Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener Review
Water softeners are an increasingly popular choice for homeowners living in hard water areas – they can improve water quality whilst removing minerals such as calcium and magnesium that cause scale within plumbing systems and household appliances.
Homeowners often find that water softeners have a net zero cost when the increased lifespan of dishwashers, washing machines, coffee makers and other water appliances is taken into consideration – the water softener is paid for over time through the savings made by not having to repair and replace these machines!
Fleck has been in the water treatment business for over 50 years, which in itself is proof that they must have been doing something right! Fleck’s water softeners are highly rated in the market and the features included show that Fleck has used their expertise to help their customers get the most from their water softener units.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Fleck 5600SXT Review
The only purpose of a water softener is to eliminate the minerals in the water supply that cause scale.
While minerals found in hard water, such as calcium and magnesium, are good for your health (in small quantities), the presence of these elements within your home’s plumbing systems can cause havoc and lead to expensive repairs. Put simply, hard water is NOT the best water for your home appliances.
The 5600 SXT is one of Fleck’s most popular home water softener systems, rated as being suitable for homes of 3-6 people – an average sized family.
With a brine tank boasting a 53,000 grain capacity and capable of delivering a flow rate of 15 GPM, the Fleck 5600SXT has a resin tank just 8 inches wide, designed thoughtfully to minimise the space taken up by the unit.
Already effective, Fleck didn’t stop there and neither does our review…
Fleck 5600SXT Features
Removes Hard Water
Let’s face it – your water softener has one job and if it isn’t treating hard water, it isn’t helping you!
The Fleck 5600SXT softener uses ion exchange to treat your home’s water supply, ensuring the processed soft water is free from the minerals that cause scale build up.
This means no more build ups on taps, toilets or bathtubs, no more streaky finishes when you’re washing your car or windows and no more scaled up heating elements in your home appliances.
Always seeking to improve their units, Fleck knows the importance of producing economical and high efficiency water softeners.
The 5600SXT has an intelligence metering system incorporated that measures the volume of water drawn off the system – this allows the softener to time its regeneration cycle, only refreshing the contents of the tank when necessary.
When compared with other best selling models from competitors, this process avoids wasting water and salt, saving the user money on their running costs.
This is a programmable feature, meaning that you can easily adjust the threshold settings using the built-in controller to balance the softeners operation, ensuring that your water always comes from the tap just as you like it.
The SXT Controller
The Fleck 5600SXT has an integral controller, complete with backlit LCD display making its set up and commissioning quick and easy.
The SCT controller allows the user full control of the regeneration cycle timing and four modes of operation. It includes a display that cleverly estimates the number of gallons of soft water supply remaining before the salt tank will need to be refilled and uses an electronic meter to precisely record your usage. This allows you to accurately estimate your running costs and buy your salt stocks well in advance of running out.
Fleck even included a capacitor within the SXT controller, meaning that if the power is connected in a power cut or the course of relocation or routine maintenance, the memory and programming is stored for 48 hours – no more hunting for the manual when you accidentally flick the switch off!
The resin tank that stores the salt on the 5600SXT measures 15” x 34”, and comes with a built in salt grid and safety float for ease of use and reduced maintenance.
The salt grid displaces water within the tank, allowing more water to flow into the tank during the regeneration process to make certain that sufficient brine solution is available.
The safety float prevents overfilling of the resin tank and ensures that the fresh water supply into the tank is cut off when the tank is nearing capacity, to avoid overfilling and spillages from the tank.
It is not unusual for water softener systems to require installation by a professional plumber or the manufacturer, but not the 5600SXT.
Fleck has used their experience to make this softener as user friendly as possible, starting with the installation. A full installation manual is provided in the box with the unit, and comprehensive guides are available online should that go missing.
A competent DIYer could expect to have the system fully connected out of the box in 2-3 hours, and even a less able user could install the system within a day by working carefully and following the comprehensive instructions.
A power supply is needed for the SXT controller as well as a water supply to and from the home so some electrical and plumbing confidence is required. That being said, Fleck customer care team is able to help with any hiccups and make sure that your softener is ready to use as soon as possible.
Water softeners can vary in price from tens to tens of thousands of dollars.
5600SXT is priced to be competitive in the market for residential properties while including many features drawn from Fleck’s extensive treatment in the water softener industry.
In addition to offering base models, Fleck manufactures the 5600SXT in a range of grain capacities so that they can serve homes of any size effectively, ensuring the quality that customers have come to expect from a company with such history in the industry.
What Do the Users Think?
