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Rethinking Fleck Softeners: A 2023 Update

In a significant pivot from previous endorsements, the tide of recommendation has shifted away from Fleck softeners. While once lauded for their efficiency in softening hard water, closer examination and advancements in technology have spotlighted some significant limitations.

The Drawbacks:

Limited Water Treatment

Fleck softeners, while effective in softening water, do not filter out contaminants. This single-functionality is a significant drawback for users seeking comprehensive water treatment solutions.

Hidden Costs

Though priced at a seemingly affordable rate, the need to purchase an additional filter to ensure water safety inflates the overall cost to $1600-$2000, dimming its cost-effectiveness appeal.

Complex Installation

Adding a filter to the Fleck system complicates the installation process, an inconvenience that is sidestepped by integrated softener-filter systems.

Subpar Filtration

Fleck softeners that do come with filters often feature low-quality filtration systems, a stark contrast to superior alternatives like Aquasana that offer comprehensive contaminant removal.

Salt Dependency

Fleck’s reliance on salt for water softening implies ongoing maintenance and costs. In an era where salt-free options are gaining traction, this could be seen as a downside.

Warranty Concerns

DIY installation of Fleck softeners might result in warranty voidance, an issue not encountered with brands that offer professional installation kits, allowing for hassle-free, cost-effective self-installation.

A Shift to Comprehensive Solutions:

Aquasana emerges as a favorable alternative, offering a fusion of water softening and filtration, effectively treating hard water up to 25ppm without the use of salt. With the inclusion of professional installation kits, the ease of installation and assurance of warranty make it a standout choice.


Water Softener Value 3 e1696238059490The Fleck 5600SXT has been a top choice for medium to large households due to its effectiveness in treating hard water and affordability. It’s a salt-based system that ensures water softening through an automated regeneration process, promising convenience and reliability. However, a deeper analysis and emerging technologies are challenging its reign.


SpringWell Standard Softener 164x300 1

  1. Effectiveness: It has garnered trust for its consistent performance in softening hard water and its near foolproof operation.
  2. Ease of Use: The automation in the regeneration process ensures a ‘set and forget’ experience for users.
  3. Reliability: Complaints are rare, attesting to the system’s durability and consistent performance.
  4. Affordability: Compared to other models, it offers value for money, delivering top-tier performance at a competitive price.
  5. Generous Warranty: The system comes with a 5-year warranty, and the tank is covered for 10 years.


  1. Size and Weight: The system is bulky, requiring ample space and effort to move and install.
  2. Maintenance Costs: The need for regular salt pellet purchases can add to the running costs.
  3. Limited Capacity: For very large households or high water usage, looking at higher capacity models like Fleck 9000SXT might be necessary.


  • The Fleck 5600SXT comes with a meter-based control system, making it user-friendly and ensures water softening on demand.
  • The 48,000-grain capacity system is ideal for average households with 1-3 bathrooms.
  • It employs salt pellets and resin beads for water softening, reducing the need for frequent maintenance.
  • The dimensions require around 3ft X 18” of space for installation.

The Good

1. Automated Meter Regeneration:

It lowers running costs and is easy to maintain, making the system efficient and cost-effective.

2. Longer Warranty:

It lowers running costs and is easy to maintain, making the system efficient and cost-effective.

3. User-Friendly Control Panel:

The backlit LCD display and touch-pad controls ensure easy setup and operation.

4. Easy Installation:

The system is DIY-friendly, reducing the need for professional installation.

5. Value for Money:

Despite its affordability, it’s a reliable water softening solution, offering excellent performance at a competitive price.

The Bad

1. Size and Weight:

The system is bulky and heavy, requiring ample space and effort to install.

Appropriate for

Family Homes

Suitable for up to 4 people with up to 2 standard bathrooms.

Low Maintenance Seekers

Its meter-based regeneration requires minimal attention.

Homes with Hard Water Issues

Effective for medium to very hard water.

Not Suitable for

Very Large Households

Not ideal for homes with more than 2 bathrooms or high water usage.

People on Sodium-Restricted Diet

The system uses salt for water softening.


The Fleck 5600SXT is popular for its effectiveness in treating hard water, competitive pricing, capacity suitable for average homes, and ease of installation and setup. Its efficient water usage translates to lower running costs.

Revised Recommendation (2023 Update):

Despite its advantages, there are significant drawbacks leading to a shift in recommendation:

1. Lack of Filtration

The Fleck softener does not filter contaminants from the water, necessitating an additional filter and increasing the total cost.

2. Complexity and Cost

The need for an extra filter device complicates the installation and increases costs, making softener-filter combinations like Aquasana a more cost-effective and comprehensive solution.

3. Salt Dependency

The system operates on salt, leading to ongoing maintenance costs and effort. Newer technologies offer effective hard water treatment without salt.

4. Installation Caveats

Self-installation might void the warranty, whereas companies like Aquasana provide professional installation kits for DIY installation.


While the Fleck 5600SXT remains a competent water softener, the absence of filtration and the ongoing maintenance and costs associated with salt use are considerable downsides. Integrated systems like Aquasana are emerging as preferable alternatives, offering both softening and filtration, mitigating the need for additional devices and maintenance, and providing a more holistic water treatment solution. The landscape is undoubtedly shifting towards these comprehensive, efficient, and user-friendly alternatives.
Rhino ® with Salt-Free Water Conditioner, UV Filter and Pro-Grade Bypass KitScreenshot 2023 11 24 at 11.58.10 AM
Treats hard water UP TO 25 ppm (low to medium low hard water).Treats hard water OVER 25 ppm (medium to extremely hard water).
Does NOT require electricity.Requires electricity if using the electronic head monitor.
Control Your System With An App:? NOControl Your System With An App:? YES
- Powerful salt-FREE water softener.
- 1,000,000 one million gallon capacity.
- Aquasana Rhino exceeds NSF standards.
- Treats hard water WITHOUT salt.
- Removes chlorine, bacteria, iron, sulfide, manganese, mercury, lead etc.
- Includes pre-filter, copper-zinc and carbon filtration stages with standard fittings.
- 90-Day Pure Satisfaction Guarantee.
- Limited 10 year warranty.
- Powerful salt-BASED water softener.
- 1,000,000 one million gallon capacity.
- Also includes a multi-stage filter.
- Easy installation (inside or outside)
- Sufficient for 1-3 bathrooms (options for 4-6 and 7+ bathrooms also available).
- 6 month money back guarantee.
- Limited lifetime warranty.
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