbs
Regeneration Time40 minutes45 minutes11 minutes11 minutes40 minutes45 minutes11 minutes40 minutes
Grains Per Pound of Salt4,3714,6224,2915,4234,4854,6984,9213,475

The Essential Series

The Essential series boasts compact models that don’t take up much space, run on an electricity-free motor that’s powered by the water itself and have incredibly quick regeneration processes.

Both of these models have their own advantages and disadvantages. The Gold model takes up less space in your home, but can only handle 42 gpg and has a smaller grain capacity. The Platinum model, on the other hand, uses more salt per regeneration, but the process itself is the same length as the Gold model.

ModelGoldPlatinum
Dimensions (HWD)24″ x 12″ x 18″40″ x 9″ x 9″
Max Hardness42 gpg50 gpg
Max Daily Capacity3,660 grains5,000 grains
Water Per Regeneration6.6 gal9.5 gal
Salt Per Regeneration0.8lbs1.25lbs
Regeneration Time15 min15 min
Grains Per Pound of Salt4,5744,000

Kinetico Water Softener Reviews: User Feedback

Like most websites, Kinetico has their own user review section that lists reviews they’ve received from people that have bought and used their water softeners. The problem is that these might very well be cherry-picked reviews and there’s no way to confirm that Kinetico is unbiased.

In order to get an accurate idea of what users genuinely think about Kinetico water softeners, we went to review aggregate sites like Trustpilot and ConsumerAffairs.

The majority of reviews on these sites are positive, with users praising the flow rates that the devices can generate, their salt economy, and the performance of the devices in general. They also have very good things to say about how silently they run and how the regeneration process is quick, convenient, and practically unnoticeable.

The handful of unsatisfied customers have complaints that seem to be focused on improper installation, the difficulty in obtaining the salt blocks for the softeners, and the prices. Some of them also note that Kinetico’s customer service leaves something to be desired.

The truth is that the quality of the service may vary depending on where you’re located and that the majority of customers seem to be satisfied.

The issue with obtaining the salt blocks has to do with the fact that the salt blocks for the compact models can only be obtained from Kinetico themselves, and there’s a two-week wait period. However, this shouldn’t be a deal breaker for you as long as you plan ahead.

Kinetico Water Softener Prices 

The biggest issue that most people seem to have with the Kinetico water softeners is their price, or, to be more precise, the lack of transparency around how much the unit you want will actually cost. Most reviewers also tend to agree that they’re quite pricey.

Trying to look up the price of one of these water softeners online will likely result in you getting a number between $500 and $5,000, which is a huge range that doesn’t really tell you anything. That’s because Kinetico has tons of different models, all of which vary quite a lot in specifications.

So the best option is to request a quote tailored to your specific situation. Kinetico offers the option to get a quote by entering information about the size of your home, your household plumbing situation, and your water care needs. It might be a bit of a hassle to put in all of the relevant info, but it’ll give you a very accurate estimation of what the device and the entire installation process will cost you.

This is great, in our opinion, especially if you consider that other water softener brands don’t include the installation costs when they list prices.

Pros & Cons of Kinetico Systems

Like any other appliance, Kinetico water softeners have their own advantages and disadvantages, and here are some of the most notable ones:

Pros
  • Features: Options like the self-cleaning feature and the kinetic motors in the Signature Series models make Kinetico water softeners a lot more appealing than other models on the market that are lacking the same features.
  • Good Specs: Kinetico models generally have decent flow rates and don’t use too much salt during the regeneration process, and while the larger models use more than the portable ones, it’s still not as much as some other similarly-sized units on the market.
  • Easy Maintenance: The automatic cleaning feature that we just mentioned is a great option when it comes to making sure that the pipes and the valves are as clean as possible and last for a good long while.
Cons
  • No Upfront Cost: having to input all of your personal information into a site before you can get an exact quote on a water softener is definitely a pain, especially if that same site doesn’t even have a general price range for any of the models that it offers.

Aquasana vs. Kinetico

Aquasana Rhino Whole House Filter
Aquasana

Aquasana offers much more cost-effective water softeners than Kinetico, with even their whole-house models being cheaper than what the most compact Kinetico water softener will probably cost you. They also offer both large and small water softeners, and even the whole-house models are pretty compact, so they can probably even fit in an apartment.

On the other hand, even the largest models of Aquasana water softeners don’t come anywhere near the flow rate and tank capacity of most Kinetico models, so they’re not a good option for large homes.

Culligan vs Kinetico

Culligan
Culligan

Culligan is a pretty reputable brand. They offer whole-house water softeners that are compact but have a pretty decent tank size.

However, they only have 3 models on offer. They’re definitely cheaper than the Kinetico models, with prices of around $500 to $1,500, but that’s only a good thing if any of the 3 models they have appeal to you.

Kinetico have a lot more models than Culligan, so it’s much easier to find something that’s a good fit for your home in their catalog.

Are Kinetico Water Softeners Worth the Money?

In our opinion, the price is worth it. Once you get over the initial cost, you’ll find that the electricity-saving properties of these devices will pay off in the long run.

Plus, it makes much more sense to spend a bit of money and get a reliable brand that’ll last you for many years than to keep buying cheap water softeners, as the build-up of calcium causes them to fail.

At the end of the day, the choice is yours, but we’d recommend taking all of the advantages that these products have to offer into account and weighing them against the initial cost before you decide.


Note for RF team: Link to “can you have an apartment water softener” when live.

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Scott Winfield
Scott Winfield
My name is Scott Winfield and researching and writing about water filters and other strategies to purify water has become my full time passion in recent years. I'm glad that you found our site and you can look forward to authoritative and well researched content here to help you get the best in water.
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