Discussing Water Purification and Touring the Kinetico Plant near Cleveland, OH

Project: Bob's Shingle Style Home, Episode 16, Part 2

A herringbone hardwood floor gets installed in the library, and the California Closet people explain how the dressing rooms are coming together in the master suite. A water purification system gets installed in the basement, and we take a tour of the Kinetico factory outside Cleveland, Ohio, and get a quick primer on water treatment issues.

Part 1: Installing a Herringbone-Patterned Floor
Part 2: Discussing Water Purification and Touring the Kinetico Plant near Cleveland, OH
Bob meets with Neil Sugarman of Kinetico Systems to discuss the benefits of water purification. Then Bob tours the Kinetico plant just outside of Cleveland to find out how the quality of the water is improved. Finally, Bob and Neil review the installed water system in the project home.
Part 3: Reviewing the Layout of Bob’s Walk-in Closet
This project centers around the remodel of Bob Vila's own gracious Shingle Style home in Cambridge, MA. It's a house with a lot of history and beautiful architectural details, many of which were obliterated in remodels of the 50s and the 70s. On the centennial of the house's construction, Bob gets together the best talents in the business to recreate and renew it to its former glory, making some important modifications along the way that will transform this into a dream house for today.

Also from Bob's Shingle Style Home

Hi, I am Bob Vila, Welcome home again.

We've made a lot of progress here since last week.

The hardwood floors have been installed in the kitchen.

It's a beautiful maple floor.

I'll give you a look at that, as well as some tips on how you install a herringbone patterned floor.

Then we are also taking a tour of a plant that makes water purification systems, KinetiCo.

They're out in Cleveland.

We're also installing a system here.

And my friends from California Closets are paying me a visit.

We're going to try and figure out the best way to it put in custom closets in the master bedroom.

Stick around, it's good to have you home again.

Bob Vila 's Home Again.

We really are getting to the point that it's exciting and frustrating because you see so much finish going in that you feel that we ought to be able to move in the next week, but we're still not ready to install kitchen cabinets.

The kitchen floor has just been done.

It just has one coat of sealer on it, and its a maple floor, which is I think, a very good choice for a kitchen area. And take a look over here under the window. We retrofitted some of the original hot air registers that are here, the old cast iron ones, and refit them so that we will actually have the hot air coming through here. Which is where you want it, right where you have the windows.

Windows have been put back in place. And if you notice, this isn't finished. We've only run the plaster down this far to where we have a ground, it's called, a piece of
wood .

And the reason for that is that were we're going to have real old-fashioned wainscoting in here. It's going to be out of poplar. It will be painted but that's not in from the mill work yet.

Anyhow, the kitchen is at that stage, almost ready for cabinets to come in. We've already got some of the holes in the floor for the waste pipes, for the plumbing. I'm standing where we're going to have our kitchen sink. And it's going to take a good month to install all these cabinets.

But let's go into the den where we're putting in a herringbone floor.

Okay, this room, of course, is pretty special to me because I'm considering it as the home office.

Hi, Riley.

Hi, Bob.

How are ya?


This is really getting along very Very quickly lets talk a little bit about the material that we use for a padde herringbone pattern like this.

Okay, what we're gonna this is a odd edges for a herringbone path from the suppliers. It comes in various lengths and it's cause the architect wanted a large herringbone, were bought at eighteen inch pieces.

So every single piece that goes in here is eighteen inches, and how its milled?

Its milled the group on all three sides-- both sides.

Grooves on both ends, and on one side then a ton on the other side.

That way we don't have to worry about having lefts and right, you can just go ahead and set them down.

Now this is really select oak , right? There's no knots or anything on it.

Right. This is white oak.

This is sort of like...

And what does that do to the cost? Basically it well, brings this cost up to three Thousand dollars and fifteens over gain today, can I buying regular? Is about a $1.85 a quart. So this is about a dollar thirty more expensive than the regular strip oak.

Right, yep, that's what it is.

Okay, now, who is -

We have, John Doe is here. He's putting it down for us.

John, how are you?


You've been installing this type of floors a long time, have you?

Yes, years.

Really? So does it take a lot more time to install this than it would a regular strip floor?

Oh, as much as four times. It took us -


- much longer than the regular floor.

Four times as long as a regular floor. And we figured out that this room has about 225 square feet?

Yes, 225, right .

And it's going to end up costing almost two thousand bucks for this floor.

Yeah, eight bucks a foot is what they told us.

Just about that, yes.

John, show us how you actually put these pieces together, would you?

Let's just watch. So, you're letting one overlap. What's, why do you do this for?

Try to check the angle of the.

The angle, the edge.


For the next one. I see. And then you just nail them with the power nailer.

