Which Fleck Water Softener to buy?


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Old 04-07-07, 09:32 PM
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Question Which Fleck Water Softener to buy?

Hey everyone,

I’m going to install a water softener in my house and while doing my homework stumbled across this forum. I can see myself coming here all the time, as I am a serious DIY’er. Anyway as I read post after post of the problems the “Big Box” water softeners have I started to look seriously at the Fleck water softeners sold by Ohio Pure Water Company.

The water service to my house is 1” copper so I’m assuming I would want to purchase the Fleck 7000 with its 1-1/4” valve. The 2750 with a 1” valve is almost 2 times the price, so clearly I’m missing some advantage it has to justify the cost. The 5600 only has a ¾” valve so again I assuming it would cause a noticeable flow/pressure drop.

So come Monday do I order the Fleck 7000?

Juan
 
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Old 04-07-07, 09:45 PM
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Hi Juan,

My suggestion is that Monday you dial up 888-644-6426 and ask to speak with CK Moore.

Have the results of a recent water test handy along with the SFR of your plumbing and the number of people in your home.

CK knows his stuff and he's a real nice guy. He'll make his recommendations and explain why.

Since he's the guy you'll be spending your money with he's who you should be talkin' to
 
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Old 04-09-07, 09:55 PM
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Well I called them today, but I forgot to get the name of the guy I talked to, anyway he was most helpful. But I’d like some opinions from some folks that don’t have anything to gain or lose. (Not that I don’t trust what he said, but I really do believe in the trust, but verify philosophy.)

Based on the water hardness and number of people a 32K grain softener would do the job, but the cost difference between the 32K and the 40K units is only $20 - $40 it would seem to be a good investment to go with the bigger one?

Is there any reason to worry about restricting the 1” service with a ¾” valve? The flow of water at my fastest faucet is 4 gpm and every one of the softeners flow at least 2.5 times that.

Electronic metering vs. on demand. I’m inclined to go with the on demand just because it seems a bit simpler, less things to go wrong, and maybe more “fixable” in the future if anything goes wrong. I have had poor luck getting any electronic do-dad fixed after a couple of years.

The more “heavy duty” 2510 vs. 5600? The 2510 adds $100 to the cost. Is it worth the extra?

TIA



[QUOTE=justalurker;1155584]

My suggestion is that Monday you dial up 888-644-6426 and ask to speak with CK Moore.
 
  #4  
Old 04-09-07, 10:26 PM
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Correctly sizing a softnener is an execise in basic arithmetic. If you provided accurate information and they calculated a 32k softener then that's what it is.

An exception would be if there's just you and your wife but plan for a couple kids down the road. Then you would size the softnener for the size family you plan on even if they're not here yet. When sizing a softener it's good to consider what the average size family would be in that home if your family is smaller. If you sell the house then the softener can be included and would be the correct size for the "average" family.

Electronic metering is "on demand". The control valve reads a small tubine in the water flow to measure the amount of gallons used and regenerates when the gallon counts down to "0". The alternative is a "timer" based valve but that is way old school and wastes water and salt. On demand is the intelligent choice.

If you're asking whether to get the standard Fleck on demand or the "SE" (simple electronics) version, I prefer the "SE". They are easier to setup.

The 5600 on demand version has been around a long time and has proven its reliability over decades. It is a simple design and very cost effective. The 2510 is a heavy duty valve that uses more parts, and more parts can mean more to go wrong, but it has earned a reputation for reliability.

The Fleck 7000 hasn't been around all that long and has a few bells and whistles that the 5600 and 2510 lack but it is a Fleck and they seem to know how to build control valves .

As far as getting that do-dad fixed after a couple years I think you can be confident that Fleck will be around for a while.

If you've decided on where you're going to spend your money then consider their recommendations. It's not a case of having anything to gain or lose. They are going to stand behind their recommendation and since you've already chosen them they have made the sale.
 
  #5  
Old 04-11-07, 08:01 PM
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Thanks Justalurker, I bought a Fleck 7000 from Ohio Pure Water today.

Doing research on these boards is a lot like solving the “hardest logic puzzle ever” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_hardest_logic_puzzle_ever But in this case you’ve got four forum gods Mr. Truth, Mr. False, Mr. Random, and the FanBoy and no idea of who is who. Through all of these conflicting posts I’ve got to figure out what is “best” for me. <Too bad there isn’t some independent rating system where people and companies can prove they are what they say they are>

Anyway thanks for the tips and I can HARDLY wait for my softener to come.
 
