Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener Review (2022)
The Fleck 5600SXT is a whole house water softener that operates with high efficiency. One of its most outstanding features is the digital on-demand control valve. It also has a high capacity and long-life resin.
Below is a detailed Fleck 5600SXT review, including features, pros, and cons. This article also answers the top Fleck 5600SXT and general water softener FAQs. Read on!
- Model Number – WS48-56SXT
- Dimensions – 10 X 54 inches resin tank, 14 X17 X 33 inches brine tank
- Weight – 20.7 pounds
- Grain Capacity – 48,000
- Flow Rate – 12 Gallons Per Minute
- Warranty – 10 Years on tanks and 5 years on valve components
The Fleck 5600 SXT design incorporates a number of features that make it easy to use and maintain. These features include:
Digital Meter Control Valve
The Fleck 5600SXT water softener is fitted with a digital meter control valve that enables you to do the following:
- Check the volume of the remaining soft water
- Check regeneration steps
- Check remaining cycle times
- Check service due date
- Troubleshoot and self-diagnose issues
- Set automatic regeneration cycle
- Choose your preferred regeneration cycles for 6 options
For easy programming, the digital display of this Fleck water softener has a friendly user interface. The Fleck 5600SXT controller is the latest control valve built by Fleck. It is a true 5600 valve with features such as a backlit LCD, 48 internal power back up, and touch control pads.
The 48-hour power backup ensures smooth operation in case of a prolonged power outage. In addition, it keeps the microprocessor powered to remember the set settings without going to default settings.
Automatic Regeneration System
The Fleck 5600SXT regeneration cycles are automated through the digital control valve. The digital meter provides four main regeneration cycles programming modes:
- On-demand/ immediate meter regeneration
- Delayed meter regeneration
- Delayed time clock regeneration at a pre-set time
- Automatic regeneration on a specific day of the week
The regeneration cycle programming will affect the unit’s capacity and salt usage. For instance, if you program it at top capacity, it will use up more salt. On the other hand, you can program it to maximize salt consumption efficiency but lower capacity.
The 14”x 34” square brine tank can hold up to 250lb of salt. In addition, the water softener utilizes high-capacity cross-linked resin, which improves its efficacy in the ion exchange process. On average, a regeneration cycle takes about 2 hours.
This water softener is designed to be leak and spill-proof. It is fitted with a safety float that prevents water from overflowing or spilling. Ultimately, the safety float optimizes water usage within the softener.
The Fleck 5600SXT has a 48,000-grain capacity which is adequate enough to soften moderately hard to very hard water minerals. It can sufficiently cater to medium and large homes with 5-6 people. It offers a flow rate that ranges between 12gpm and 28gpm in peak performance.
There are four color options to choose from for the Fleck 5600SXT water softener tank, including black, blue, and almond. Additionally, aside from the standard size tank, there is a larger tank size upgrade option at an additional cost.
The Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener is available in different grain capacities, including 16,000, 24,000, 32,000, 40,000, 64,000, and 80,000.
The Fleck 5600SXT is easy to install, but you require some level of plumbing expertise. It comes partially assembled, but you will need to attach some components or adjust its setup to fit your home. For people with plumping experience, it takes 1-2 hours to install.
Although it comes with a detailed installation manual, the instructions are a bit confusing. However, you can find an elaborate, easy-to-understand Fleck 5600SXT installation video to follow.
If you have no plumbing experience, it is best to hire a professional plumber to install a water softener. You will incur $200-$500 in installation costs, but it will give you peace of mind as the system will be set up correctly and will operate efficiently for a long time. After installation, the system will need to program it according to your needs.
The best installation location is indoors, away from extreme weather conditions. However, since the Fleck 5600SXT digital control valve is waterproof, it can be installed outdoors. Ensure that the softener is not at a location prone to freezing. Also, ensure there is a power outlet in the outdoor installation location.
The Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener package contains:
- 1 square brine tank
- I resin tank
- 5 cubic feet of high capacity cross-linked resins
- Fleck Bypass Valve
- I” male threaded yoke
- Installation manual
Warranty and Guarantee
The Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener comes with a 5-year warranty on the control valve and a 10-year warranty on the tanks. According to the manufacture, the 5600 valves have been tested to last up to 27 years.
Therefore, the Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener can last 20-30 years with proper care and maintenance. The exact lifetime of the water softening system is dependent on factors such as water hardness level and your water use.
Care and Maintenance
The digital meter makes it super easy to maintain. Once you have programmed it, you have to occasionally check the salt levels for a refill. The specific amount of salt to top up depends on water demand and the size of your household. On average, one bag of salt (about 20-25lb) per month is enough.