With the power nailer.

Go ahead.

Now is he shooting nails, or are they staples?

No I've got these brass, they're two inch galvanized staples, and they go right straight in to the sub floor

Wow. And that's through oak, so you wouldn't be able to do it if you have the compressor hooked up to it right?

No not all.

So now, tell me what this red line is for John. This is the center line of the room.

Oh. OK. So that is the most critical element, right?

This is more like a control true line, so, we make sure this is where

This point has to be.

Have to be lie up on that line.

OK and then what about when you go to sand this floor, is there anything special you have to do?

Well, we have to sand it at an angle.

So you have to go, in one direction with the big drum sander.

With the drum sander and then we have to sand the other.

And then you have to go in the other direction.

Yeah. In the other direction.

It's like mowing the lawn twice.

Twice. Yeah.

Big job OK well were going to come back and see you a little bit later in the show to see if you've finished. Yeah. And were gonna have to break for some messages. Now let's meet Neil Sugarman from Conetego Systems. We're talking water purification. Hi, Neil.

Hi, Bob.

Can I interrupt you here for a minute?


I think the first question I want to ask is, why do we need to bother with water purification if you're living in a, in a greater Metropolion area,

Well it's really going to help the quality of your home as far as protecting your investment and we can also treat the drinking water to improve its taste and..

Now how is it helping my investment? I mean, isn't the water here pretty good? Didn't you do a test on this?

Sure. We took a look there is some hardness in the water, a few other small contaminants, no big reason to be concerned about. And this pipe over here is

probably a great way to show what happens with hardness.

This wasn't here I presume.

No this was in another location taken out. The scale here, which is hardness calcium. Magnesium has been built up, and it really takes away from the opening of the pipe. This is inch-and-a-half pipe.

Won't that also affect the performance of my appliances, my washing machine, dishwashers and so forth?

Yeah, absolutely. This same type of effect is going to happen in your appliances and it's going to reduce the life of your water heater and dishwasher and other appliances.

Okay. Well, the big question is, how does it all work? You're saying we've got two different components, one for drinking water.


And one for water conditioning or softening.


Which is this unit here.

Okay. And this is all pretty revolutionary equipment.

And to find out exactly how it improves the quality of the water, I visited their facility right outside of Cleveland. Watch.

Jim Kuley and his partner Bill Prior founded KineticCo back in 1970. And one of the interesting things about the company is that your architectural plan is very user friendly.

Yeah , our concept here was to have an open area with windows and plants and very friendly for the employees to enjoy the environment and the things that are outside and to use the center of the buildingFor storage that sort of thing.

Yeah. Yeah.

Everybody's got a view of nature out there, as well. There's house plants hanging in there. But it's hard to get an understanding of what you're making here, cause there's so many small stations making small components.

Well, Bob, why don't we head back to our research lab and we'll have some demos set up there. We can try what our products do.

Yeah you know, Jim, all these new technologies that make the quality of life in our home so much better are tough to understand, so I'm glad you have got a good visual here. Explain it.

Yes. What we have is the demonstration that's similar with the one in your house but is done with clear tanks and is much smaller of course.

Sure, OK.

than the one in your house.

So will the street water be coming in one of these pipes?

They'll be coming in this pipe and your treated water would be leaving this pipe. You could see that the turbine is turning here that's metering the water as it flows out of the house.

So this is the actual brains of the operation, right?
And I see you have a cross section here.

Right, and that shows the water meter there, and that would be simulating water usage.

So, there's no clocks, there's no electronic mechanism. It's just a question of a simple little wheel. Measuring the use of water.

Correct, that's totally not electric and it, it works just on the pressure and the flow of the water.

What you going to do with the screwdriver?

What I'm going to do now is I'm going to manually start a regeneration, this would happen automatically in your home by the flow of water.


I'm going to do that manually, and we're going to draw a grind the solution up into the into the tank that's to be regenerated.

What we've done is we've colored this purple so you can see as it comes up through the tank itself.

Terrific. Now you make all these different parts, right here, you don't buy the components.

We have injection molding equipment. All the parts are injection molded, the large ones and smaller ones and we have done that right from the beginning of the company.

And the materials that are used are vinyls and plastics, you don't have to worry about any of this stuff contaminating the water?

That's correct, they're all glass reinforced plastic that's been certified by NSF to be totally non toxic.


And not a problem.

Wow, look at this. So you've colored this water?

Right this would not be this way in your home.

This is the brine, right?

Yes that is brine, there's yeah. It's going to be coming up through this tank here in a few minutes.

And the brine itself it's got regular salt added to it?

Right it's just like a table salt that you would use in the home, just sodium chloride. That's what would normally be in this tank.