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Old 04-11-07, 09:20 PM
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If you think you're confused now, an independant rating system would be the real exercise in insanity.

It's hard enough getting people to provide the required details and info in order for those who can to help them make an informed decision.

I consider all the people who come to these forums seeking assistance, especially on water treatment, and then after a cordial exchange of posts never return to complain. IMO, that's the best yardstick.

You made a good choice and you should have many years of reliable service from that softener.

Stick around and let us know how it goes.
 
  #7  
Old 04-24-07, 10:07 PM
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Well, last weekend was re-plumb the house day. (not quite, but it did take me all weekend) I replaced the main shutoff valve, PRV, the water control valve in the shower, redid the outside faucets, kitchen sink plumbing and installed a water softener.

I ordered the water softener from Ohio Pure Water Company in a process that was fairly simple and a much better deal than anything you can get in a big box store. Shipping took a couple of days, which I used to gather the bits and pieces it needed to install the softener.

My wife wanted a hard water spigot in the kitchen for cooking and I needed to re-plumb the outside water taps as well. After a few minutes of calculating costs it was clear that PEX would be the least expensive way to go. I’ve never used PEX, but not having done something has never stopped me before. <lol> All I have to say is that stuff is a gift from DIY heaven. I installed 100’ feet of in a couple of hours. Doing the job in copper would have taken me much longer, and cost much more. Installing the fittings was a breeze. At first I was dubious if they hold without leaking, but not a one had a problem. My only complaints are the cost of the crimping tool and local home stores only sell 50’ and 100’ lengths of the tubing. Adding the odd connection here and there could be a touch pricy.

If PEX is a gift from above, then for me threaded connections are from a much lower place. I counted 35 soldered, 10 PEX crimped, and 5 threaded connections. There were a grand total of 3 leaky connections, every one of them threaded. I HATE threaded connections. Teflon tape, Teflon paste, tighten it until you are sure some thing is going to break, put it all together, check for leaks, swear, take it all apart, try again. Oh well, this is a life long problem for me. <lol>

Thanks to everyone that posts here, your questions and answers were very helpful.

Juan
 
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Old 04-24-07, 10:13 PM
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Juan,

There are three humerous retorts I recall being told by oldtimers about tighening threaded connections...

pull till your elbow "clicks"...

strip it and back it off a half turn...

make it "blue tight", pull till you turn blue

And how's the softener working?
 
  #9  
Old 04-25-07, 08:37 AM
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Pull it till your elbow clicks - I like that one. I consider a sweated joint a manly joint, ;-) give me a blow torch any day, flames, melting things, an element of danger. I mean really, if you’re not risking burning yourself or the house are you really having fun! <lol>

As for the water softener, so far so good. My water has 15 grains of hardness so having the softener makes a noticeable difference. For years we’ve been having problems with the dishwasher not getting the dishes clean. Now they come out beautiful. And cleaning the shower was a pleasure knowing that the hard water spots and soap scum were a thing of the past. And the showers, oh the shower is so much nicer. All in all I’m very pleased with how things turned out.
 
  #10  
Old 04-25-07, 08:40 AM
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I love the smell of sheet rock in the morning... it smells like, sheet rock

Don't forget that with a softener you can cut down big time on soap, laundry detergent, shampoo, and dishwashser liquid.
 
  #11  
Old 04-28-07, 08:27 AM
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I have a question related to this thread. I had a tech out who is suggesting I go with what looks like to me to be the archaic timers for my 13 year old 5600 that has a loud motor\broken part (probably the result of me turning it when I shouldn't have or using too much force, etc). The motor is just bad because it's louder than it should be but the broken part could be from turning the dials incorrectly or who knows what. I think the lame dial types remind me of the old thermostat controls on older houses and should be obsoleted but they are not yet. Is it because they really are more reliable than the digital\electronic timers?


Anyway, I want the 5600SE but when I mentioned that to the person who runs this small shop, he suggested to me I should think of it this way:

"You have salt, water, and a circuit board, how long do you think it will be before the water and salt fry out the circuit board?"

