Kinetico Water Softener Reviews (2024)

Updated on:
January 6, 2024

Kinetico has been a provider of high-quality water softeners and other water treatment systems for over three decades. What you need to know, though, is if a Kinetico water softener is the best for you. I’m here to help. 

I’ve spent weeks researching and testing all Kinetico water softener models to help you answer this question.

Here are my findings.

Reasons You Need a Water Softener at Home

Hard water contains high levels of dissolved minerals, primarily calcium and magnesium ions. Other minerals may also be present in hard water, including iron, manganese, and aluminum, although calcium and magnesium are the most common and problematic.

These minerals can cause a range of issues in the home: 

  • Buildup of mineral deposits: Mineral deposits can build on fixtures like faucets and showerheads and on appliances that use hard water. Over time, this accumulation may restrict water pressure and flow, as well as causing damage to appliances.
  • Soap scum: Hard water can react with soap to form a sticky, scaly substance known as soap scum. Soap scum can be difficult to clean and can leave a residue on surfaces, such as shower tiles and glass doors.
  • Stiff, scratchy laundry: Hard water can cause laundry to become stiff and scratchy, and can also cause colors to fade more quickly.
  • Dry, itchy skin and scalp: Hard water can strip skin and hair of natural oils, causing dryness and itchiness. It can also leave a film on the skin, making it difficult to rinse off soap and other products.
  • Unpleasant taste: Hard water can have a slightly bitter or metallic taste that some people find unpleasant.

For these reasons, many people choose to install a salt-based water softener to remove calcium and magnesium minerals from their home’s water supply and alleviate the above issues once and for all.

Luckily, all Kinetico water softeners are salt based.

About Kinetico

Advanced Water Systems, the parent company of Kinetico, has a long history in the water treatment industry. 

Advanced Water Systems introduced its first product in 1974, the Kinetico water softener. This first Kinetico system remains one of the most popular water-softening systems on the market today.

Over the years, Advanced Water Systems has continued to innovate and expand its product line, developing new technologies and systems to address a wide range of water treatment needs. In addition to water softeners, the company now offers products such as drinking-water filtration systems, reverse-osmosis systems, and whole-house water treatment systems.

One thing you’ll love about Kinetico water softeners is that they are all certified by the Water Quality Association and meet industry standards for performance, capacity, and efficiency during simulation tests.

You’ll also be happy to know that customers generally report excellent customer service from Kinetico. So while these units require less maintenance and repairs than other leading models, when you do eventually need to contact customer service, you’ll find the representatives are competent and helpful.

How Does a Kinetico Water Softener Work?

Kinetico’s nonelectric water softeners use the kinetic energy of moving water to power the system. This means that the system has no electrical parts, so you won’t have to worry as much about constant repairs or maintenance.

In fact, the name Kinetico comes from the word kinetic. Kinetic energy in the form of flowing water runs Kinetico water softeners.

When water enters the system, it passes through a built-in water meter that regulates the water-flow rate. This kinetic energy then powers a valve that directs the flow of water through the water-softening tanks.

As water flows through the tanks, it comes into contact with ion-exchange resin beads that remove calcium and magnesium through a reaction of positive and negative ions. Once the resin beads become saturated with hard water minerals, the system initiates a regeneration cycle.

During regeneration, the system uses the flow of water to create a vacuum that draws a brine solution (a mixture of salt and water) into the resin tank. The brine solution displaces the hard water minerals on the resin beads and flushes them out of the system, leaving the resin beads ready to soften water once again.

Overall, Kinetico’s nonelectric water softeners use the kinetic energy of moving water to power the system, making them a reliable and efficient choice for homeowners who want a water-softening system that doesn’t rely on electricity.

Kinetico Water Softener Reviews

Kinetico has one of the most diverse water-softener catalogs in the industry. Its nonelectric water softeners are divided into three different models:

  • The Premier Series
  • The Signature Series
  • The Essential Series

Each category has a variety of models to choose from, ensuring that anyone can choose the water softener that is ideal for their home.

Let’s have a look at each series’ features, advantages, and disadvantages, as well as what customers have to say about them.

Premier Series

The Kinetico Premier Series includes some of the industry’s most powerful models, which are suited for large homes or areas with high levels of water hardness due to their high flow rates and dual-tank system that can complete a regeneration cycle without any downtime.

Pros

One key feature of the Kinetico Premier water softener is its dual-tank construction, which means that one tank is in use while the other is on standby. If one tank runs dry and you run out of softened water, instead of waiting until 2 a.m. like other manufacturers, this water softener will regenerate instantly.

The use of two media tanks enables this Kinetico water softener to regenerate with soft water in order to more effectively replenish the resin bed and significantly decrease the quantity of salt and water required. You can access instant soft water at any time of day without worrying about energy costs or failing electrical components.

