Irrigation Systems

Thank you for choosing Kinetico to improve the quality of your water.

You will immediately begin to notice the numerous benefits of having quality water throughout your home and the benefits of having a Kinetico Water Softener.

Since 1970 Kinetico Incorporated has designed and manufactured products to improve the quality of water and solve water problems. Pioneers in non-electric, demand operated water treatment, Kinetico continually sets the direction for the entire water quality industry. Our products are installed in hundreds of thousands of homes around the world. Once you enjoy the benefits of your Kinetico 2020c Water Softener we are sure you will agree that Kinetico Water Softeners are the world’s finest.


Now that your Kinetico 2020c is installed, you can enjoy the benefits of soft water throughout your home. If you are not accustomed to soft water, here are some helpful tips so you can gain the full benefit from your system:

Use pure soap products

Most leading brands of laundry soaps, household cleaners and shampoos contain large amounts of detergent. The harsh chemicals in these detergents are necessary when using hard water but you can be reduce the amount you use or even eliminate them altogether with soft water.

We recommend you to use pure soap products and clear liquid soaps without dyes or perfumes. If you continue to use your normal detergents, you should reduce the amount you use to suit your needs. Your Kinetico dealer can provide you with more information and
recommend the correct detergent amounts.

Use less soap and household cleaners

When using soap or cleaners with soft water, start by reducing the amount of soap that you normally use by 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 the cleaning ability of soap. Once they are removed, soap can work better. Although you will use less soap, you will get more suds and cleaner results.

It’s especially important to reduce the amount of washing detergent you use. Washing clothes in soft water not only means you will need less detergent to get your clothes clean, but also that the detergent you do use will rinse out completely. Washing in soft water makes your clothes look brighter and whiter and they will last longer too.

After bathing in soft water, your skin should feel silky soft. The silky feeling is your smooth skin without soap curd or residue. When bathing in hard water, this soap residue is normally left behind. The soap curd that left a visible ring around your bathtub was also left on your
skin. The same difference is applied when using shampoo.

Reduce or eliminate the use of fabric softeners

Fabrics washed in hard water retain soap curd or residue, making them crackle when removed from the dryer or stiff if air dried. It is necessary to use fabric softeners when washing your clothes in hard water to help keep them soft. When washing with soft water, you can reduce the amount of fabric softener used in your laundry or eliminate it altogether.

Take special precautions with automatic dishwashers

Soft water, when combined with caustic phosphates in some dishwasher detergents and very high temperatures in the dry cycle, can etch dishes and glassware. To prevent this from happening, use the “no heat“ dry cycle on your dishwasher. Use the minimum amount of good quality, low phosphate dishwasher detergent needed to clean your dishes. This may be as little as 20% of the amount recommended by the appliance manufacturer or dishwasher detergent container. Wash good china and crystal by hand.

Special care for plants and fish

Depending on your water hardness level, the amount of rainfall and how often you water your garden, you could use soft water for outside watering, but why waste your soft water? Water your garden, shrubs and outside plants from an outside hard water tap or put your Kinetico 2020c into by-pass before watering. Many house plants can be watered with soft water although some can be very sensitive to the elevated level of sodium ions in soft water. You may prefer to water with hard water or from a Kinetico Drinking Water System.

Those accustomed to hard water may have trouble with an abrupt change to soft water. Make the transition gradually over a period of 7~14 days by combining hard and soft water, until the tank contains 100% soft water. As soon as you start using soft water, you should notice your fish tank will stay cleaner for longer.

Drinking water

The process of softening water adds a small amount of sodium into the water. When a person is on a low sodium diet, all possible sources of sodium should be evaluated in relation to the limit set by your doctor.

To enhance your drinking water, you may wish to consider using a Kinetico drinking water product, also available from your Kinetico Dealer. Kinetico drinking water products will significantly improve the quality of your coffee, tea, cold drinks and water used for cooking and baking.

Please contact your local Kinetico Dealer for further information on our range of drinking water solutions.