I said I can understand that, but at the same time the major brands like Culligan and others seem to use mostly digital\electronic timers now, instead of the old sprocket and gear crap that I may have broken myself because it's just cumbersome to use. Not to mention, the owner of this little shop has an employee who is talking about the benefits of the digital\electronic timers (like the 5600SE). Who do you think is right?

Another thing is that the owners own employee is suggesting digital but the owner of the repair place is suggesting old school sprocket and gear twistabout timer turner knobby that will probably break again just like the last one.

I'm starting to think that some of the water softener repair shop owners are either afraid of the digital ones, or had bad experiences with them, etc.

I would hope that the digital ones would obsolete the old sprocket hand cranked timers but that doesn't seem to be the case either. Anyone know which is truly better? Do the digital ones really start to malfunction quicker than the non digital timers or does it sound like the owner I'm dealing with is just too old school or something?

From what I have read, I want to go digital but the softener repair shop that I already have invested $95 in a service call for is recomending I replace my existing 5600 timer with another old sprocket timer instead of digital so I don't know if I should override his decision and order the 5600SE or not.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
 
  #12  
Old 04-28-07, 08:59 AM
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Hi Scooby,

So the tech said ""you have salt, water, and a circuit board, how long do you think it will be before the water and salt fry out the circuit board?"

Unless something very odd goes wrong the water will stay INSIDE the softener. If you have water leaking from the control valve then there are more serious problems than the water possibly frying the control board.

Microprocessors are well suited to controlling water softeners and have been adopted by almost EVERY control valve manufacturer with the exception of Kinetico because their control valve is non-electric.

The real reason your tech doesn't like the "electronic" control valves is that he probably can't program them. If that's the case have him get the 8 year old who programs his VCR for him to program the "SE" control valves he should be installing.

In plain English, you can't teach old dogs new tricks and sometimes you can't teach old dogs ANY tricks. "We been doin' it this way for 50 years" is not an intelligent answer to this question.

Another reason you want a 5600SE is that the "demand" control valve is more efficent with water and salt usage than the "timer" model. Programed properly for your water conditions and water usage it will regenerate when need be and not on the arbitrary day the tech tells it to.
 
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Old 04-29-07, 08:23 AM
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Thanks Justalurker.

What you said is pretty much exactly what I was thinking about this repair shop owner. Probably just too old school and not ready to adapt to new technology.

I read the same thing on other sites about the 5600SE being more efficient as well which is another reason I wanted it and was shocked when this softener repair service owner started steering me away from the 5600SE and saying that the electronic timers were unreliable.

The only way I could see water coming anywhere near close to the circuitry is if some seals were old or something and water squirted upwards from the valves, or who knows how else, but even then, like you suggest, these circuits should be waterproofed in a way that protects them from any water, weather it be from old seals, or just splashing, or too much humidity in the room, etc.

I really like what I have read about the 5600SE so far and it sounds like the logical choice to replace my old obsolete hand crank timer. Do you think eventually the industry will obsolete the old style units to the point that causes them to have a very small market?

Thanks for the input.
 
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Old 04-29-07, 09:25 AM
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Scooby,

If you have water leaking from a control valve it is at line pressure and the immediate problem is the water leak NOT that it might damage the circuit board. And, why wouldn't a water leak damage the motor? Both "timer" and "SE" versions have a motor

"Do you think eventually the industry will obsolete the old style units to the point that causes them to have a very small market?"

Doesn't really matter as long as the industry (any industry) continues to pursue what technology makes available.

If one would rather dig a 50 foot trench 3 feet deep with a shovel than a back hoe they can go right ahead.
 
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Old 05-02-07, 07:56 AM
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Thumbs up 5600 timer issues

Hey Scoobymaster!

I didn't read where your softener is located, in a garage or basement, or outside?
The timer motor for the 5600 is a very reliable one indeed...110volt or 24volt?

The 110v motor has a life expectancy of approx. 10 years or more, when the main piston (large one) or brine piston (looks like a spark plug) starts to seize up and the main dial is hard to turn, this puts too much resistance on the gear train, and the motor shaft, and will start to make a light grinding noise, or buzzing, if you can feel the motor body, it will feel, "hotter than warm" , most motors will feel warm to touch, which is normal.

24 volt timers, last a bit longer, again depending on friction from the piston.

