|Item Weight||20.8 pounds|
|Product Dimensions||10 x 0.1 x 54 inches|
|Item model number||WS48-56SXT|
|Item Package Quantity||1|
|Number Of Pieces||1|
|Flow Rate||12 GPM|
|Water Consumption||45 gallons|
|Included Components||Complete with bypass valve|
|Warranty Description||manufacturer warranty on control head 5 years, 10 years on tank|
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Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener Digital SXT Metered Whole House System
|Price:||$529.98 & FREE Shipping|
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- 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)
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From the manufacturer
48,000 Grain Water Softener
Fleck 5600SXT control head
Our most popular head offers digital controls with an informative display and easy setup.
Includes tank, control head, resin, and brine tank. Just plumb it in and add salt.
Metered for efficiency
System uses a flow meter to measure the water used and regenerating as needed, saving salt and reduce waste.
- Metered on demand system
- 48,000 maximum capacity
- 1.5 cubic feet standard 8% resin
- Complete brine tank with float
- Touchpad controls
- 10" x 54" tank
- 15" x x33" brine tank
Complete system shipped to your door includes all components needed for operation - the tank, resin, control head, and brine tank with safety float.
On demand metered system
System uses a flow meter to measure your water use and regenerate as needed. This reduces the salt used and lowers waste water. We use the stronger paddlewheel style meter that holds up better with fewer leaks than the tubine style.
LCD Digital display and touchpad controls
LCD displays current system status and error codes for at a glance information and troubleshooting. Easy to use touchpad controls allow quick control over all features and settings.
Bypass and 1" Yoke
Bypass valve with 1 inch yoke connection for easy in/out plumbing connection and servicing ability.
Easy to install and use
Many homeowners install these themselves with some basic plumbing skills. High effeciency resin and control head give you soft water and savings of salt and water over older style systems.
Eliminate the hard water that causes scale buildup and reduced soap efficiency with our complete whole house water softening unit with high efficiency Fleck 5600SXT Digital "On-Demand" control valve. 1" bypass 1.5 cuft High Capacity Resin - High capacity extra long life resin in all of our softening systems. Removes Hard Water - Using ion exchange process this system removes the calcium and magnesium that cause hard water. By eliminating hard water you extend the life of your plumbing and appliances! Meter Based Regeneration - This system uses a meter based regeneration process. This means that the water you use is measured and the system only regenerates when it needs to. If water needs increase the system regenerates more often to keep up. Fleck 5600SXT Digital Control - The SXT controller is the newest controller from Fleck and is built on the tried and true 5600 valve. These valve have an outstanding 5 year warranty and have been tested to run continuously up to 27 years! In addition, the SXT controller offers some great features, including a backlit LCD display, touchpad controls, 48 hour internal power backup, and a user friendly interface. - Durable tank with a 10 year warranty. The standard square brine tank included with this system is 14"x34" and can hold about 250 lbs. of salt. The included safety float prevents overfilling and the overflow drain acts as an additional backup to avoid water messes. *Installation only takes 1-2 hours with some basic plumbing skills. Technical Details: 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). Includes Fleck bypass valve (#60049) and 1" male threaded yoke connection (#18706-01). 48,000 grain or 1.5 cubic feet of high capacity 8% cross linked resin (#BR8)
Top customer reviews
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1) We had a salt-free Pelican softener before and I promise that salt free doesn't really work. If you don't want sodium in your water, just use Potassium in a regular softener instead.
2) If you choose to install this yourself, the process isn't hard at all - but don't forget to fill the brine tank with water before the first recharge. (The resin does come pre-charged so you won't have to worry about that for a while.)
3) According to other reviewers, installing the resin is a hassle; but, mine came from ABC Water Equipment with the resin already installed. They were also super helpful when I called them with a quick programming question.
Now, on to the real review!
Our water isn't super hard (around 12gr); but, the benefits of using a water softener are still well worth it to us - especially after coming from an area with harder water where we got used to using one.
About 5 years ago, I decided we didn't want to deal with salt or reverse-osmosis anymore, so we 'upgraded' to a salt-free Pelican 'softener' as well as a matching whole house filter. The whole house filter was excellent; but, the salt-free softener didn't appear to do much of anything. I kept a log as the hardness deposits started to build up - and it now looks like we never had a softener at all...
Since we're in the process of remodeling our kitchen, I decided it was also time to switch back to a real softener. I almost bought into the more expensive Kinetico or Culligan systems, but opted to try this Fleck unit out because of the massive price difference. It's seriously hard to justify the additional cost when the actual capabilities are identical; and, who cares if this lasts 5 years less since I can buy 10 of them for the same price. :)
We also decided to use Potassium instead of Salt this time around since I still don't want the additional sodium in our drinking water. I know it's more expensive; but, even with our family of 5, we're talking about just barely over 1 bag per month.
