Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener Review 2021

Last Updated on September 18, 2021 by Michael

Fleck 5600SXT is a water softener. It turns hard water soft, by removing the minerals that make it ‘hard’. This it does through a process known as ion exchange.

The minerals it gets rid of are the likes of calcium and magnesium. If such minerals are not removed, they would lead to the formation of limescale.

That can in turn have a harmful effect on appliances like heaters, washing machines, and dishwashers. It can greatly shorten the lives of such appliances.

Further, limescale can reduce the water’s soap efficiency. The end result would be a scenario where you have to use lots of soap to get a lather.

Read: How To Add Salt To Water Softener

 

Fleck 5600sxt 48,000 Grains Water Softener

Fleck 5600SXT is installed close to the point where the main water line enters the household.

Therefore all water entering the household goes through the softener. Inside the softener are resin beads. These beads have a negative charge.

They are therefore able to attract the minerals like calcium and magnesium, which make water ‘hard’. That is because the likes of calcium and magnesium have positive charges.

So there is an attraction between them and the resin beads in the softener 5600SXT, as the latter has a negative charge.

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Another important component in the working of the Fleck 5600SXT softener is the brine tank. Inside this is brine (which is basically salt). The brine is useful for the regeneration of the resin beads’ power.

That is under a scheme where it (the brine) flushes through the resin beads regularly.

That happens whenever the latter happens to have absorbed too much calcium or magnesium and are losing water softening power.

Flushing brine through the resin beads has one effect. It is that of disrupting the bonds between the resin beads the magnesium or calcium.

When this happens, the water softeners get recharged. It regains the power to soften water. So, in a nutshell, Fleck 5600SXT is self-regenerating.

Before proceeding though, we need to ask ourselves whether these types of water softeners are really useful.

Pros
  • It has a high water flow rate (up to 12 gallons per minute).
  • The brine tank can hold up to 250 pounds of salt (hence doesn’t require frequent refilling).
  • It is self-regenerating.
  • It comes with up to 48 hours of internal power backup.
  • The interface is user-friendly.
Cons
  • Installation can take up to 2 hours.
  • It uses quite a bit of electricity power.
  • It doesn’t come cheap.

 

Fleck 5600SXT Performance Features

As we have already noted, Fleck 5600SXT uses resin beads to soften hard water. The resin beads have a negative charge. The minerals that make water ‘hard’ (like calcium and magnesium) have a positive charge.

Therefore the negative charge in the resin beads attracts the negative charge in the calcium and magnesium. It ends up drawing the minerals from the water.

The water thus becomes soft. The calcium and magnesium remain inside the Fleck 5600SXT softener.

They remain there until the brine (which comes from the system’s brine tank) is flushed through the resin. When that happens, the brine disrupts the bond between the resin and the calcium or magnesium.

So the resin and the calcium or magnesium are separated. The calcium or magnesium ends up going down the drain.

 

Metering

One of the components in the Fleck 5600SXT water softener is the meter. This measures the amount of water that goes through the softener.

Once a certain amount of water goes through the softener, it releases brine (from the brine tank). This brine flushes through the resin beads – which by this point will have become saturated with calcium and magnesium.

As a result of this brine flush, the calcium and magnesium get released from the resin beads.

Therefore the resin gets recharged. It can start drawing calcium and magnesium from the water afresh.

 

The metering in the Fleck 5600SXT is unique. It works on the basis of the amount of water that goes through the system. It therefore only regenerates as the need arises.

That is once a certain amount of water (enough to saturate the resin beads) goes through it. In most other ion exchange water softeners the regeneration is time-based.

So brine gets released after the lapse of certain periods of time. And that is regardless of the amount of water that passes through. This often leads to waste, as sometimes such systems recharge even when they don’t need to.

Conversely, sometimes you find that the resin beads have become saturated with calcium or magnesium ions. But because the recharge is on the basis of time-lapse, the system doesn’t recharge.

The users end up getting hard water, in spite of them having water softeners.

With Fleck 5600SXT’s water flow-based metering, you get to avoid such issues.

