The Fleck 5600 SXT metered water softener remains a top choice for many households that have been using water softeners over the years to protect themselves from the hazards of hard water for good reason.
They are efficient, easy to install and use, and made in the USA by a renowned and trusted brand. You should keep it here if you have hard water troubles in your household. We are about to break down a possible solution and show you why. This is a water softener review biased towards units that use the Fleck 5600 SXT control valve meter.
Background of Fleck Metered Water Softeners
They are a part of water softeners and backwashing filters that utilize the reliability of the Fleck valve, which is a product of Fleck Controls Inc., a company founded in the US in 1950. They started producing brine valves in 1958 and the first water softener control valve in 1963.
As a result, they have six decades of producing high technology flow control valves for residential, commercial, and industrial applications. This is more experience than any other player in the market.
The company was acquired by Pentair Inc. (PNR) in 1995. Pentair is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and specializes in water treatment and sustainable applications. Fleck Controls is now a registered trademark of Pentair Inc.
The Fleck legacy got a boost from Pentair’s focus on constant improvement. This provided unlimited avenues to apply their experience and continue to improve on their control valves. They still operate from their Brookfield, Wisconsin offices in the US to produce commercial and residential products.
Fleck 5600SXT Review: Key Features of Flex 5600SXT Metered Water Softener
The high-efficiency Fleck 5600 SXT control valve saves water and salt by facilitating intelligent regeneration, monitoring your water usage, and adapting for optimal use. Their cycle times are also adjustable according to the prevailing circumstances.
They tackle hard water regardless of the grains per gallon, delivering soft water to your house, protecting your plumbing and appliances from minerals and scaling, increasing their lifecycle, and maintaining their appearance. The assured soft water also promotes faster lathering of cleaning agents, saving time and the amount of product used. It protects your skin, nails, and hair from hard water effects.
They are hassle-free because they are easy to install, have interactive displays, and require minimal maintenance. They have an intelligent controller which keeps you updated on what needs to be done. These units also have some of the longest warranty covers, which contribute to peace of mind.
They also feature a non-volatile memory that can retain your house programming even through a power failure.
- Fleck 5600sxt Digital on-demand Metered Water Softener with paddle wheel meter (BR5600SMS-SXTPW), Made in the USA.
- Black Structural 10x54" PG 2.5T (CH30579-03010203-30), 14"x34" black square brine tank with safety float, made in the USA
- Includes Fleck bypass valve (60049) and 1" male threaded yoke connection (18706-01)
- Will treat up to 12 gpm service flow rates (28 GPM peak) perfect for up to 6 people in home, moderate to very hard water
- 48,000 grain or 1.5 cubic feet of high capacity 8% cross linked resin (BR8)
Fleck 5600SXT Pros
Let’s get to the benefits because you are here to know why you should invest in a Fleck 5600 SXT water softener.
Fleck is a trusted American legacy brand with years of experience in their craft which is owned by Pentair, another American heavyweight specializing in the most cutting edge water safety technology. The units are also assembled in the USA with only the best Pentair components. This promotes confidence in the quality of workmanship and material used.
The current Fleck 5600 SXT control valve meter is improved from the older mechanical meter and employs 21st-century SXT electronics. As a result, it has fewer parts and no troubles.
An SXT water softener unit is metered with demand-initiated regeneration. This means the cycles are only run when required after enough gallons of water have passed through to justify the process. This prevents wastage of water and salt and reduces power consumption in the water softening process, increasing returns to your investment.
Fleck 5600 SXT water softeners can be adjusted to suit your lifestyle in diverse ways:
- Regeneration cycles can be pre-programmed depending on the household preferences and water softening needs, with adjustable cycle times in the programming section. The intuitive digital media will even learn the regeneration cycle of the home and readjust itself based on the water usage.
- Their Flex 5600 SXT solid-state computer control head offers four modes of operation to sustain effective ion exchange: immediate meter, delayed meter, delayed time clock, and day of week regeneration. We shall look at how these different modes work later on in the article.
- You can trigger water softener regeneration manually if you feel it is due, but the system hasn’t sensed it. This may be necessary, especially with a new water softener unit, because the owner is unaware of the optimum settings. The system is still adjusting to the household’s water consumption. You may have underestimated the hard water from a well when programming if you are used to city water.
- The Fleck 5600 SXT meters support a range of water softeners from high grain capacity to the lowest, making them suitable for both small and large homes. You can maintain yours as the family grows, and it will not lose its relevance. They will support a 16,000-grain water softener like they would a 70,000-grain water softener. They can be applied to both city water and well water, barely affecting the water flow.
Ease of Use
They are also easy to install, program, and manage. With basic plumbing knowledge and a little help, you can install a Fleck 5600 SXT water softener yourself. They come with a detailed installation manual to guide you through the process, which is also accessible from Pentair’s website.
The system has been designed to require no maintenance; all you will need to do is add salt when necessary because it is salt-based, and the display will prompt you when it’s time.