I was going to use a plumber to install this, but when the water softener arrived I decided to just give it a try myself. Thanks to the Internet and Shark Bite connectors, I was able to easily get it done in an afternoon. I did have one issue with the programming - but I called the seller (ABC Water Equipment) and they were extremely helpful and only took a couple of minutes to get everything ironed out over the phone.
I should mention that this unit came from ABC Water Equipment with the resin already installed - which seems to be the hardest part of the installation based on other reviews I read.
Since the resin was pre-charged and I didn't want to waste any potassium if I didn't need to - it took a while before it was ready to charge the first time. I'm glad I started the charge manually because I hadn't realized the brine bucket is supposed to be full of water before a recharge starts. I hadn't pre-filled it, so I ended up running 2 charge cycles that first time.
We also hooked this softener up inline with an Aqua-Pure Water Filter System since we've loved having our whole house filtered.
Anyway, now that it's installed, the water quality is excellent!
It's unbelievable how big of a difference softened water makes to how quickly everything gets dirty. Our shower stays looking cleaner longer - and we've always liked the feel of soft water. I wish I had skipped on the salt-free softener experiment altogether, but I guess you live & learn. :)
It probably sounds dumb, but water softened with Potassium has a slightly different feel than water softened with salt. It also tastes better in my opinion - although that may be in my head since I hate the thought of drinking 'sodium-enriched' water...
At the end of the day, I would definitely recommend this softener to just about anybody. It was fairly easy to install; but, it's also pretty inexpensive to have a plumber come do it if you don't feel like tackling the project. The end result is far superior than the salt-free system - and identical to the results from the premium brands. I can't think of any downside to using this system!
[*** Update 4/27/2015 ***]
This softener is still working flawlessly; but, I learned the hard way that it's not smart to completely fill the brine tank with potassium. Unlike salt, it cakes into a solid mass at the bottom of the tank and then doesn't dissolve well.
Please keep in mind that this issue is due to the potassium, and has nothing to do with this softener.
Anyway, to resolve the issue I had to break up the caked-up potassium with a garden transplanting tool and then recharge a couple of times until it was fully dissolved.
Now, I'm keeping the potassium level deliberately low (about half a bag at a time) so it won't cake up like that again. It's a little more of a hassle since I have to monitor it more often; but it's not a huge deal since I still only have to add potassium ever couple of weeks.
The seller - Abundant Flow - shipped the unit so quickly it arrived at my home several days ahead of the earliest estimated arrival date. The resin tank was well packaged. Likewise with the brine tank - the control unit was packed inside the brine tank and it was well cushioned and protected. The only issue I had was boxes/bags the resin beads were shipped in. They must have gotten some rough handling during shipping, because both bags were split along the bottom seam for about 3 inches. Not apparent while the bags were still in the shipping boxes, but as soon as I lifted them out there were (and still are!) resin beads everywhere. I didn't lose much (maybe 4-6 cups of resin beads total), and that really was my only issue during this installation.
I discovered Shark Bite fittings, too. Wow, what a time saver! I couldn't believe fittings you simply push together would form a watertight seal, but they do. With the 'do-over' tool, you can remove the Shark Bite fitting if needed. I bought one (just in case!), but didn't need it.
I also installed a Watts WH-LD Premier Whole House Filter System at the same time. Between the softener, the whole house filter, and a couple of trips back to the home warehouse store, it took me just about 2 hours. The pictures I attached show the finish product supply layout. Isn't the prettiest job by a long stretch, but it works, and doesn't leak a drop.
As other reviewers have pointed out, installing the resin beads seems to be the single hardest task. The 'funnel' that comes with the unit doesn't really fit the neck of the tank all that well, and is very loose. You really should have a second set of hands to hold the funnel steady while you pour the resin in. The resin beads seem somewhat damp in the bags, and they can be pretty heavy. You DON'T want to have to split your concentration between pouring the beads in while keeping the funnel in place - you'll wind up with resin all over the floor if you're not careful. I didn't have anyone available to hold the funnel down, so I used duct tape to fasten the funnel to the tank while I poured, and that worked out pretty well. If you DO spill some resin, be certain to clean it up promptly and thoroughly - the beads are round, and could cause you to lose your footing and take a nasty fall.
