Clack Water Softener Review: Is It Worth Buying?

ABCwaters Clack Water Softener

It's probably safe to say that most of us don't appreciate how much we depend on having regular access to clean water. Of course we need it to drink, but it's also crucial to our showers and toilets, dishwashers and washing machines, and everything from mopping the floors to watering the lawn. It's also crucial for a lot of industries and commercial businesses. Hard water doesn't perform the way we need it to, and water softeners are the answer to this problem. The Clack water softener valve makes your softener, and your water, work better for you.

What Is Hard Water?

Hard water is fresh water with lots of minerals in it; particularly calcium and magnesium. Hard water gets that way from absorbing these minerals in the aquifers it drains into after it falls as rain. Hard water can be a nightmare to deal with. It's not unhealthy or dangerous, but it will cost you money, whether you need softened water for your home, commercial building, or industrial use.

What's the Problem with Hard Water?

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Hard water is tough on appliances. The minerals in the water can gum up the works in a dishwasher, hot water heater, washing machine, or anything else that needs water, shortening the useful life of every machine that uses it.

Hard water also builds up in faucets and pipes. Water flow becomes restricted over time, making everything less efficient. You'll need to replace all these pipes and fixtures more often if you have hard water.

Hard water also makes cleaning a pain. Anything you try to clean, wash, rinse, or wipe down with hard water never seems to come clean as it should. And hard water can make it impossible to use local water for industrial applications.

​The Solution

Having a water softener can protect you from all this. However, it may not always be necessary to have a water softener running day in and day out. In that case, having a metered valve like the Clack water softener valve allows you to get the most efficient use possible out of your softener, saving water and salt while still getting the softened water you need.

​​Replacing a Water Softener Valve

If you've just gotten a Clark water softener valve, here are the basic steps involved in replacing your old valve:

  • Shut off all water
  • Disconnect the old valve start with power, then brine tubing, then drain hose, and finally in and out water lines
  • Unscrew the old valve
  • Remove the distributer tube from the resin tank
  • Put a new distributer tube into the resin tank so it is touching the bottom
  • Glue the new tube and wait for it to dry
  • Twist your new tube into place on your new valve
  • Screw the new valve onto the resin tank
  • Attach a bypass yoke pipe
  • Reconnect water lines, then drain line, then brine line, then power
  • Turn the water on
  • Start up the valve
  • Set the valve to the correct date and time
  • Allow the system to regenerate for 10 to 15 minutes

What Is a Clack Water Softener?

Clack water softeners are a series of controls and valves that come in different units suitable for controlling water softeners in any type of application. You can get them small enough for an apartment or single family residence all the way up to sizes large enough for commercial buildings or even industrial applications.

Product Specs

Pricing

How It Compares

ABCwaters Clack 32k 32,000 Portable Water Softener, Great for Rv's &...
  • Portable RV / Boat / Car washing water softener with XXL capacity!
  • Completely Portable! Great for carpet cleaning and pressure washing!
  • Regenerate in minutes with table salt or rock salt. Clack in/out head with bypass! 1" connections

Ease of Use

Using the Clack water softener valve is nearly effortless. Once you automate it, the valve will regulate each filtration and softening cycle and can be set with nine different injector sizes with varying draw rates. This should manage nearly any filtration/softening job you need done.

Assembly Time

The Clack water softener valve is quite easy to install if you're even just a bit handy. It's also simple to repair, and finding replacement parts is not difficult.

Efficiency

The Clack water softener is one of the most efficient on the market; it uses less salt and wastes less water than nearly anything else you can get.

Warranty

You get a 5-year warranty on all Clack softener and filter controls. This covers material and workmanship under normal use. This warranty is fine, but you can get better with other units.

Pros

  • Very efficient
  • Easy to control
  • Ideal for regulating your filter use
  • Programmable

Cons

  • Can be hard to find replacement parts
  • Expensive

Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener Valve Digital Metered On Demand...
  • Fleck 5600SXT Digital Water Softener Control Head, battery backup
  • Compact Turbine meter & cable included free of charge. Metered on demand water softener valve. Digital meter for highest...
  • For water softeners only, we have others if you need something for filter only system

Fleck is another big name in the water softener valve world. They have been around a long time and have earned their reputation for dependable quality. This unit can handle 48,000 grains, has a flow rate of 12 GPM, and weighs just under 100 pounds. The LCD display has two days of backup power, and you can choose from four different operational modes or continuous flow.

Ease of Use

This is as easy to use as anything you could buy. Once it is fitted to your system, it's not something you need to think about. There's very little maintenance required, and what is required is simple to do.