Hard water contains calcium and magnesium. Your Kinetico 2020c contains resin beads that hold sodium ions. When hard water passes through the beads inside the Kinetico 2020c, they attract and hold the calcium and magnesium ions in exchange for sodium. After this ion
exchange process, the water leaving your Kinetico 2020c is soft (Fig. 1).
Once the resin bed is loaded with calcium and magnesium ions, it must be cleansed (or regenerated) so that it can continue to soften water. The salt in your storage tank mixes with water to wash the resin beads. The brine solution loosens the hardness minerals which have built up on the resin beads; then the system backwashes and flushes the hardness minerals away.
Once this is complete, the resin beads once again hold sodium ions and the system is ready to exchange the sodium ions for more calcium and magnesium ions. The Kinetico 2020c regenerates with soft water. Since you already know what the difference cleaning with soft water can make throughout your home, it only makes sense that the Kinetico 2020c cleans itself with soft water too. Your system uses only clean, soft water to make the salt solution in the salt storage tank.

Fig. 1


More than 30 years of ingenuity are behind the valve that operates the Kinetico 2020c Water Softener. The valve uses the energy of moving water instead of electricity so there is nothing to plug in, no buttons to push and no timers to set. Because of this technology, the 2020c Water Softener is energy efficient and therefore, better for the environment.
The Kinetico valve measures the amount of water that you use and determines when to initiate regeneration. Since it regenerates only on demand, it won’t waste water or salt. Many other water softeners in the market require pre-programming to regenerate at a specific time – normally during the night. With these softeners if you use more water than usual, you may end up with hard water or, if you use less water than normal, you will waste salt and water due to unnecessary regenerations. Kinetico’s metering system allows the 2020c Water Softener to regenerate only when it is necessary to do so at any time of the day. Plus, the twin cylinders (Fig. 2) in the Kinetico system ensure you have a continuous supply of soft water, even during regeneration.
When one cylinder needs to regenerate, the service automatically switches to the other cylinder. Twin softening cylinders also enable the 2020c water softener to clean itself with clean, soft water, unlike most other water softeners, which use hard water to regenerate. The resin used in the Kinetico 2020c works extremely well. The compact size allows for a greater surface area, ensuring a more efficient operation.


Cylinder A is
standing by Cylinder B is
Cylinder A is
softening Cylinder B is
Cylinder A is
softening Cylinder B is
standing by
Cylinder A is
regenerating Cylinder B is


Your Kinetico 2020c is loaded with convenient features that make it as easy as possible for you to operate your system.

Easy open lid

Kinetico’s hinged lid (Fig.3) means you will never have to fumble around trying to make the lid fit the softener. Simply hold the handle and pull the lid open to gain access to the salt bay. Close the lid by lifting until you feel it lock into place. If your particular installation does not permit the use of a hinged lid, your installation kit contains an alternative connection mechanism that permits you to lift the entire lid from the system for access to the salt bay (Fig. 4).

Low-flow metering

Your Kinetico system is equipped with the latest technology capable of measuring extremely low flow. As a result, you can be sure that your system is metering your water usage properly so it can regenerate at the appropriate time and continue to provide you with an uninterrupted supply of soft water.

Proper regeneration

Some system manufacturers, in an attempt to publish better performance numbers, reduce the amount of water used during regeneration. Unfortunately, using less water increases the chance that the system will not completely rinse itself of the salt regenerant and salty water may pass through your home. Your Kinetico system uses just enough water to rinse any remaining regenerant from its tanks to prevent salty water from entering your plumbing, while maintaining maximum system efficiency.


Compact design

The Kinetico 2020c takes up less volume than any other comparable cabinet style water softener. That’s because the Kinetico packs a lot of performance in to a small package.

status monitoring

If the location of your Kinetico 2020c permits viewing from the top, you can always check your system status of service and regeneration by looking through the viewing window on the top of the cabinet.
Simply check the indicator dot to see what mode of operation your system is in. Remember that even if the softener is regenerating, your Kinetico system will still provide you with soft water as it has two softening cylinders.

fig .5


Kinetico engineers every 2020c system to provide you with quality water without requiring extensive maintenance. Minor, routine maintenance is necessary to keep your softener working properly. Should you have any questions or need any assistance, contact your Kinetico dealer.

Adding regenerant

Convenient Salt Options

For your convenience, your system has been designed to accommodate various sizes of block (where available) and tablet/pellet salt. Use the optional salt bay extension to increase the salt bay’s capacity when using tablet/pellet salt. Depending on where you live, this may already be installed in your system. To install the extension, simply lift the salt platform from the cabinet and insert the side tabs into the corresponding grooves on the extension. To use the block salt again, simply remove the extension.

