Normal water flow from a water softener starts from the house to the valve. It then flows around the distributor tube and through the (yellow) resin beads and gravel (brown). Water enters from the bottom of the lower basket screen and up the distributor tube and to the house.
When the resin beads gets exhausted, the control valve will recognize it and begin a regeneration sequence. During a regeneration cycle, the water flows in the opposite direction inside the tank. This opposite flow is meant to force the water to reset the resin bed to prevent any water channels and at the same time draw brine water from the brine tank.
The brine water flows through the resin bed and recharges the resin. All the excess brine and hard water minerals released from the resin goes down the drain. Finally the brine tank refills itself to the proper levels before going into service mode.
The system then repeats everytime it recognizes either reaches a certain number of gallons (meter valve) or certain number of days (timer valve).
What valve should I get?
There are several factors that come into play when choosing a Fleck valve. Factors include water hardness, size of the home, number of bathrooms, and the size of the pipes.
Usually if you have a home less than 3,000 square feet, a Fleck 5600 / 5600 SXT valve would be more than sufficient regardless of pipe size; any larger an installer would probably recommend getting a Fleck 7000 SXT.
Another factor is the size of the pipes, we typically recommend homes that have a 3/4" CTS (Copper Tube Standard) or 1" CTS to use a Fleck 5600 or Fleck 5600 SXT. Homes with larger than 1" CTS may want to consider a Fleck 7000 SXT.
It's best to try to get a Fleck valve that matches the pipe size and flow rate of the home. Fleck 5600 & 5600 SXT valves have a continuous flow rate of 20 GPM and a max of 27 GPM; a Fleck 7000 has a continuous flow rate of 27 and a max of 35.5 GPM.
How do I install my water softener?
Softeners are shipped in several boxes. Our systems come unassembled to prevent any damage to the unit.
1) Tape the distributor tube and place the funnel on the mineral tank.
2) The bags of media are pre-weighed and bagged. Pour the gravel first, then all the bags of resin.
3) Be sure that the upper screen (yellow cone shaped piece) is securely attached to the valve. Remove the funnel and tape, and screw the valve onto the tank.
4) The brine tank itself is typically fully assembled when shipped and there is nothing needed to be done to the tank itself. Use the brine fitting kit included in the plastic bag to attach the brine tank's tubing to the valve.
5) You are now ready to plumb the actual lines to the system (feed, output and drain).
6) Follow the programming included in manual.
(6a) For Fleck 5600, programming is very easy. All you need to do is pull the right dial up towards you and turn the number to the white dot. The number indicates the number of gallons it will go through before it regenerates. Typically 21 is sufficient for most homes. Then change the salt level according to the size of the tank. The salt setting is on the back of the valve and is visible once you remove the cover. For a salt conservative setting, choose 6 lbs of salt per cubic foot - or change the salt level to your softness liking.
(6b) For the Fleck 5600 SXT and 7000 SXT, change the time to 12:01 PM then press the UP and DOWN button simultaneously to enter the master programming. Most of the settings are already set and you only need to change 3 settings: hardness (H), capacity (C), and brine fill (BF). Change these settings to match your tank size and water hardness. The brine fill (BF) is the salt level indicated in minutes. To calculate salt, locate the sticker on the valve. It will indicate how many pounds of salt per minute. For a salt conservative setting, divide 6 by the pounds of salt per minute (located on the stick) multiplied by the number of cubic feet in the mineral tank. For example: a 48,000 grain system is equal to 1.5 cubic foot. A Fleck 5600 with a 0.5 lb of salt per minute will have a formula like this : 6 / 0.5 * 1.5 = 18 minutes for the BF setting. If you would like a softer feel of water, you can increase the number or decrease if it feels too soft.
How do I size my water softener?
There are two ways to calculate this.
1) You can calculate the size of the softener by how many grains you go through in a week. This will ensure that you maximize the use of the softener resin. To use this method, you would need to know the hardness level of your water. The forumla to figure the size out is : hardness x number of people x 100 x 7 or 14 days = softener capacity. Example: 10 hardness x 4 people x 100 x 7 = 28,000 grains.
2) Another method is by the size of the home. A lot of installers use this method. Using this method ensures that there is minimal pressure drop and enough media for contact time to remove the hardness soto ensure that the home always has soft water no matter what flow rate. An easy method way to think of it is a 1 CF can have a service flow of 15 GPM and for every additional CF, you'll get an extra 5 GPM more. Large square footage homes may want to consider getting a Fleck 7000 with a system larger than 2 cubic foot to get the value out of the softener as Fleck 5600 / 5600 SXT flow rates typically max out around 20 GPM for continous flow.
What bypass should I get?
Fleck 5600 / 5600 SXT come in stainless steel and noryl plastic. Both are very durable and make great bypasses. If you have galvanized plumbing, consider getting noryl plastic over stainless steel to prevent future "galvanic corrosion".
Fleck 7000 SXT comes in either brass or plastic. Brass is a great durable plumbing method. If you are personally plumbing this system and would like to make plumbing easier on yourself, consider using plastic with some kind of flexible stainless steel connector. This way you can avoid all the hassle of trying to sweat/weld the pipes.
When should I get 10% crosslink as opposed to the standard 8% crosslink?
The percentage of crosslink determines how durable the resin is against chlorine. 8% crosslink is very standard and is very typical in nearly all softener purchases. It's pretty uncommon for someone to purchase 10% and most likely unnecessary unless someone has a high chlorine level. Either way, we always recommend getting some kind of carbon filtration to remove the chlorine and increase the life of the resin if that is the case.