Fleck’s products have been around for a long time so it’s impossible not to find reviews online if you go looking.
The experiences of users who have posted in open forums such as Amazon and other third party sales sites are overwhelmingly positive, and although some negative reviews exist this is not surprising for products from a company who have been producing systems in the same market for so long.
Fleck puts a strong emphasis on ease of use and simplicity, meaning that customers can simply forget about the softener until it needs refilling – no more weekly trips to the basement to check that everything is still working!
Does the system have a low-salt indicator?
The 5600SXT doesn’t have a dedicated low-salt indicator but the integrated SXT display gives a clear reading of the calculated softened water capacity remaining from the salt content in the brine tank. This means that you can tell at a glance when your salt is getting low and either top up the tank or make sure that you have stocks ready to go when the tank runs low.
Can I use this with well water?
Yes, you can use the Fleck 5600 with well water.
Depending on the water’s qualities you may need to install a pre-filter, or install the softener alongside a whole house water filtration system to ensure the highest quality water in your home.
Iron can be particularly problematic for a resin tank water softener – it can damage the tank’s construction meaning that repairs may be required over time.
If you are unsure about the quality of your home’s incoming water we recommend having it tested, either with a home testing kit or by a professional.
Fleck’s dedicated customer support team can advise which supplementary filters you may need once you have the test results.
How long does the regeneration cycle take?
The regeneration cycle takes roughly two hours to complete but thanks to the intelligent integrated controller you can programme the cycle to take place at a time which is convenient, such as late at night or early in the morning when you are in bed, or during the day whilst you are at work so that you are not drawing water while the process takes place.
Other Top Fleck Water Softeners
The 7000SXT is a part of the same family as the Fleck 5600, just bigger! It’s able to deliver 35 GPM. The 7000SXT is suitable for larger family homes and even light commercial installations with a grain capacity up to 110,000! It is a turbocharged version of the 5600.
Given the 7000SXT’s large capacity, it is oversized for the majority of homes and while it is a very reliable product, we think that the 5600SXT is a better fit for most families.
The Fleck 9100SXT is a twin-tank water softener, meaning that it has a much higher rate of hard water processing, allowing a much higher flow rate to outlets.
The 9100SXT’s in-built “on-demand flow meter” allowed it to monitor the soft water being drawn from the system at any given time and adjust its rate of water softening to match the demand, meaning that softened water processing is more efficient because the system is only processing the soft water required.
This type of water is one of the best water softening options for light-commercial premises – ensuring that running costs are kept low whilst still keeping up with water demand.
Benefits of Using a Fleck Water Softener
Fleck has built their business around water softener systems meaning that unlike other manufacturers they have a unique expertise in the industry. This means that they are much better placed to answer customer queries and provide specific advice to match the homes with their most suitable softeners.
After over 50 years in the industry Fleck still has a reputation for high quality products and customer service, which is a surefire sign that they are doing something right.
Fleck Warranty and Customer Service
Fleck backs their products with long-lasting warranties – a sign of their faith in the quality of their manufacture and their longevity.
Fleck’s main softener control valves are covered by a five year warranty and Fleck offer a 10 year warranty on their softener tanks.
Fleck Water Softener Prices
While there are certainly more expensive water softeners available from other manufacturers, Fleck positions their products as premium offerings and this is reflected in the price – towards the higher end of the market.
Although they are more expensive than some other softeners, long warranties offered and intelligent product features along with excellent customer support mean that Fleck offers far more to customers than many other manufacturers are able to.
Fleck Water Softener Installation
Most homeowners who possess basic electrical and plumbing knowledge will be able to install a Fleck water softener in a matter of hours, even if the installation is slightly awkward due to confined space or an unusual plumbing layout.
If a plumbing installation is too involved for you, the simplicity of Fleck’s softeners means they can usually be installed by a professional in a couple of hours, meaning the installation bill stays low.
Fleck water softener systems are undoubtedly some of the best solutions available on the market for treating hard water, a statement echoed by their time and position in the water softener industry.
There are certainly other options on our best-rated water softeners list for less money, however, Fleck has gone above and beyond to make sure their products are user-friendly and cost-effective to run.
Fleck has positioned their products and customer support to provide homeowners complete peace of mind when it comes to their water softening system.
Although a Fleck system may cost more at installation, over its lifetime the system will cost less to operate and give the owner fewer headaches than many other offerings. With this long term thinking in mind, our review recommends both Fleck as a manufacturer and the 5600SXT as a water softener suitable for a standard family home. We think you, your family, and your water are in good hands with Fleck.