Water In Your Life
- What exactly is soft water?
Water very commonly contains hardness elements such as magnesium and
calcium, dissolved rock, hence the description of hard water. Soft water is when these minerals are
removed through a process known as ion exchange. If you have hard water, you may see staining or
scaling build up on your sinks, tubs, showers and clothing; scaling deposits on your glassware;
and damage due to scale in your pipes and appliances. You will also notice less lather from your
shampoos/soaps and a filmy dryness feeling on your skin. Often, types of skin irritations are tied to hard
water. All of these are symptoms of the need for softened water.
Hard water can also produce a rock-like scale that builds up in pipes, water heaters, plumbing
fixtures, dishwashers and other water-related appliances. This scale will reduce water flow, clog
valves and vents and create maintenance problems reducing the life of your appliances.
- I live in the city. Isn’t my water already treated by the municipality?
Your city water supplier is not required to provide you with soft water.
Many municipalities reduce the amount of hardness to some degree. But according to the U.S.
Geological Survey, 85 percent of cities are still supplied with hard water. Your city is required to
provide you with water test results that show water hardness; just call the number on your water
Many people that use city water choose to soften it to save money on soaps and cleaners, protect
their plumbing systems from scale buildup, protect their water-using appliances from hard water
scale, provide better water for bathing, healthier skin and hair and eliminate hard water
spots, among other things.
- How do I know if my water is hard?
Your local Kinetico water expert can provide a water analysis for hardness,
iron, pH and total dissolved solids, typically at no cost to you. Depending on the testing equipment
they use, they may be able to perform other tests. They can also direct your water sample to a specialized
water testing organization that can provide a more detailed analysis of your water for you. Your local
Kinetico water expert will help you interpret the results and determine if any treatment is necessary.
- What are the benefits of treated water?
Soap and detergent usage can be dramatically lowered with soft water.
Since the water is already soft, cleaning agents have no hard minerals to react with and overcome. This
allows cleaning agents to lather more readily and work more effectively. In fact, a large proportion
of the ingredients in most soaps and detergents consist of chemical “water softeners” added to prevent the
reaction between the detergent and the hard minerals present in most water (the reaction that forms a sticky
residue or soap curd). Since, such chemicals are not necessary for cleaning with soft water, less soap is
required. Soft water households experience considerable savings on laundry soap, dish-washing detergent,
hand soap and many other cleaning products.
Given that soft water contains no scale forming minerals, it leaves the inside of plumbing and
water-using appliances free of solidified rock. Appliances operate more efficiently and last longer when
using soft water. Leading appliance manufacturers, including Maytag, have recognized the problems caused
by hard water and recommend the use of home water softeners to help their own products operate more
In addition, calcium and magnesium, the two minerals that make water hard, might actually have some
adverse effects on the foods you eat and the beverages you drink.
First, hardness minerals can detract from the taste of the water, as well as any beverage or food made
with water, such as coffee, concentrated juice, soup or even gelatin. Other water contaminants can
affect foods by imparting bad tastes or unhealthy compounds.
Second, some foods, especially fresh vegetables, don’t cook or taste as good when prepared with hard
water because the calcium combines with a protein in vegetable skins, making them tough and sometimes
- What if I move?
Our warranties are transferable to new owners, or they can stay with the
unit and “go where you go” should you decide to take it with you. Learn more about Kinetico’s
- How expensive are water treatment systems?
A whole home water treatment system will pay for itself in many ways. Treated
water helps your water heater run more efficiently, reducing energy bills.
Treated water is easier on your pipes, plumbing fixtures and your water-related appliances resulting in
fewer repairs and related costs.
Additionally, treated water requires less detergent to wash clothes and dishes. It also saves on the
amount of shampoo and conditioners you use.
Also, a drinking water system is much more economical than purchasing bottled water for your home.
- Is filtered water less expensive than bottled?
What about those bottles of water that so many people have become attached
to? First, they’re expensive — sometimes costing more than $1.00 per liter, which translates into 800
to 4800 times the cost of tap water. Second, they’re cumbersome to tote, and you have to go to the store
to purchase them. Third, all of those plastic containers must be recycled, or they’ll crowd landfills.
And finally, depending on the source of the bottled water, it may be nothing more than filtered
municipal water. In fact, contrary to the popular image of remote Alpine meadows and unspoiled
streams, bottled-water sources are often near metropolitan areas.
Also of interest is the fact that Federal standards for bottled water are no stricter than standards
for tap water. That means that federal regulations only require bottlers to test for a handful of the
hundreds of known chemical contaminants. In-home drinking water systems, which have also boomed in
popularity in recent years, deliver the same benefits and more, without the inconvenience. And best of
all, they’re actually less expensive than bottled water with a Kinetico VX Plus Deluxe delivering better
than bottled water for as little as 7 cents a liter.
- I have heard that treated water can actually improve the performance of my
water-related appliances. Is this true?