Here are some key advantages of the Premier Series:

  • Uses less water, salt, and energy than other leading models
  • Reasonable water flow rate that increases with size of unit
  • A fully automatic control valve that monitors water use and activates regeneration only when necessary
  • Smart monitoring and a user-friendly interface
  • Can remove radioactive elements like barium and radium
  • Some models can be combined with a Kinetico water-filtration system
  • 10-year warranty

There are eight models in the Premier Series that have varying levels of performance and efficiency. Check them out here.

Cons

While the Kinetico Premier Series offers several benefits, there are a few possible drawbacks to consider before making a purchase:

  • Sneaky and expensive price structure
  • Expensive repairs
  • Professional installation required
  • Too big for homeowners with limited space
  • Noisy

Overall

Kinetico Premier Series water-softening systems are high quality and efficient, with a variety of innovative features and benefits. Using a nonelectric mechanism that operates on kinetic energy ensures that the Premier Series is energy efficient and cost effective to run.

While repairs are uncommon, they can be costly if you need them.

The Premier Series is a popular option for homeowners seeking a dependable and effective water-softening system respected by customers as well as industry professionals.

To find out more about these Kinetico water treatment systems, visit the website.

Signature Series

In the hierarchy of performance, the Kinetico Signature Series is second to the Premier Series. The Signature Series trades some of the Premier Series’ high efficiency for a more compact dual-tank design that’s more ideal for small- to medium-sized homes or families with moderate water needs. 

Pros

Just like the Premier Series, the Kinetico Signature Series also has a twin-tank system. With a twin-tank system, you don’t have to worry about not having soft water while the system is regenerating. 

Since there are two tanks, one is always in use while the other is either getting ready to be used or is regenerating. This twin-tank system makes sure that you always have soft water available at all times.

Other benefits include the following:

  • Monitors water usage and then regenerates based on actual usage
  • Nonelectric operation, no electrical parts to fix or replace
  • Can remove moderate to high levels of hardness from the water
  • Can remove small traces of ferrous iron from hard water
  • Uses high-capacity resin
  • More affordable than the Premier Series

There are three models in the Signature Series. Check out this link for their full specifications.

Cons

While the Kinetico Signature Series of water softeners is a high-quality and advanced system, there are some potential disadvantages to consider:

  • More expensive compared to other brands on the market
  • Shorter warranty period (five years)
  • Dodgy price structure, only way to get a quote is to request an in-home consultation
  • No combination filtration system, you must purchase a separate Kinetico reverse-osmosis system
  • Not be the optimal choice for larger households or families with high water consumption

Overall

The Kinetico Signature Series is a premium water-softening system that offers advanced features and superior performance. It uses a dual-tank design with countercurrent regeneration to ensure a continuous supply of soft water, even during regeneration cycles. The system is fully customizable to suit individual household needs and can handle moderately high water usage and hardness levels. 

While the initial cost may be higher than other water softeners on the market, the long-term savings on maintenance, repairs, and improved appliance longevity make the Kinetico Signature Series a worthwhile investment for those seeking high-quality, soft water for their home. Visit the Kinetico website to learn more about the Signature Series.

Essential Series

The Kinetico Essential Series is a line of entry-level water softeners designed to provide basic water-softening capabilities at an affordable price point. These water softeners use a single-tank design and a simple timer-based control valve to regenerate the system when necessary. They are suitable for households with low to moderate water usage and moderate hardness levels.

Pros

This single-tank water softener offers a compact and space-saving design, making it easy to install in tight spaces or homes with limited room. It is also energy efficient, using only a small amount of water and salt during regeneration cycles, which can result in cost savings on utility bills and maintenance over time.

The Kinetico Essential Series water softener includes an integrated AccuDial monitoring system that enables the user to modify the regeneration cycles based on their water usage demands or the hardness of the incoming water. This allows you to maximize the overall performance and efficiency of the water softener.

Other benefits of the Essential Series include the following:

  • Nonelectric operation
  • Automatically monitors your water consumption and regenerates as needed
  • Ideal for small homes (especially in urban areas) with limited space or areas with low water hardness levels
  • Basic timer-based control valve that regenerates the resin beads at set intervals, regardless of actual water usage
  • Most affordable Kinetico water softener

There are only two models in the Kinetico Essential Series. Follow this link for full specifications.

Cons

The Kinetico Essential Series is an entry-level water softener designed to provide basic water softening capabilities. While it is a reliable and affordable option, it may not be suitable for all households, especially those with high water usage or very hard water.

  • Low capacity 
  • Regenerates more frequently than previous series
  • Uses more water and salt
  • No listed prices
  • Small warranty period (five years)

Overall

The Kinetico Essential Series is a great option for homeowners who are looking for a reliable and efficient water softening solution at an affordable price. With its compact size and nonelectric design, the Essential Series offers a space-saving solution that is easy to install and maintain. 