And so we're going to be seeing this coming through the medium in a minute.

Right. That will be coming up through the median here in a second.

Oh boy. Alright, so it's really forcing it up, right?

Right. It's the brine coming through, forcing the hardness, the magnesium calcium, back off of the resin beads themselves.

And this, this is like the resin beads, this stuff?

Right, yeah, that yellow stuff. Yeah, that's, that's iron exchange resin. It's actually a styrene

plastic that's designed in a way - Right.

It's really kind of gushy, isn't it?

Yes, it feels really funny.
Yeah, but it just wipes right off. It's not like its dirty.

So what is this doing? It's attracting the -

It actually attracts the calcium and magnesium ions right to the bead and retains them and that's what softens the water.

But you don't have to change this stuff, right?

No. No.

It cleanses.

And it gets recharged with the brine solution.

Now the tanks I have back at the house are huge things. Do you make those here yourself?

Those huge ones we don't. The smaller ones, such as this, we do make. And they're made in two halves. They're actually injection molded
And we join those into one part by spin welding together, spinning and creating the heat. The heat melts the plastic and it becomes, essentially, one part.

Love it, this is the science lab. Now, lets talk a little about the drinking water end of it.


The reverse osmosis process straight around the corner here.

And soft water is really terrific in terms of your washing machine, your dishwashers, and how those appliances function and how clean the laundry comes out.

Right, that's correct.

But this is important in terms of what we're drinking and cooking with.

Right. This is a reverse osmosis drinking water unit, just like the one that's in your basement, set up in the lab.


What we have is we're feeding another pink solution into this. Pink solution is coming in through, what we call prefilter. The prefilter has this inside of there, best designed to take out any particles that might remain in the water.

Any mineral particles?

No, the particulates, the bigger stuff.


The water then comes from the prefilter into the reverse osmosis module here in the center.


This is a cutaway of that with what it looks like.

But Jim, just what is osmosis?

Osmosis, actually, is a natural This normal process of taking water out of the ground and allowing plants and trees to take that water in.

That's what tree roots do, right?

That's correct. And reverse osmosis reverses that process. We push the water through the membrane, the water goes through, and it leaves the minerals behind.

So, but, this filter is, what's this stuff made out of?

Well this is actually a plastic. It's a polyamid plastic. It's a very very thin film and the water, again, gets pushed through that membrane and leaves a mineral and the

things behind, the contaminants behind.

Okay. And then finally this black filter here?

Yes. The third stage is a, is in here. It's a very high density carbon filter that removes the organics from the water. Things like chlorine, things that would taste

funny in the water, taste bad in the water.

Okay. And then you've got some sort of tea test going on over here?

Yeah, well, this is the test we run where we've made tea. We've made tea with both the Kinetico treated water and with bottled water that we've bought at the grocery

store. And you can see the tea here is much lighter and it tastes better. This tea combines the minerals with the tea and it tends to mask the flavor and mask the smell, so this water is much better for tea.

Better tea, better coffee, better juice.

Juices. That everything.

Tell me one thing. How much water do you actually get through the system. I mean, do you have to just get a dribble like this?

Well, the system makes water very very slowly.

It, drip wise, but it enters accumulated into a pressure tank that you see here so that when you need water in the home, it mixes a much, it dispenses it at a much.

So, you've always got like five gallons on, on hand.

There's actually a little less than that, but there's plenty of water on storage and when you ask for it, it comes at a much faster rate.

At a faster rate.

This is the rate at which its actually making the water.

Right. OK. Thanks Jim.

Well thank you very much Bob.

So we're pretty much installed here and we're looking at our water service where the water comes in from the street and then what's happening here?

Sir, we're going up through what we call a bypass valve, so that you can shutoff the water to the softner in case you need to service it.

OK. All right. Then the copper pipes come straight over here and we're hooked up to here, right? Right, the water from the, coming in from the house is, is going into the unit and through the mineral bed?


And then out and back into the house.

Into the rest of house.


What's the blue tank for?

Uh, well, that's part of our drinking water system over here. This is a storage tank. The reverse osmosis drinking water system is hooked up into or tapped into a cold water line, produces the high-purity drinking water, and that's stored here in this large storage tanks so you have water whenever you want.

So we can get that at the sink or also that will feed in the freezer, the ice maker right?

Right. We're gonna hook it up to the ice maker, any bathrooms, whatever we need.

Terrific. Thank you very much!


We have to break for some messages. Don't go away. Okay. We're on the second floor. I'm gonna give you a look at the master bedroom. We are about to talk California Closets but first just to give you an idea of how the layout works. We took the corner bedroom and enlarged it a bit and we created a built in walk-in closest as well as a bathroom.