 

Flow rate

The water flow rate in Fleck 5600SXT is up to 12 gallons per minute. This is a high water flow. It is enough for a typical household.

It means that upon installing this softener, it doesn’t lower water flow. Most municipal water supply systems operate at more or less around 12 gallons per minute.

Therefore the rate at which you get water from this softener is quite good. It is more or less similar to what you would be getting directly from the supply line.

Our description of the softening process may make it look as if it is a time-consuming affair. But as a matter of fact, the process of resin attracting calcium or magnesium ions from water is very fast.

It happens instantly, once the (hard) water with calcium or magnesium gets in contact with the resin. Therefore with this softener, you get up to 12 gallons per minute, consistently.

 

Capacity

Inside the Fleck 5600SXT softener are some 48,000 resin beads. It is these that are responsible for the softening effect. The fact that this system has 48,000 resin beads means that it softens lots of water, before requiring regeneration.

That translates into better efficiency for the people relying on the soft water coming out of it.

The brine tank in this system has a capacity for up to 250 pounds of salt. That salt is enough for several regenerations. You find that you only need to add salt to the brine tank only once in a while.

 

Controls

This softener comes with touchpad controls. The display on this softener is of LCD type, and it is backlit. The touchpad controls are easy to operate (for instance, when programming the system).

And they tend to last longer than traditional analog controls. Those controls, together with the LCD display, also make the softener look very elegant.

 

Power Consumption

This softener operates on a 120 volts mains electricity supply. Therefore it is compatible with most standard domestic and business power systems. Worth mentioning is the fact that this system has internal power backup.

Therefore it doesn’t stop softening water as soon as there is a disruption in the power supply.

The internal power backup in this water softener can keep it running for up to 48 hours.

This is a very useful feature if you are in an area that is prone to power disruptions.

 

Efficacy

The water softener has undergone NSF testing and certification. Therefore one can buy and use it with confidence that it has good efficacy.

Those who use it do attest that upon starting to use it, they start seeing less limescale. And they start to see better soap efficiency.

The fact that it works via the tested and proven ion exchange mechanism also counts for something. All these facts can be taken to be evidence of this system’s efficacy.

 

Self-regeneration

The water softer has self-regeneration capacity. As long as there is brine (in the brine tank) it regenerates itself as the need arises. Once the meter detects that enough water has passed through it, it releases the brine automatically.

The brine flushes through the resin beads, removing the calcium or magnesium in the resin beads. The resin beads thereafter regain the power to soften water.

Thus your bit is only to ensure that there is brine in the brine tank. The system is able to regenerate itself, without any need for input from the user.

The only challenge you may face is that of checking salt levels in the brine tank. That is for telling when the salt levels in the brine tank are becoming low.

With this water softener, you may have to be checking physically for the salt levels in the brine tank. But that doesn’t take too much effort.

 

Safety Features

One of the key safety features in this water softener is the float that stops overfilling. As long as the safety float is in place, you can be sure that there would never be any overfilling.

Another important safety feature is the overflow drain. You can be sure that there would be no water mess, even in the rare case of the system overfilling.

The excess water simply goes into the overflow drain, which connects to your house’s main drainage line.

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Buying Guide: Why Would Someone Purchase the Fleck 5600sxt Water Softener?

There are four key reasons why someone would purchase this water softener.

First is the fact that it has proven efficacy.

This is important because the key question for anyone considering buying a water softener is whether it actually works.

The fact that this is an NSF-certified water softener should count for something, with regard to its efficacy. Further evidence for its efficacy is in the mechanism via which it softens water, its capacity, and water flow rates.

 

The second is the fact that it works almost automatically.

Once you install it, connect it to the main water supply and fill the brine tank with salt, you are set. It does the rest – even to the extent of detecting when recharge is necessary, then recharging itself.

 

The third is the fact that it comes with a good warranty.

The valve’s warranty is 5 years. The tank’s capacity is 10 years. These are good warranties: almost as good as they can get.

The fact that the vendors of Fleck 5600SXT can offer these long warranties is reassuring.

It means that they have confidence that theirs is a good product.