Overall, the Essential Series provides an effective way to remove hard water minerals and protect plumbing and appliances from damage, improving the quality of water and reducing long-term maintenance costs. Visit the Kinetico website for more information on this series of water softeners.

The Bottom Line 

Kinetico water softeners are a line of water softening products that use a proprietary twin-tank design and kinetic energy to remove minerals and other contaminants from hard water. Some key benefits of Kinetico water softeners include the following:

  • Twin-tank design
  • Nonelectric operation
  • Highly efficient and effective performance
  • Customizable settings
  • Wide selection of models to suit every household

Despite their costly purchase price, Kinetico water softeners are known for their reliability, efficiency, and effectiveness in removing minerals from hard water. They are a popular choice for homeowners who want to improve the quality of their water and protect their appliances from damage caused by hard water buildup.

Check out the Kinetico website today for specs and quotes.

Kinetico Water Softener Reviews Methodology

This section outlines the process I used to review every Kinetico water softener in this article.

Step 1: A list of all Kinetico Water Softeners

I began my research by creating a list of every Kinetico water softener model on the market. This required hours of scouring websites such as Amazon, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, and Lowe’s to find which Kinetico water softeners were consumer favorites in their respective categories. I discovered three nonelectric model series that seemed to be popular with customers.

Step 2: Online Reviews

I analyzed consumer feedback on major social media and review sites, including Consumer Affairs, TrustPilot, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon Reviews. It was crucial that I analyze customers’ feedback in order to determine if the manufacturer’s claims were backed by actual users.

Step 3: Interviews with customers

Reading online reviews is good, but if you want to understand user sentiment, you need to talk to actual customers. 

So I solicited some help from a few close friends and organized a questionnaire survey at all major retail hardware stores and water treatment dealerships in my locality to find out what customers and professionals in the industry had to say about Kinetico water systems. After seven days of arduous legwork, we had interviewed close to 100 people. 

Step 4: Getting in touch with Advanced Water Systems

Next, I needed to get in touch with the Advanced Water Systems customer service department to press them for answers on some of the negative comments they received from customers. I needed to understand how they coped while under pressure. Thankfully, their service reps were very courteous and were able to answer every question in a calm and helpful demeanor.

Step 6: Test drives

I then requested several Kinetico systems dealers to send me a few of their softeners for a thorough evaluation. I wasn’t certain about the outcome, but I figured it was worth a shot. Interestingly, one of them responded quickly, and they soon shipped over all Kinetico softeners in their inventory, as well as a service crew. As a result, I rented a warehouse, hired two water bowsers, and began testing each water softener meticulously.

Final Thoughts

Kinetico offers a wide range of water softeners, including the Premier Series, Signature Series, and Essential Series. With a variety of sizes and specifications, you’re likely to find one that fits your home and your needs.

The Premier Series is Kinetico’s top-of-the-line option, offering high efficiency and advanced features, such as countercurrent regeneration and twin tanks for continuous soft water.

The Signature Series is a middle-ground option that also features a twin-tank, nonelectric design and customizable settings to suit different water conditions. 

The Essential Series is a more budget-friendly option that still offers effective water softening with a compact (single-tank), nonelectric design. 

All Kinetico water softeners use a salt-based ion exchange process to remove hard water minerals and provide soft water for improved plumbing and appliance performance, and better water quality overall. 

To find out more, visit the Kinetico website today.

And if you’re looking for more water softener reviews beyond Kinetico, you’ve found the perfect destination. Take advantage of this chance to delve into a world of alternative water softener options that may exceed your expectations in terms of performance and value.

Allow our impartial reviews to serve as your trusted companion, leading you toward discovering the ideal water softener solution for your home or business. With our guidance, you can elevate the quality of your water, transforming your everyday life.

Here are a few examples of the insightful reviews we have prepared for you:

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Kerry Nelson

Thanks for the very helpful information on the Kinetico systems as well as the other one at the end. To be honest, I did not read any of the other ones. I have been using a “throw-away” (no offense intended) Kenmore for 20+ years. I have owned two of the Kenmore units in this timespan and they have been adequate, especially given the cost. However, I am anticipating the need of replacement. I have been reviewing Kinetico and Culligan, both have local dealerships. That said, and independent of the series, would you recommend Kinetico over Culligan?

I am in the middle (Signature) section if I were to purchase a Kinetico. That said, would you recommend the Kinetico against all of the other systems in your review? I am generally the sort of guy who get the “best value” proposition when it comes to buying anything………if that matters.

Again, thanks for your very informative information.

James Layton

Kerry,
The Premier system does allow for super-fine-tuning of the regeneration cycle. This would be helpful if you had very hard water and needed to regenerate often. It sounds like the Signature system will do the job, in your situation. The twin tanks really help ensure you always have soft water. I tend to keep things simple and if I don’t need the extra features, I go with the next step down in a product line.