Did you know that your hot water tank is the second largest energy user
in your home? That’s right! Only your heating and air-conditioning system uses more. Hard water scale
can coat the inside of a water heater and drastically reduce its heating efficiency. Greater fuel consumption
and higher utility bills are a result when the appliance has to heat water through a layer of rock.
According to a study commissioned by the Water Quality Research Council and conducted at New
Mexico State University, water heaters work 22-30 percent less efficiently with hard water, driving up
utility bills unnecessarily. With soft water, you’ll not only protect your hot water tank and make it
last longer, but you’ll also save money on your energy bill.
- How much electricity does it take to operate a Kinetico whole home water
Kinetico’s whole home water treatment system provides non-electric operation.
There’s nothing to plug in, no buttons to push, timers to set and reset or adjustments to make. There
won’t be an increase in your electric bill. And you won’t have any problems with power outages or
surges. Best of all, there are no expensive electrical components to repair or replace.
- Do Kinetico water softeners add sodium or salt into the water I will drink?
All water softeners work on a principle known as “ion-exchange” where hardness
mineral ions (typically calcium and magnesium) are replaced with soft sodium ions. The sodium ions are
taken from water softener salt which is held in a reservoir with the softener system. Some consumers
have concerns that the softener will add extra and unwanted sodium into their diets.
The level of sodium added to water during the softening process depends upon how hard the water is
which needs treatment, but even in situations where the water is extremely hard the level of sodium
added during softening is not significant. For example, the amount of sodium added to a 236ml
(8 oz) “serving” of water which was treated to remove 18 grains-per-gallon of hardness would be
around 30 milligrams. In comparison, the same serving size of low-fat milk would contain 120 mg of
However, those who have been prescribed with ultra-low sodium diets should always consult with their
physician. More information and studies showing that softened water does not significantly
contribute to the average persons daily sodium intake can be found on the Canadian Water
Quality Association’s website.
- Doesn’t my municipality already treat and test my water?
If your water comes from a public or municipal water system, it is regularly
tested for contaminants regulated by federal standards, such as microbial pathogens, radioactive
elements and organic and inorganic toxic chemicals. However, it is important to note that these tests
are conducted at the source. Therefore, the quality of water that utilities create is not
necessarily a measure of the quality that reaches your home. Over time pipes age and erode, and often
water treatment or distribution systems are breached by unforeseen occurrences that result in boil
Most municipalities address the issue of delivery to the home by treating water with chlorine to
kill bacteria. However, their goal is to meet minimum federal requirements. Chlorine is commonly
used to kill organic material in water thereby protecting the public from diseases such as
typhoid, cholera and dysentery. It is also great for neutralizing color and odor. Unfortunately, it
has come to light that the byproducts of chlorine can cause serious health problems. These
by-products have made headlines and research to establish your own comfort level with each is
Taking charge of your own water with a Kinetico municipal water solution eliminates your risk of
dependence on third party providers and allows you to specifically remove the health risks that
- Isn’t bottled water better for you than tap water?
While bottled water is generally of good quality, Federal standards for bottled
water are no stricter than standards for tap water. That means that federal regulations only require
bottlers to test for a handful of the hundreds of known chemical contaminants. But there are other
issues to consider such as cost, convenience and usability. It is a lot less expensive to own your
own Kinetico K5 Drinking Water Station when you
consider the time and costs associated with bottled water. Also, your Kinetico drinking water
system will allow you to use the water for many purposes including cooking without rationing. Treating
your own water at home will eliminate the need for storing bulky plastic bottles and supply you with
unlimited water, right on tap, at prices per litre that are considerably less than buying bottled
Another issue is that the use of bottled water is environmentally questionable when one considers
the unnecessary costs of plastic generation, product transportation and empty bottle
- Don’t water filters remove important minerals from my water?
Studies have found that minerals in your drinking water make essentially no
contribution to your health and may even be present in forms your body can’t absorb. Minerals in an
inorganic state flow through our systems versus minerals in an organic state that are readily absorbed
by our bodies. You are much better off maintaining a balanced diet that provides you with an
adequate supply of important vitamins and minerals.
However, for those who do want to add healthy mineral into their drinking water, or if you’d just
prefer the flavor of water with a bit of mineralization, we offer the Mineral Plus Flexfiltration
cartridge which can be included in the Kinetico K5 Drinking Water Station.
- How much water should I drink in a day?
One can go weeks without food but only days without water.
Water affects the functioning of our organs and our ability to fight disease. It helps us to
maintain a healthy weight and cope emotionally. The positive effects of drinking plenty of quality
water can be seen in all aspects of our health and appearance.
In a typical day you lose 2 to 3 liters of water. If you don’t replace it, your body will
naturally pull the water away from your skin, nails and hair – the fundamentals of good looks – to
the critical systems that need it for basic good health. Drinks with caffeine such as coffee, tea
and soft drinks have a limited water replacement value as they are diuretics and therefore
promote water loss. Fruit, vegetables and juices all contribute well to water replacement; however,
they also contain calories that, for a growing segment of the population, are a problem. Water, on
the other hand, is totally calorie free. This is why it is recommended that we drink 8 ten
ounce glasses of water each day. It is the most sensible way to meet our fundamental water needs.
