If you're suffering from hard water problems, you aren't alone. Many households fight a constant battle with the mineral-laden water that can dry out hair and skin and ruin appliances. Luckily, a Fleck water softener like the 5600 SXT may be able to help rectify the issue.
What Is a Water Softener?
If you believe your water may be plagued by mineral deposits that make it hard, there's a sure way to tell. Check out the heads of any of your faucets to see if there is a grimy plaque-like buildup. If there is, your pipes are probably full of mineral deposits causing hard water. What's so bad about hard water?
For starters, it causes the minerals to flow through your house where it is dispatched out of your faucets or your appliances. It makes its way to your shower, your food and your dishes. Over time this build up can cause your skin to become itchy and overly dry. Your hair may have a filmy buildup you can't quite figure out. Your appliances that use the water, such as the water heater, dishwasher and your washing machine, may soon be plagued by the mineral build up, causing them to wear out faster and die much sooner than expected.
Hard water is also bad for the exterior of your house if it flows through your irrigation system. You may notice an orange color deposited on your driveway, sidewalks and even the side of your house — wherever the water from the sprinklers hits.
Hard water isn't necessarily hazardous to your health, but it may cause quite a few problems, not only for you, but for your home as well. Think of the minerals that must be caking the inside of the plumbing throughout your home. That doesn't bode well for the future of your pipes. How can you stop this from happening? You can't change the water source, so what can you do?
A water softener may be the answer to this problem. This small but hard-working piece of equipment uses ionizing properties to magnetically attract the minerals that plague your water system. Once the minerals are separated, the clean water is sent in through the pipes to your home while the mineral water is put through a filter and cleaning process to rid it of the offending minerals. The best types of water softeners on the market utilize sodium "grain" systems. The ionizing properties in salt help to attract the minerals and then neutralize them, leaving your water clean. You will notice a difference almost immediately with the quality of your water. Your skin will no longer feel dry, and your clothes will come out of the wash softer and cleaner.
What Is a Fleck Water Softener?
Fleck is a company that specializes in making sure it has the top of the line water softening systems to fit any home's needs. Homes come in all shapes and sizes. Hard water doesn't discriminate; it can hit every home equally. You could live in the best neighborhood in the city, and your home may still be plagued with hard water.
When taking a look at water softeners to review, the Fleck 5600 SXT stood out. This may be because it is the number one home water softener on the market today. Let's take a closer look at some of the features that make this unit so unique.
What Are the Features of the Fleck Water Softener 5600 SXT?
The basic features of the 5600SXT are:
- Illuminated LCD display for easy reading
- 48 hours of backup internal capacitor power, which keeps the cycles running for up to two days after a loss of power
- The display cycles between pertinent system information including: volume remaining, tank currently being used (only if more than one tank has been chosen), days to refill and regeneration and the date and time.
- Display will show you how many gallons of soft water are remaining before the system has to refill and regenerate
- System contains a small but powerful turbine meter to power the system quietly and efficiently (won't waste energy and in fact, will wind up saving you energy and water)
- Regeneration cycles including upflow and/or downflow indicator
- Four operation modes include delayed time, delayed meter regeneration, immediate regeneration or a time in the future regeneration
- Flow rate of a constant 20 GPM
- Capacity to contain backwash for tanks 12 inches in diameter for softener or 10 inches for filter
- Has the ability to handle double the backwash in certain circumstances
Installation and Set Up:
Ease of Use:
What Are Customers Saying About the 5600 SXT?
In large part, the reviews for the 5600 SXT are positive. Some users switched from using other water softening systems that either didn't use sodium or did and just weren't sufficient for their needs. A few negative comments spoke about the quality of the parts not being adequate to justify the price; however, these seemed like rare instances.
- Complete package Overview - Complete turn-key Package that combines a whole house water softener & upflow Carbon...
- Water softener Overview - Complete whole house system. Controlled by the popular fleck 5600sxt Digital valve meter. 48,...
- Upflow Carbon filtration upflow design provides efficient filtration without the need to backwash. No backwash means no...
1600 Injector Brine System
Electrical Rated Out:
24 volts, 50 Hertz and 60 Hertz
Weight of the Clock:
20 - 125 psi
34 to 110 degrees
Number of Cycles:
50 psi inlet valve
15 psi drop at 20 GPM
25 psi drop at 26 GPM
CV Flow at 1 psi drop:
25 psi drop 7 GPM
Regeneration System Specs
Upflow or Downflow:
Range of Meter Accuracy:
25 to 15 GPM
Range of Meter Capacity:
1 to 60,000 gallons
Dimensions of System
2.5 inches to 8 NPSM
7.5 inches (from tank top)
Typical Applications (in diameter)
6 to 12 inches
6 to 10 inches
6 to 10 inches
6 to 10 inches
6 to 10 inches
5 years on the valve and 10 years on the tank
We were able to find a few places online where the Fleck 5600 SXT could be purchased, including Amazon, the manufacturer and other resellers. The company doesn't indicate if the warranty is voided if sold by third-party vendors, so we are left to assume that it is not.
- Includes sediment pre-filter system with mounting hardware Bacterial static media inhibits bacterial growth Energy...
- Only salt free water softener certified 99.6% effective Prevents and removes hard water scale from plumbing and...
The Benefits and Drawbacks
The Fleck 5600 SXT has some features that put it above the rest and some that aren't as great. Let's take a closer look at the good and the bad.
First off, the LCD screen is the best in the industry by far. It beats out the three models compared above hands down. The screen allows the user to easily and quickly assess the water quality running through the system at any given time. You don't have to wait for the system to test it; it's always monitoring the level and displaying it, which makes it unique in comparison to other models. It also monitors the salt level and the amount of fresh water available at the time of reading. It can give you an accurate reading of how much you have left before the system needs to start cycling again. Only the Whirlpool model above gave a comparable reading of the salt levels.
You can also program the system to automatically clean the water in certain intervals of time. For instance, if you decide to cycle the water and regenerate it on Wednesdays and Sunday mornings because your house is empty during those times and no one will be affected by the regeneration, then you can set it to complete the cleaning at those points during the week. This doesn't mean that it won't regenerate as demand calls for it to. It just means it will take the time to recycle and clean also during the times you tell it to. This feature is an improvement on the other models, as they don't necessarily allow you to choose a regeneration cycle.
Now to discuss some of the negative points about the 5600 SXT, the main negative is that the system has to be hooked up through the plumbing in your home. There are water softening systems, like the Pelican system reviewed above, that do not require installation by a plumber but gain access through a pipe that you can install yourself. The 5600 SXT does involve some measure of know-how to hook into your plumbing system.
If your home is suffering as a result of hard water, it's time to consider investing in a Fleck water softener. One of the models offered, and the model reviewed in this article, is the 5600 SXT. After reviewing the product thoroughly and comparing it to like products, we conclude that the system is more than adequate in cleaning mineral deposits out of a household water supply. With all the features, ease of use and warranty, we conclude that the Fleck 5600 SXT is a great option to consider when shopping for a water softening system for your home.
Final rating: 4.5/5