Is it okay if I have 1" pipes and use a 3/4" connector?
Yes. Most city plumbing codes allow for a 1/4" change in pipe size and the pressure drop differential is very minor and will not be noticeable.
How much salt and water does a water softener use per regeneration?
A softener's salt usage is dependent on the salt setting but typically it's anywhere between 6-9 lbs per cubic foot. The water usage is usually about 150-300 gallons depending on the size of the system.
How much salt do I need to add to the brine tank?
The standard 18" x 30" tanks can easily hold about 250 lbs of salt in the tank.
How do I know when to add salt?
You'll start to notice scale build up if you dont check on your system. It's better to just check on your system once every two months and periodically add a few bags of salt.
What is the difference between calcium and potassium?
Salt bags come in either sodium chloride or potassium chloride. Sodium technically works better than potassium and is 1/4 the cost. Potassium is safer on your health and plants. If you don't need to, save your money and get the sodium. Most people are concerned with plants and grass dying from the salt, but as long as you are not over salting the system, your grass and most plants should be okay. You may want to try one bag as a trial and error before pouring all your bags of salt in the tank.
How do I know how hard my water is?
The only way is to get a water hardness test done. You can check with your city to see if they have a water report which they should already have. Keep in mind that those reports are taken at the plant. When the water reaches your home, the hardness may change. You can also give us a call and we will send you free testing strips.
Why is my water softener constantly draining?
If your system is several years old, most likely you'll need to replace the seal and spacer kit. Over time the seals become brittle and could crack or deform. Once they begin to deteriorate, they allow water to pass through and go down the drain.
I installed my water softener and I do not feel soft water?
If you just installed the system, make sure you have salt in the brine tank and that you regenerated the system. If you JUST installed it, give if a few days as the pipes still have a few hundred gallons of water it needs to push through before you'll start feeling the full effects.
My water is too soft. How do I fix this problem?
You can turn the salt level down.
1) On the Fleck 5600, you can open the back of the valve and with a flat head screw driver you can lower the salt level.
2) On the Fleck 5600 SXT or 7000 SXT, enter the master programming mode and skip to the "BF" cycle. Lower the BF time and exit the programming. Give it a week for it to readjust and see how you like the new setting.
Why is my water softener not pulling any salt from the brine tank?
Most of the time, you may have something called a salt bridge that clogs the bottom of the brine well. Grab a stick and start breaking up the salt at the bottom of the tank. When this happens, salt bridging will also occur right where the air check valve is in the brine well. Pull the brine assembly out of the well, and locate the air check ball at the bottom. You may notice that the ball is stuck or does not move freely. Check and remove any build up of salt. While you are cleaning it out, you may want to clean out the nozzle to ensure that there is no blockage.
Why is the valve not regenerating?
Sometimes the valve's turbines may be stuck.
1)Place the unit in bypass and place the unit in a regeneration mode to decompress it.
2) Remove the valve from the bypass and remove the turbine (connected by a wire).
3) Exit the regeneration mode and see if there is an obstruction in the turbine - remove anything if there is. While the wire is still connected to the turbine and the meter is on, blow through the turbine and see if the gallon counter is counting down. If it is not, then most likely the circuit board or turbine needs to be serviced.
What happens if the power goes out?
The programming typically holds on the valve so you won't need to reprogram it, except for the time.
I have had my water softener installed for a while and all of a sudden the pressure dropped signicantly?
This typically means that there is some kind of obstruction in the resin bed or valve itself. You can probably fix this by removing the DLFC (drain line flow control) in the drain line and throw the system in backwash mode. Hopefully, it will resolve the problem. If it does not, you may need to change the resin bed completely.
Shop for the Best Fleck Water Softeners
Purchasing fleck water softeners has many benefits for the home like reducing your gas bill, lowering the cost of soap usage per month, and even preventing & reversing the scale build up in your pipes and faucets. Its important to get a softener that will last for a long period of time without giving you any problems. Fleck water softener valves have been around for over 20 years and are practically an industry standard. Most water dealers use Fleck valves because of their known durability and longevity. With a manufacturers five(5) year warranty, one never has to worry about any unforeseen defective problems.
At Isopure Water, we combine these Fleck Home Water Softener Systems with high grade water softening resin, brine tank, and mineral tank. Together, it creates a strong water softener that can handle any family home needs. We even have water softeners for business and industrial use. Look forward to many years of soft water for your home.
Many people ask us which size will be best for their home. This answer requires a lot of information that most home owners just dont know off hand like the water hardness value, the size of your water pipes, number of people in the home, and size of the home. Of course when people ask us, we typically assume the hardest average water possible and get the number of household members from our series of questions we ask our clients. Typically, 1.0 cubic foot (cuft) or 1.5 cuft Fleck Water Softeners Systems are more than enough for a 3-4 person home.
Fleck Water Softener, Fleck Home Water Systems, Fleck Water Softeners Systems
There is no major problem with oversizing or under sizing a unit for the home. However, incorrectly sized units tend to either was more salt and water but do not do any harm to the unit or the home. There is no real need to use any pre-filtration for city tap water for a water softener but it never hurts. For example most city water contain Chlorine, it is very common to add a carbon filter in front of the softener in order to remove the Chlorine of the softening resin. Chlorine removal is beneficial for a softener, because it can extend the life of the filter.
Installing a softening system is best done by a professional. We always recommend contacting a plumbing or certified installer who understands water softeners to minimize damage to the unit and to your home. Call us anytime if you have any questions about softeners (714) 541-6600