This is my territory in here, behind the fireplace. And then on the other side we took over a small bedroom that was there to create an additional walk-in closet, dressing room and bathroom for my wife.

And we're at that point in the construction where there's still a lot of trim lumber that hasn't been put up, but in the master bedroom we've got our fixture moldings,
we 've got our casings, our baseboard, just about everything complete.

Let's go into my dressing room area which is pretty much unfinished and we'll meet Bob and Sheila Schmaltz from California Closets.

Hey Bob nice to see you again. Good to see you again. How are you?

Good to see you again Bob. Good. Thank you.

Well listen one thing I wanted to make a point of was that a lot of people think that California Closets are only doing apartment closets makeovers and the like. But you really do get into the construction process don't you?

That's exactly right, Bob. California Closets really accepts the challenge of working with our customers like yourself and also an architect creating the most special and custom space that fits your needs.

So you've been working with Greg Rockland, our architect.

That's absolutely correct.

And I told him a little bit about my needs, because I've got an unusual wardrobe half of it is khakis or dungarees and the other half is kind of business clothes, or travel clothes.

That's right, but I think we came up with some great solutions for it.

Well, should we look at the plan.

Sure absolutely.

Back here what do we got here?

Well we have here a whole wardrobe cabinet with floor to ceiling doors, that I think will be the main focal point of the unit.

Now that goes the whole length of this long wall here which is what 10 feet is it?

Yes it is.

So, I'll have 10 feet.
Feet of hanging behind there or how's it broken up?

Well, Bob, has the plans over here. We have an assortment of double rod hanging.

OK, so I'll have a rod here and another rod above. And then what's in this area?

Well, we have some garment bags, I know, for some of those suits and tuxedos that you might need, and -

I see. And then this is all shelves?

Shelves for those sweaters and shirts that you have a need for.

That would be terrific. And then the rest of the ro0m is either storage areas or flat panels, right?

Yes, we're actually taking the same wood and we are outfitting with panels the entire wall space in this dressing room, so it's gonna be a totally fitted and custom look.

So Bob, that's why we've had to put plywood behind you, right?

That's correct. So you have something stable to hold the other wood product, too.

Exactly, now have you got any samples at?

Yeah. Right here.

Here's a product, Bob

so Bob Thats we find the behinding Bob, that's, this product is made in Brazil and it might be interesting to point out that they have there own tree ranches down there; so they grow there own product.
So those people who are interested in the environmental problem.

Sure so none of this is actually from the rain forest or anything?

That is absolutely correct.

From tree farms.

We point that out. We point that out on our literature as well.

Its gonna be beautiful in here, it's going to look like a lawyer's office.

Exactly, you're going to feel like the king getting dressed in this room.

Very very neat. And then in terms of drawers, do we have any kind of chest of drawers?

Yes we do Bob, right around the corner we have a unit that I think you'll see,

This here

right here on our plan.

Okay. And this goes in this the area.

Goes in this chubby area right there.

Okay. So this is the back of my shower which is why it's built like that, but then I get a full set of drawers here, and, is this just shelving back here?

Well, we're gonna have a spot there for a mirror and a few shelves above it,


and there's a small drawer over

Here for some tools.

Got tools up here?


Sounds good.

Keep them close to hand.

These are the drawers, right?

That's right.

They have plain fronts?

Yes, and some molding to go with it.

Sounds terrific.

Alright, now we are just weeks away from trying to complete things. I understand that you're going to be coming back in a week or two to deliver?

We'll have everything ready for you in about a week.

Great. We're looking forward to you again.

We are too, Bob.


Thank you. Take care.

We're going to break for some messages. Don't go away.

Back in the library here, the den. And you can see, they've made a lot of a progress. They've almost finished the entire room.

Take a look at the kind of details that make this sort of installation look almost as good as it did a hundred years ago. When they take the time to bring the herringbone right into a square frame around, of course, another one of these grills that we're retrofitting. When they take the herringbone in this direction and we have a happy. Stance were this hearth was at a 45 degree angle, so that you've got all of these beautiful angles coming together and then butting right into the frame around the hearth.

Of course the hearth is a century old and it's sagged a little bit so it goes from flush here to off about half an inch there. That's honest. You don't really have to do much

of a repair there. And John, I guess you've got about a half an hour's work to go. Beautiful job. Thanks a lot.

Thank you.

We're running out of time. Come home again next time when we arel gonna be getting involved in kitchen cabinets. Not only will we start installing but were gonna take

you on a tour of the factory in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where they make these beautiful heritage cabinets. That's it for now, until next time, I'm Bob Vila. It's good

to have you home again.



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