Doing the installation yourself is pretty easy if you have just a little experience with DIY plumbing. Do yourself a favor, though, and make adequate preparations before you begin - your home's water supply will be OFF while you're installing the unit, so you must minimize the time your household can't use the toilet. 1. Make sure everyone takes their shower and uses the can before you begin. 2. Put a few gallons of water in the bathtub for flushing toilets and have some drinking water set aside. 3. Be certain you have the right tools on hand before you get started. SILICONE LUBRICANT IS A MUST!!! It doesn't come with the unit, so you'll have to purchase that ahead of time. Don't substitute a petroleum based lube - that will eventually turn your O-rings to mush and possibly damage your unit. 4. PLAN YOUR LAYOUT, and have the needed supplies at the ready. The decision to also install the whole-house water filter was a last-minute decision; it caused my layout to change, and thus, the hardware I needed also changed (reading between the lines = 'Another trip to the store'). As you can see in the photos I attached, I used 3/4" braided stainless flexible hoses. Because I was originally connecting 3/4" CPVC pipes directly to the unit's bypass valve, I purchased two flex hoses where one end was a shark-bite connector, while the other end was a 3/4" female connector that connected to the bypass valve with two 3/4" brass nipples. Adding the whole-house filter, however, required adding in another braided flex fitting (both ends 3/4" female connectors and a third brass nipple. The drain tubing also doesn't come with the unit, so you'll need to purchase enough to run both the backwash and the brine tank overflow to the drain. Purchase the right size for the push-on connectors on the valve head and the brine tank, and lubricate the connectors with silicone lube before pushing them on. The backwash tube will have water under pressure, so it can be run at virtually any angle to get it to the drain. Be sure you fasten it down so the end of the hose doesn't work out of the drain. The brine tank is a gravity-feed hose, so it has to run down and flat to the drain area. Be sure it isn't obstructed or blocked - should an overflow condition occur you want to be sure the brine will flow to the drain, and not all over the floor where you have the unit installed.
So, with just a little thought and planning, the time your home's water supply is shut off can be minimal - just a couple of hours.
Oh, one other thing to consider - your water heater may be filled with hard water, and it'll take a bit of time to replenish the hard water already in the tank with soft water, so be patient - it'll take a couple of days under normal usage - more or less, depending on how many people live in your home that take baths/showers, or how often you run the dishwasher or do laundry.
All-in-all, a great unit that was pretty easy to put together and install. The seller was fantastic, and provided some fairly easy to read guides that were pretty helpful (both via email and US mail).
I very much like having those flexible braided hoses instead of rigid copper or CPVC - it gives me the ability to quickly disconnect should the need arise, and I can move the tank around a little for cleaning the floor around it.
**UPDATED December 7, 2015**
Wanted to check back in now that I've been using the unit for a couple of months. I neglected to speak to placement of the brine tank during my original review, and I should have. The natural inclination (at least mine was) is to put the resin tank front and center because it's smaller, and that makes it easier to monitor the control head. Really, however, it's the other way around - the brine tank should be placed to the front where it gives you easiest access to replace the salt. The brine tank is essentially a big garbage bin filled with salt pellets and water, so it's really heavy. So are the bags of salt you'll pour in, so make it a bit easier on your back and place the brine tank in a location with clear, open access so you aren't trying to reach into an uncomfortable position to pour the salt.
I couldn't be more pleased with the unit's operation. Everything just works as expected, and those Shark Bite fittings I was so happy to discover still don't leak.
I need to mention that whole house water filter. I was AMAZED at the stuff I found in that filter after a couple of months - grit, stuff I can't even identify, and rust - LOTS of rust. I recall watching one of those YouTube installation videos - the tech was talking about the very fine mesh filter that fits into the brine hose connecting the brine tank to the control head. He said 'don't even install this little guy, because it'll constantly clog on you.' I didn't put much thought into it at the time, but after seeing the amount of gunk the whole house filter is trapping, I totally get what he was saying. I installed the filter with my installation, but if I hadn't installed the whole house unit, I'd certainly be experiencing clogging issues. Just to be certain I DON'T, I purchased 5 micron Culligan filter cartridges to trap even more solids before it gets to my water softener. I just replaced one after running about 8,000 gallons through it, and the deep red color and visible grains of 'something' embedded in it makes me VERY glad I thought to add it into my water supply. It adds another layer of protection in front of my water softener, and makes me feel a lot more confident with the quality of water we're drinking. If you're getting ready to install a water softener, I VERY HIGHLY recommend you consider adding a whole house filter in front of your water softener, with 5 - 10 micron filters.You won't ever regret the few extra dollars when you see with your own eyes what it's keeping out of your drinking water.
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