- What are the effects of the chlorine in our drinking water?
The US has been chlorinating its water supplies for over one hundred years.
It is through this treatment method that we have been able to virtually wipe out water-borne diseases
such as cholera and typhoid fever.
It is what lies beneath the surface of the population’s concerns over chlorine’s effect on the taste and
odor of water that has sparked heated debate. Debate has centered on the safety of chlorine with respect
to its potential as a carcinogen.
When chlorine breaks down organic material, it creates byproducts that can damage the heart, kidneys,
nervous system and lungs. These byproducts also increase the incidents of certain types of cancer. Many
articles have been written about THM’s (trihalomethanes) and their impact on our health. This is well
worth your investigation. Data showing these results prompted the Environmental Protection Agency in the
United States to respond with limits to the amount of chlorine byproducts permissible in drinking water.
Eliminating the byproducts of chlorine should be a primary objective in any personal water treatment
- How can I protect myself and my family from lead in drinking water?
Drinking water generally carries lead from plumbing that has been connected
with lead solder (outlawed in 1986) or from outdated water distribution lines. There are a number of
things you can do to reduce the risk of lead in your drinking water. Some sources suggest running your tap
water for a couple of minutes before filling a glass to flush any accumulated lead from the water line
(lead dissolves into standing water over time). However, this is not a foolproof solution, as there is
no way of knowing whether all of the lead has been removed and since lead can still dissolve into
Never use hot tap water to prepare drinks or meals as hot water attracts more lead than cold water does.
If you need hot water, heat cold tap water on the stove or in a microwave.
In their informational brochure, ‘Living Lead Free,’ the American Water Works Association recommends
having your water tested for lead to find out whether you should take action. Your local Kinetico water
expert can have your water analyzed by a laboratory and help you decipher the results.
Use a carbon drinking water filter or reverse osmosis system that has been certified to protect your
drinking water from lead. Check that the manufacturer’s claims have been verified by the Water Quality
Association or NSF International; not all systems are certified for lead reduction.
- Don’t water filters remove fluoride from my water?
Fluoridated water has been a hot topic of concern in recent years, as scientists
and health officials challenge its safety and effectiveness. The issue has always been around
effectiveness and the proper control or management. Too much fluoride can be more damaging than having none.
Once added to our water supply, fluoride can be tricky to remove. Many common jug and faucet filters
are effective at removing large impurities from water, but leave elements like fluoride behind.
Various filtration systems claim to eliminate the fluoride in your water, but consumers should be wary.
It is advisable to check that you are using a filtration system that has been certified by the Water
Quality Association of NSF international as one capable of removing fluoride additives. The use of a
reverse osmosis filtration system is recommended as the most efficient and effective method for
eliminating fluoride from your water.
- How can I protect my family from Chromium-6 in our water?
If you own a well, you are responsible for your water’s quality. If your water comes from the city, the
municipality is doing what it can to provide you with water that meets all quality standards. But are these
standards up to your standards? And there’s no telling what happens to the water’s quality on its way to
Studies prove that reverse osmosis systems are more effective at significantly reducing a number of
contaminants – like Chromium-6 – in water than other filter options. Take your water’s quality into your
own hands. Learn more here.
Purchasing and Owning a Kinetico
- Where can I purchase a new Kinetico system, or buy replacement parts or filters
for a system I own currently?
Simple! If you’re considering purchasing a new Kinetico system for your home, you can Request a Quick Quote from your local Kinetico specialist who will contact you with prices and options. Alternatively, or if you need replacement parts, you can use our online locator to find your local Kinetico water specialist who will be able to help you obtain replacement parts, including filter cartridges.
- Can I buy a system directly from Kinetico?
No, we don’t sell directly to the public. You will need to contact your local
Kinetico water specialist who will have a variety of options for you to choose from. Your local Kinetico
water specialist is fully trained and factory authorized to ensure your new Kinetico system is properly
sized and professionally installed.
- Can I purchase replacement parts or filters directly from Kinetico?
No, we don’t sell directly to the public. You will need to contact
your local Kinetico water expert who will have access to replacement parts and consumables, including
filter cartridges. Your Kinetico water specialist is fully trained and factory authorized to ensure your
system is repaired properly.
- I own a Kinetico system currently and it needs service, who can I call?
It’s preferable to contact the same Kinetico water specialist who sold and
installed your system. However, all local Kinetico water specialists are fully trained and factory
authorized to service and repair all Kinetico models. They can also assist you if you have any
questions relating to your warranty. Use our online locator to find the contact information for your
local Kinetico water specialist.
- I own a Kinetico system now, can I get a copy of the owner’s manual or more
information from your website?
Please check our Customer Resources page, Legacy Products page, or
contact our consumer services department by phone or email.