Assembly Time

This one is fairly easy to do by yourself. With a bit of skill, you should be able to do it in two hours or less. It has its own bypass valve, which saves you at least one expense in installation.

Efficiency

This is one of the most efficient systems on the market for a medium sized household or smaller business operation.

Warranty

Fleck offers a 10-year warranty on their tanks and a 5-year warranty on their control heads, which is one of the best offers you'll get in the industry.

Pros

  • Quality materials
  • Easy to install and program
  • Durable

Cons

  • Bit bulky and heavy
  • Must constantly replace salt pellets

AFWFilters 9100sxt Fleck 9100 SXT Digital Water Softener Control Valve...
  • Fleck 9100 SXT Twin Tank Replacement Control Valve Automatically switches between dual tanks
  • 9100 Digital SXT valve to fit on twin tank softener, quality tested construction, 5 year
  • 5 cycles water softener replacement valve, easy to use, dependable

This is a Fleck unit that will work for larger water volumes and is made to run night and day, if necessary. The advanced micro-processor in the control valve has a 48-hour backup power supply in case you lose power. This one can be a bit more complicated to program than some other units, and for best results in programming it, you'll need to know the precise details of what's in your water.

Ease of Use

Once it's up and running, this is easy to use; but programming takes some time and knowledge that you might not have. You'll also need to keep on top of when to rinse and refresh it.

Assembly Time

On the one hand, installation isn't really hard for the generally handy person. You don't need specialized plumbing knowledge to do it. On the other hand, you'll need to get some extra parts in order to finish installation, which is a bit of a pain.

Efficiency

You'll get plenty of use out of this machine, and it can handle between 10 and 25 gallons per minute with very little waste.

Warranty

Fleck offers a 10-year warranty on their tanks and a 5-year warranty on their control heads, which is one of the best offers you'll get in the industry.

Pros

  • Durable
  • High-capacity
  • Easy to program
  • Regenerates as needed

Cons

  • Very heavy
  • May need extra parts for installation

This meter comes with a distributer, bypass adaptor, distributor piping, an elbow joint, and a barb elbow to make installation easy. It can be used both indoors or outdoors, and the single motor means you don't need solenoids to run it.

This one has a rather unique design with no dynamic seals. That means there's very little that can wear out and start leaking. You can adjust it to run five or eight cycles, and it features excellent precision sensors so you can know exactly what's going on and plan for the future.

Ease of Use

Many people love their Autotrol because it's fairly easy to use: but most of all because it's easy to fix. It has more moving parts than the Fleck, which means things can go wrong. But it also is a lot simpler and cheaper to repair.

Assembly Time

The Autotrol are pretty standard and easy to install.

Efficiency

Autotrol does the job, but with more moving parts it's more likely to give you a problem at some point than some of the other brands we've considered.

Warranty

You get just a one-year warranty against defects under normal use with this product.

Pros

  • Simple to use
  • High capacity flow
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Very heavy
  • Short warranty
  • More moving parts than some

Fleck 5600 SOFTENER Valve Rebuild Kit - Includes Piston (60102-10),...
  • Fleck 5600 SOFTENER Valve Rebuild Kit - Includes Piston (60102-10), Seals & Spacers (60125), and Brine Valve (60032)
  • 5600
  • black

Hankscraft's design offers metered demand control and programmable cycle times. It will default to the typical industry standards, but you can easily program any and every detail to get the performance you want from it.

This unit is lighter than other units with comparable flow rates and is exceptionally easy to program. It has auto reset, a 72-hour battery backup, and a special quick disconnect drain. It is highly energy efficient.

Ease of Use

This is a very simple design that offers complete control over your softener and every setting. The controls are intuitive but will also give you excellent performance even if you don't adjust them.

Assembly Time

This is a simple set to install, and since the company has been around a while it's pretty easy to find replacement parts.

Efficiency

This unit doesn't work quite as efficiently as some of the others. It doesn't have the same sensors as the Fleck or Clack that ensure you're never wasting water or salt.

Warranty

You get a 5-year warranty on this unit and all its parts.

Pros

  • Very inexpensive
  • Programmable
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to find parts

Cons

  • Not as efficient as others
  • Less durable than some

Conclusion

For a long time, Fleck and Autotrol have been considered the industry leaders when it comes to water softener valve meters. Clack is the new kid on the block; but there are some good reasons to prefer it.

In many ways, the Clack water softener valve has the best of all the others. It has few moving parts, is cheap to repair, and is extremely reliable. In comparison with all the other valves on our list, we give the Clack 4.5 out of 5 stars.


Featured image from Amazon

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