So, you think you want a water softener with a Fleck valve?

So, you think you want a water softener with a Fleck valve?
By Mark Timmons
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So, you think you want a water softener with a Fleck valve?

Let me clarify one thing at the beginning - Fleck does not make water softeners.  Fleck makes water softener control valves, like one shown at the right.  Fleck Controls used be called L.W. FLECKENSTEIN, INC. and people would say they had a "Fleckenstein valve."  They are now called "Fleck Controls" and are owned by Pentair Water, a world conglomerate of water-related companies.  Sometimes "Bigger is better" but in my opinion it is not in this case.  We still sell water softeners using Fleck control valves, just not as many as we used to. Fleck Controls makes a number of water softener control valves for residential applications including the following:
  • Fleck 1500
  • Fleck 2510
  • Fleck 4650
  • Fleck ProFloSXT
  • Fleck 5600
  • Fleck 5600SXT
  • Fleck 6700XTR
  • Fleck TwinFloSXT
  • Fleck 7000SXT
  • Fleck 9000
  • Fleck 9100
  • Autotrol 255
  • Autotrol Performa 263/268
Yes, they have been around a long time.  Yes, they are time-proven - 50+ years and counting, but like many large conglomerates, it seems to many people that they have forgotten their roots:  the customer.  I have been made painfully aware of this recently when it comes to warranty claims.  You see, Fleck Controls offers a five-year (5) warranty on their control valves, however if you try and send in a piston and/or seal kit, they generally will not honor it.  They call it "excessive war and tear."  Balderdash! Two years old... and the piston and seal kit is bad?  Too bad - it's excessive wear and tear!  I have a hard time with that!   Our customers deserve better, so when Fleck fails to honor their warranty, at US Water we always do.  We know we can't treat our customers the way Fleck treats theirs.  We eat the cost of a new piston and seal kit and make the customer happy. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I must say that a couple of years ago we were cancelled as an O.E.M. (Distributor) by Pentair (Fleck) because we were buying "Fleck knock-offs."  You see, most of Fleck's patents have expired, and we now sell our own water softener control valves that use "Fleck technology" updated for the 21st Century with better seals and spacers, better brine valves and improved cantilever technology that create less stress on the single moving part.  Bottom line:  they work better and last longer. We have been using these for nearly four (4) years,  and WE HAVE NEVER HAD TO REPLACE A PISTON OR SEAL.NoExcuseZone  NEVER! What does that mean for you if you are wanting to buy a Fleck valve water softener?  It means you should think hard, because our warranty on our Fusion NLT (Next Level Technology) control is 10 years.  PERIOD!   That's double what Fleck offers, and we include everything - the piston, motor, seals, brine valve, electronics - EVERYTHING! Well, there has to be a disclaimer (now you are thinking "got 'cha") and I have to admit that we don't cover everything that there is.  If you run into it with a truck, an airplane crashes into it, a tornado, hurricane or tsunami destroys it, or if your house burns down (and any other Act of God), it is not covered!  Otherwise, normal wear and tear is not an excuse.  US Water is a "No Excuse Zone."  It's my belief that you either have a warranty or you don't.  At US Water we have warranties that we honor... none of this "wear and tear" stuff.  If it has a bad part, we will replace it.  How hard is that? When you build it better (and we do) you can guarantee it better... and we do! Why doesn't every company sell a product as good an reliable as our Fusion NLT?  I'll clue you in - a dealer once told me "I couldn't make any money on service with that."  At US Water our business model is not to make money on service.  Our business model is to sell water softeners that don't need service for 10-15 years.   Consumers love that business model!
December 3, 2013
Comments
Mike Albacoro
July 30, 2015 at 10:42 PM
Wouldn't it be much more honest to say that you can Canature (chinese company) valves rather than making it seem like you guys came up with your own valve?
Mark Timmons
July 30, 2015 at 10:54 PM
So, you think Canature makes our valves? Is that what you are saying?
Mike Albacoro
August 3, 2015 at 3:19 PM
Yes, that is what your valves appear to be. Is this an incorrect assumption?
