Haferman’s Frequently Asked Questions

Questions & Answers about Kinetico Products

Q: Should I use the same amount of cleaning products as I used before my Kinetico water softener was installed?

When using soap or cleaners with soft water, start by cutting the amount of soap you normally use in half. You may even find you can use as little as a quarter of the amount you were using before. Hardness minerals in water interfere with soap’s cleaning ability. Once they are removed, soap can do its job better. Even though you’ll use less soap, you’ll get more suds and cleaner results.

Q: Why are my glasses spotting since I’ve had my water softener installed?

The spotting you see may actually be an etching of the glass. The cause for this etching is excess phosphate substances found in many dishwashing detergents. These phosphates are added to soaps and detergents as a chemical water softener. In already softened water, the extra softening causes a problem. To protect your china and glassware, reduce the amount of soap used, and since heat plays a big part in this problem as well, use the “energy saver” feature or no heat air dry to combat etching.

Q: How do I bypass my softener?

There may be times when you need to shut off the water supply to your entire house. To do this, set the by-pass valve to the “OFF” position. No water will flow through the house. To restart the water, set the by-pass valve to the “SERVICE” position. You may put the softener into by-pass at any time, if necessary, by putting the by-pass valve into the “BY-PASS” position. You will still get water throughout the house; however, all of the water will be untreated. To return the softener to service, set the by-pass valve to the “SERVICE” position.

Q: Why does my water smell like rotten eggs?

Hydrogen sulfide gas can occur in wells anywhere in Minnesota, and gives the water a characteristic “rotten egg” taste or odor. It can occur naturally in groundwater, and be produced by certain “sulfur bacteria” in the groundwater, in the well or in the water distribution system. It can be produced also by sulfur bacteria or chemical reactions inside water heaters.

Q: Is it true that I should use only Kinetico salt in my softener?

Yes, we do recommend that you use Kinetico Water Softener Salt. Some salts contain foreign particles which can cause problems with your system, so be sure to use a quality grade of salt, processed especially for use in water softeners.

Q: When do I change my whole house pre-filter?

Your Kinetico system may use an in-line filter to remove solid material from the inlet water supply. Periodically, the filter cartridge will require replacement. This should occur when the water pressure in the home begins to gradually decrease. The frequency of the filter change is determined by the amount of water used and the solid material content of your water supply.

Q: How do I manually regenerate my Kinetico water softener?

Using a No. 2 Phillips screwdriver, push down firmly on the softener valve screw and slowly turn clockwise until the actuator has advanced the indicator dot to the “BRINE” position. You should hear at least five “clicks” while turning the screw before the indicator dot reaches the “BRINE” position. At this point you should hear water begin to run through the system. If you do not hear water running through the system, the indicator dot has not been advanced far enough. Repeat the procedure for manual regeneration after the water flow stops (11 to 90 minutes, depending on the model) to be sure both resin tanks are regenerated.

Q: What is Nitrate?

Nitrate is a form of nitrogen. It is a natural part of soil and groundwater. The use of fertilizer, manure, and sewage seeping into the ground can cause elevated nitrate levels in groundwater. Some levels exceed the EPA drinking water standard. You should have your well tested for nitrate to know what the level is in the water you drink, especially if you live in a rural area, or take your water from a private well. Nitrate is a concern because too much nitrate in your body makes it harder for red blood cells to carry oxygen. This can be dangerous for infants and some adults. Infants exposed to too much nitrate can develop “blue baby syndrome”, that is rare, but fatal. The maximum EPA level is 10 mg/l. Many water filters do not reduce nitrate. Your water professionals at Haferman water can help you with water testing, and recommend a system that is certified to reduce nitrate levels.

Q: What do I do if I have elevated arsenic levels in my drinking water?

Arsenic is a notoriously poisonous metalloid with many allotropic forms. Arsenic is found naturally in the ground, as well as in pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and various alloys

If you are concerned, or have been notified, that your water may contain elevated arsenic levels, then you should probably have your water tested. The EPA maximum health standard for arsenic is 10 micrograms per liter. There are several methods of reducing arsenic. Some will reduce for the whole house, and some for a single tap, for example, a tap at the kitchen sink. The purchase and installation of treatment equipment to reduce arsenic is a choice you need to make. But your Haferman Water professional can help guide you through the process with straight-forward, informed answers; a written price quote for the equipment and installation; and an explanation of future maintenance.

Reverse Osmosis Related

Q: Which filters do I change on my Reverse Osmosis System? There are 3 canisters; should I change all 3?

All filters should be changed every 500 gallons with the exception of the Purefecta and/or VirusGuard filters which need to be changed every 1,500 gallons. The reverse osmosis membrane does not need to be changed until it begins to produce water slowly or is not reducing dissolved solids at a satisfactory level.

Q: How often should I change my filters? How will I know when?

How long a MACguard Filter cartridge will last depends on your drinking water usage. It could last anywhere from a few months to a few years. An average family of four with average drinking water use can expect the cartridge to last approximately nine months to one year. Kinetico recommends annual cartridge replacements even if your system has not shut off.

Q: How do I change my Reverse Osmosis filters?

When your MACguard Filter does shut off, we recommend you call us to change your cartridges, check your water, and make sure your system is operating properly. If you choose to install your new cartridges yourself, follow the instructions carefully. Never attempt to remove the prefilter or postfilter cartridges without first depressurizing the system.

Q: Why are my ice cubes not clear if I have a reverse osmosis unit feeding my icemaker?

Most icemakers freeze the ice from the outside in and sometimes air gets caught in the cube. The freezing process results in ice cubes that are not perfectly clear.