- Softens hard to very hard water minerals
- Has a high flow rate
- Caters to medium to large families
- Comes with a 10-year and 5-year warranty on tanks and control head respectively
- Easy to use and user-friendly control interface
- Economical to maintain
- Regenerates automatically
- High resin capacity
- Has a safety float to prevent spilling
- Has a low salt light indicator
- Some parts are made of non-durable plastic
- Requires at least basic plumbing skills to install
Installing the right water softening unit not only improves the taste of your water. It also reduces scale build-up, increases soap efficiency, and extends the lifespan of your plumbing and appliances.
The Fleck water softening system is a digital on-demand water meter. It is among the best-sellers in its category and a top recommendation by industry experts. Its digital control valve makes it easy to use, and it is backed by an impressive 10 and 5-year warranty. Although it is easy to install, you require basic plumbing skills to install it properly.
Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener FAQs
What is Grain Capacity in Water Softeners?
Grain capacity in a water softener refers to the maximum number of hard water grains the softener can remove from inlet water before regenerating. To determine how much grain capacity your water softener should have, consider the number of people in your house and the hardness level of your water.
For smaller households with 1 to 4 people, if the water hardness range is 5-30GPG, a water softener with 32,000 grains up to 40,000 grains will be sufficient. For large households with 5 -8 people and similar water hardness levels, aim for 40,000 to 100,000 grains. For harder water, go for up to 110,000 grains.
Can You Use the Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener with Well Water?
Yes. However, it is important to first determine the hardness of the water and the iron content. While the 48,000 grain Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener performs well even with very hard water, it is not ideal for use with extremely hard water.
Also, if the iron content in the water is high, you will need to pass it through an iron filter before directing it to a water softener to avoid overburdening the 8% cross-link resin.
How Often Does the Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener Regenerate?
As an on-demand water softener, it only regenerates when it needs to. However, if set on any of the other three programming options, it regenerates as per the programmed regeneration schedule.
How Does the Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener Work?
The Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener operates like any other salt-based water softener. Your tap water passes through the resin tank for ion exchange.
The tap water contains hard minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and iron, usually called hard ions. These hard ions are replaced with soft sodium ions in the resin tank, which is comparably less harmful than the hard ions.
Note that the ion exchange process increases sodium levels in the outlet water, which may have health complications for people on a salt-restricted diet. In this case, it may be appropriate to use sodium salt in your water softener brine tank. However, potassium salt is more expensive and less accessible in some areas.
Do I Need a Water Filter When Using the Fleck 5600SXT?
Yes. While the Fleck 5600SXT does an excellent job of softening your water, it does not get rid of contaminants. Therefore, for best quality water, it is recommendable to fit a whole house filter in your mainline to get rid of contaminants and chlorine before directing the water to your water softener.
Some filters, such as whole house reverse osmosis filters, remove a huge percentage of hard water ions, which improves the water softener’s efficiency and lifetime.
How Does the Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener Stand Out from Other Water Softeners on the Market?
The Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener mainly stands out in the following ways:
As an On-Demand Water Softener
The Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener is among the few on-demand water softeners on the market. On-demand regeneration is the most recent and sophisticated technology in water softeners at the moment. Most water softeners are timed
A timer water softener works such that it is set to regenerate at a given time. Therefore, when time is due, the water softener fully regenerates regardless of whether it was in use or not.
This can lead to high water consumption and increase energy bills. It can also be challenging to correctly determine a regeneration schedule, especially if your water use fluctuates throughout the day or daily.
One of the programmable options for the Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener regeneration cycle is “On-demand/ immediate meter regeneration.” The on-demand setting is on an as-needed basis.
The system monitors water usage and regenerates only when the resins are fully covered with hard minerals. It is an effective method that prevents over or under regeneration. It also optimizes water and energy usage. Therefore, you do not have to worry about shutting off the system to prevent unnecessary regeneration when you are away from home for extended periods.
As mentioned above, the Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener is fitted with a 5600-control valve that makes it programmable. This feature enables you to set and forget the unit.
High Resin Capacity
Different water softeners use different types of resin. The most popular types include fine mesh resin, 10% cross-link resin, and high capacity 8% cross-link resin.
Fine mesh resin is best suited for well water as the smaller resin beads offer more surface area contact with water. However, you will need to install an upper flow basket on the water softener to prevent the beads from discharging out during regeneration.
The big confusion among homeowners is whether to use 8% or 10% cross-linked resin. The cross-link percentage refers to the number of cross-link bonds in the resin bead.
When it comes to efficiency, both types of resin are quite effective. The 10% cross-linked beads are more durable when it comes to removing iron. The 8% cross-linked beads are equally efficient in removing iron but will need to be replaced sooner.
The main disadvantage with the10% cross-linked resin is that the beads fracture forming a mushy paste over time. This paste can damage the resin tank requiring you to replace the entire water softener. Furthermore, the 10% cross-linked resin is more expensive than the 8% cross-linked resin. For these reasons, the 8% cross-linked resin is preferable.