Using Salt Blocks

Using block salt is convenient and easy. To use salt blocks, simply open the softener cabinet and place them in the salt storage bay (fig. 6). Use the indicator marks on the back of the salt platform (fig. 7) to determine when to add new salt blocks. We recommend that you use Kinetico Block Salt, a clean, premium grade that has been developed and processed specifically for Kinetico systems. Other quality grades of block salt are also acceptable. Be sure to use salt manufactured for use in water softeners only. Make sure your salt storage bay never runs out of regenerant. Your Kinetico dealer can recommend or perform a schedule of periodic maintenance for checking the salt supply.

Using Tablet and Pellet Salt

Tablet salt and pellet salt specifically manufactured for water softeners is perfectly suitable for use in your Kinetico system. Simply add salt as you need it.


IMPORTANT: Never use rock or granular salt in your system. It contains impurities that can interfere with performance.

Manual regeneration

If your salt storage tank does run out of salt, you will have to manually regenerate the unit after adding salt. If you prefer, you can wait for the system to automatically regenerate, although you may have hard water in the mean time.
To manually regenerate your system, use a Phillips head screwdriver to push down on the softener valve screw (fig. 8) and slowly turn CLOCKWISE ONLY until the actuator has advanced the indicator dot to the “BRINE“ position (fig. 9). You should hear at least 5 “clicks“ while turning the screw before the indicator dot reaches the “BRINE“ position. At this point you will hear water flowing to the drain. This indicates that you have successfully initiated a regeneration.
NOTE: If you do not hear a flow of water running to drain, please contact your local Kinetico dealer.
Repeat the procedure for manual regeneration after the water flow stops (approximately 11 minutes) to be sure both resin tanks are regenerated.
NOTE: If your hot water tank or loft storage tank has refilled with hard water, it may take several days for it to empty completely and your water to feel soft again.
NOTE: Never turn the softener valve screw counter-clockwise.


Cold Weather Protection

If your Kinetico 2020c is installed outside or in an area that is not heated, you may want to take precautionary measures to prevent damage to your unit from freezing. Kinetico offer cabinets specifically designed to protect your softener from freezing temperatures. Please call your local dealer for more information.

NOTE: Kinetico’s warranty does not cover damage caused to your system due to freezing. If you have any questions about your Kinetico 2020c, or you suspect that your system isn’t working properly, contact your local Kinetico dealer.


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.

NOTE: By-pass styles vary and yours may not be as described. Contact your local Kinetico dealer for further assistance.



My system seems to be regenerating more frequently, is this normal?

Your Kinetico 2020c is demand operated and therefore adjusts to your water usage. If you do not think that your water usage has increased due to extra house guests, additional laundry or for any other reason, check for leaking plumbing, dripping taps or running toilets, all of which can contribute to more frequent regenerations.

My water doesn’t seem soft. How can I be sure that my system is regenerating properly?

Be sure that the water supply to the softener is not by-passed. If the unit does not begin advancing to the next regeneration automatically, please contact your Kinetico dealer for further assistance.

I can hear my Kinetico system running or regenerating during the day. My old softener only used to run at night. Is this normal?

Single tank, electric water softeners tend to be set to regenerate at night because of the unavailability of soft water during the regeneration process. Unlike traditional water softeners, Kinetico systems operate a demand based on your water usage, without timers or electronics. Your system regenerates whenever necessary, at any time of day. Kinetico’s twin cylinder design allows one tank to provide treated water while the other regenerates so you will never be without soft water.

If at any time you feel your Kinetico 2020c requires a service, put the system in by-pass and call your local Kinetico dealer.

NOTE: This system conforms to NSF/ANSI Standard 44 for the specific performance claims as verified and substantiated by test data. The system is not intended to be used for treating water that is microbiologically unsafe or of unknown quality without adequate disinfection before or after the system.

Typical Kinetico 2020c installation shown with a Kinetico reverse osmosis Drinking Water System. Your installation may vary.

NOTE: Waste connections or drain outlets can be designed and constructed to provide a connection to the sanitary waste system through an air gap of 2 pipe diameters or 1 inch, whichever is larger.

Kinetico UK Ltd 2013. Kinetico reserves the right to amend details or specifications without notice, prices are correct at time of print, E&OE.
All trademarks are registered to Kinetico Inc. Newbury, Ohio.

You can download the PDF version of the KINETICO 2020C WATER SOFTENER USER’S MANUAL here.