The Ability to Retain Programming
Your water softener configurations are stored permanently in the system’s non-volatile memory, which is not affected by loss of power.
The intuitive Pentair Fleck 5600 SXT controller also has a built-in capacitor capable of storing the time and passage of days for up to 48 hours in the event of power failure. During this period, a Fleck water softener unit will even pause mid-regeneration and resume the cycle from where it stopped once the power is restored.
Interactive Digital Displays
These features are crucial when programming an SXT water softener as they have the settings for the valve systems and the control systems. They show the time of day and gallons of soft water remaining, so you are constantly aware.
The flow meter is also displayed here. They will indicate the time left to the next regeneration and inform you when it is due; the service icon flashes when a regeneration cycle has been queued. They also display error codes that assist in troubleshooting. This is aided by a user-friendly backlit LCD.
Extended Warranty Periods
The Fleck 5600 SXT valve has a 10-year warranty, and its water softener tanks come with 5-year warranties. This demonstrates the confidence the manufacturers have in these products.
Value for Money
Despite all the perks mentioned above, a Fleck 5600 SXT water softener still retails at pocket-friendly prices that are lower than other softeners with similar features per customer reviews. This may be because they might not have the extra bells and whistles you will find in a water softener review of a newer model. However, this does not take away from their water softening capabilities as they deliver consistently.
Fleck 5600SXT Review: The Fleck 5600SXT Meter Timer Process- How It Facilitates Water Softener Regeneration
You can always launch a regeneration cycle manually whenever you feel it is due, but the Fleck 5600 SXT water softener system was given a solid-state computer control head for enhanced intelligence. It is programmed to estimate when the resin tank will be saturated, impeding the ion exchange process. It then self-regenerates so that hard water treatment can go on. It can do this in 4 operation modes:
Meter Immediate Control
In this setting, the system is regenerated based on water usage while considering the unit’s grain capacity against the water’s hardness level. The system estimates when this has been depleted through the flow meter and triggers regeneration. The system capacity is arrived at by dividing the unit’s rating with the feed water hardness.
This can be overridden by manually triggering regeneration or a preset regeneration day preceding the calculated system capacity.
Meter Delayed Control
This operation mode is similar to the meter’s immediate control, but regeneration starts at a pre-programmed time after depleting the system’s estimated capacity. The idea is to maintain the supply of softened water until when it has been established the household will not need soft water to allow time for the resin tank to regenerate.
This option will also be overridden if the Fleck 5600 SXT control head had a preset regeneration date before it is due, and regeneration will be triggered nonetheless.
Time Clock Delayed Control
In this mode, regeneration is based on a timed interval. You set a regeneration day override value based on your estimates of household consumption and the hardness levels of your feed water. Then, it is initiated every time this period elapses from the previous regeneration.
Day of the Week Control
This mode is convenient when you have a specific day and/ or time of the week you want it to regenerate. It could be when nobody is in the homestead, or softened water is not in demand. You set the regeneration ‘on’ for this day at a specified regeneration time and set it ‘off’ for the other days of the week.
What Is Included in The Package?
It is prudent to confirm if all the parts arrived with the package and are in good, functioning condition. Each piece is important for the optimal functioning of the water softener. Below are what you look out for:
- A softener tank with its Fleck 5600 SXT valve and power transformer
- Salt tank and cover
- A bypass valve
- Drain line fitting
- Brine line tubing along with its end inserts
- Tubing Clamp
- Instruction Manual
- Brine Well
It is good to note that the brine tubing and inserts are often packaged inside the brine well, and you may miss them on your first inspection.
- The timer doesn’t monitor water usage during power failure once it gets into power-saving mode. It will, however, record the volume of water that was remaining at the point of power failure
- Fleck 5600 SXT is an earlier model, and its softener doesn’t filter out Sulphur, iron, chlorine, or any other pollutants found in the water. Their systems are made exclusively for softening, so you need to add specialty filters for other contaminants present in your water.
Previous Buyer Reports
So that this Fleck 5600SXT review is not biased, we went and sampled reviews from other users. The consensus from these reviews is that the units are easy to operate because of the adequate prompts and visible displays. One can even install the unit themselves with manual and basic plumbing knowledge without invoking the services of a professional plumber. The versatile programming options also make for hassle-free regeneration.
Users also felt the Fleck 5600 SXT metered water softener was more affordable compared to others with similar properties. They were also impressed with the quality of the softened water.
Fleck 5600SXT Review: Our Verdict
This Fleck 5600SXT review can confirm that the Fleck 5600SXT metered water softener offers a unique combination of a tried and tested brand employing new technology. This is the reason you can enjoy this level of usability at a fraction of the price you would expect. It is worthy of investment as a water softener and will always get the job done. The easy installation and a 10-year warranty also provide an extra sense of security.
The only glaring limitation will be felt if your water feed has other contaminants besides the known hard water minerals calcium and magnesium. Being a slightly older model, it is limited as a filter. You may need to boost your house system with filters if you have contaminants like excess iron in your water, which takes away from the cost savings.