As far as the difference between the "archaic" 5600 Econominder (meter for short) or the 5600SE stick with the "archaic" it will last longer..and yes...the electronic heads are prone to damage from salty humidity from the brine tank, and very short patience with power outages, brownouts, voltage spikes, bad recepticle... will the cost recovery pay out over time with the SE ? Probably not any better than the meter head. cost will be cheaper in the long run

This post will make you hungry for more, so I will post another related thread in a seperate catagory later today...look for "new post" regarding a 5600
 
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Old 05-05-07, 12:02 AM
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Thanks Justalurker and WaterGuyTampa, my old 5600 motor lasted 13 years (actually longer because it was still ticking), just the piece broke off the units chasis so I guess they could have replaced the chasis but since the motor was near end of life and it was getting to be semi-loud, it probably made more sense to replace the whole timer unit, which I ended up doing. I mean, it would have been a pain to take out the motor, all the gears and sprockets and junk, and put all the old stuff back into a new chasis when the price of a brand new unit is only $200 for the sprocket type and $260 for the digital.

But anyway, now I'm ultra confused. The last 2 posts are completely the opposite of each other. One says to go with the archaic units and one says the digital are the way to go.

Anyway, my story continues.

I ended up going with the 5600SE because I am addicted to technology and I like anything digital, plus I really like how much more user friendly the 5600SE appears to me. It even has an LED that flashes anytime water is flowing and counts down the number of gallons of soft water left in the tank. With the archaic unit, even if this data was available, it was harder to read from the sprocket system by someone like me who is completely unfamiliar with water softeners. The SE makes monitoring a few of the statistics almost as fun as monitoring a server. If only a digital timer\meter existed that could be hooked up to an RS-232 or USB port, then we would have some great feedback.

As for brownouts on the 5600SE, do you think the 5600SE would benefit from a UPS?

I have an extra one from one of my servers that I could use to protect the 5600SE if that would seem logical. I have just never heard of anyone hooking a water softener timer\meter up to a UPS before. But at the very least, perhaps I should upgrade my surge protector, any ideas on a specific one that is good for this type of unit?

Anyway, my saga continues, because, now that I have the new 5600SE in place, I did a manual regen (after the unit was bypassed for a week while waiting for the part\repair person to come back out) and I noticed what looks like iron in the water now.

Ran a 2nd regen because that's what the user manual kinda states to do if iron is detected.

After the 2nd regen, still noticed some iron in the water because it isn't clear unless I let the faucets run for while. So my next guess is that maybe the resin is fouled? It's a 13 year old resin and probably has never had a resin cleaner added to it so I was thinking of picking one up tomorrow and trying that.

Does that sound like a logical course of action? The tech, before he left, said he didn't think iron was a problem in my area so my guess is it must be coming from a fouled resin because when I bypass the softener, no iron is present. (Unfortunately the tech left before the regen was completed because it takes 90 minutes so he didn't witness the iron in the softened water).

Note, at one point I had let the water softener regenerate for longer than 6 months with no salt added to the brine tank (a big no no I understand now, but didn't back then). Tech said that sometimes if a softener regens with no salt for greater than 6 months, that a separate procedure is then needed to be done on the resin, could this be the issue?

Hopefully my resin is still okay but I guess I won't know until I try the resin cleaner, unless anyone else has any other suggestions?

I'm confused about when to use salt with iron control versus a resin cleaner. Is salt with iron control only for cities that have iron coming into peoples houses, or is the iron control salt good for keeping iron out of the softened water, or keeping iron out of softened water that goes through a resin that has too many iron deposits?

Anyway, I hope I don't run into any problems with the 5600SE, the thing looks sleek, like a Cylon from Battlestar Galactica. I just wish it had an LED that could go back and forth like the old Cylons.

I also wish it had built in water tests, that would be slick. I hate dealing with those water test kits, anyone know which is the best water hardness kit? Preferably also with an iron test kit combo or something? I'm using one from an old aquarium test kit at the moment and I'm not sure if it's the same. It tests for general hardness and the colors seem so similar but it's an old kit (greater than 5 years old), maybe it's too old.

One last thing. My signature was changed because it contained a link. Since we can't have hyperlinks in our sigs, can we not post them in the forum either? Just curious.
 
 

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