Fourth is the fact that it is durable. This is the sort of system that can last decades, after installation. You only need to check the tank’s sturdiness, to get reassurance that it is durable.

The valve and other internal components also seem to be designed with durability in mind.

How to install Fleck 5600SXT water softener

The first major step in installing this softener is that of pouring the resin beads into the mineral tank. You do this using a funnel.

The second major step is putting the control valve on top of the tank. The valve has threads (similar to screw threads) through which you can fit them onto the tank.

So you just need to place it on top of the tank first. Then twist it clockwise until you get a tight bond.

The third step that of putting the control valve on the spot meant for it. Thereafter you need to undertake brine tank assembly. Then connect the brine tank to the rest of the system.

Fill it with salt, once it is in place.

Thereafter, you will need to program the water softener.

This you do use the touchpad controls. You will need to do time programming, display format, valve type, capacity, number of tanks… and so on.

You can then start enjoying soft water from the system.

 

Are water softeners really useful?

To figure out whether water softeners like Fleck 5600SXT are really useful, we need to use three tests.

The first test is where you look at the lifespan of appliances (like washing machines) that operate using hard water.

So you look at the lifespan of such appliances that operate using hard water that hasn’t undergone softening.

Then compare it with the lifespan of appliances that operate using softened water. The lifespan of appliances that operate using softened water always tends to be longer.

On the other hand, appliances that operate using hard water that hasn’t undergone softening tend to have shorter lifespans. And they are more prone to malfunctions.

A water softener can double or triple the lifespan of the appliances. They, therefore, end up lasting twice or thrice as long as they would otherwise have lasted.

We, therefore, conclude that the water softeners are useful as far as they increase the appliances’ lifespans.

 

The second test is where you look at the soap efficiency of hard water. So you would be looking at the soap efficiency of hard water that hasn’t undergone softening.

Then you compare it with the soap efficiency of hard water that has undergone softening. It becomes clear that the unsoftened hard water has very low soap efficiency.

 

The third test is where you consider the taste of hard water. That is hard water that has not undergone softening. Then consider the taste of hard water that has undergone softening.

When you compare, you find that the water that has undergone softening has a much better taste. It is much more pleasant to drink.

This proves that the water softeners are really useful in this regard.

 

Frequently asked questions

How does Fleck 5600SXT work?

It works by drawing hard minerals (calcium and magnesium) from water. The water that had such minerals is thereafter made soft.

The mechanism through which it draws hard minerals from the water is known as ion exchange. Inside the softener are resin beads, which have a negative charge.

Those attract the positively charged magnesium or calcium ions from the water. The magnesium and calcium ions remain bound to the resin beads.

The now soft water proceeds to the rest of the pipeline, for consumption. Once the resin beads get saturated with magnesium and calcium, they are washed with brine.

The brine forces the resin beads to release the hard minerals, which are subsequently flushed down the drain.

 

What is Fleck 5600SXT capacity?

It has a capacity for 48,000 resin beads, with the brine tank having the capacity for up to 250 pounds of salt.

 

Does Fleck 5600SXT use electricity?

Yes, it is powered by mains electricity. It runs on the standard 120 volts. It also has an internal power backup, of up to 48 hours.

 

Can you use Fleck 5600SXT with well water?

Yes, you can, but you may need to do a bit of modification. The problem with well water is that it often contains lots of iron. So you need to have a filter to get rid of the iron before the water enters the softener.

 

How long is Fleck 5600SXT warranty?

The warranty on the valve is 5 years. On the other hand, the warranty for the tank is 10 years.

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Conclusion

Fleck 5600SXT can help you overcome the limescale problem. It can help you avoid frequent repairs to appliances like dishwashers, heaters, and washing machines.

Those are frequent repairs that you would otherwise have to pay for due to the limescale effect. It can also help you increase the lifespans of such appliances.

And it can help you increase soap efficiency as well as the taste of the water you get.

Further still, it can help you avoid pipe clogging problems. Those are problems that tend to arise as a result of limescale buildup. Fleck 5600SXT has proven efficacy, complete with NSF certification.

It is user-friendly and comes with good safety features. It is a water softener we wound endorse without reservations.

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