Mark Timmons
August 3, 2015 at 3:35 PM
Canature does make some of our valves, but so do four other companies. We did design one valve and we have new ones in engineering right now as well. When you say "Chinese Company" you imply that other vales are not made in China, when in fact, most of the parts for them are. Just like <strong>EVERY OTHER COMPANY</strong> some of our vales are made in China and some are Assembled in America with Chinese, Mexican or Taiwanese Parts. It's sad that our best, most efficient and most reliable valve is made in China, but it has twice the warranty of a Fleck or Clack valve. Should we sell inferior products to our customers that will fail sooner? We sell wholesale to some dealers and one dealer said "I won't buy that valve!" When I asked why, he said "I can't make any money on service. That's why I sell Fleck." TRUE STORY! We manufacture a 100% made in USA with 100% American Parts (probably the only company who can claim that), but we sell 10% more Assembled in America with Chinese and other foreign parts. We are priced out of the market with the American RO... at least today. That might change in the future.
Mark Timmons
January 15, 2020 at 10:27 PM
Double yes. It is not a Fleck Valve.
Mike Albacoro
August 3, 2015 at 6:44 PM
I wasn't implying anything by saying "chinese company" besides the fact that Shanghai Canature Enviromental Products is a company based in China. Just as saying that Fleck/Pentair is based in the UK, and Clack is based in the USA.
Mark Timmons
August 3, 2015 at 6:53 PM
Actually, CanatureNA is headquartered in Minnesota which is in the USA. The President of Canature is American and has lived here all his life. They are affiliated with Canature Shanghai who has one of the most phoenominal state of the art automated facilities in the world. Even though Pentair is headquartered in the UK and Clack who is located in the USA, what percentage of their parts are made in China?
Barbara Humes
August 3, 2016 at 3:09 PM
I am in the market to purchase a water softener for my home. The Fleck product gets the best reviews but this product can only be bought online and I don't know if there is a local distributor or which distributor may be desirable for customer service and troubleshooting, parts replacements, etc. I also don't know if the reviews are valid and trustworthy. I also don't know what the long range satisfaction is with the Fleck water softener. Are you a distributor? Do you have a different product line than Flack? I look forward to any additonal information you can email me pertaining to Fleck or your product.
Mark Timmons
August 3, 2016 at 9:51 PM
Barbara, We are a Fleck dealer and have been a distributor or dealer starting in the early 1980's. I can't tell you if the reviews are valid and trustworthy, but I can tell you that we would rather not sell Fleck because a few years ago, they changed their warranty so that it does not cover "normal wear and tear parts." Our does! Here are the two top selling softeners we make: https://www.uswatersystems.com/us-water-aquatrol-premium-metered-water-softener.html https://www.uswatersystems.com/matrixx-water-softener-with-smartphone-programming.html
Dan
September 23, 2016 at 5:39 PM
Situations with worn internal parts are both rare and insignifiant to a businessman selling great Fleck products.
Mark Timmons
September 25, 2016 at 12:30 AM
Of course, because they make a tidy profit on the repairs. On the other hand, the customer isn't so lucky. Your focus is on the business, but ours is on the customer!
Robert belles
December 16, 2016 at 1:21 PM
I have a fleck 5600sxt purchased 1 year ago. Would it b possible to replace the control head without having to replace the mineral tank ?
Mark Timmons
December 21, 2016 at 8:17 AM
Yes, you can do that. You might want to consider this one: https://www.uswatersystems.com/fusion-nlt-water-softener-valve.html
Chuck
January 30, 2017 at 2:20 AM
I have a Fleck 5600sxt. It'seems been running fine for 3 years now. I haven'the had a single issue. The whole made in China is horrible. If I would have seen a made in America water softener when I bought the one I have I would of opted for the made in the USA softener. Not because I'm rich (I'm not), but because I believe in supporting American workers first.
Mark Timmons
February 5, 2017 at 11:57 AM
Well Chuck, it's impossible to find a water softener that is not at least partially made overseas, not necessarily in China, however.
Chuck
January 30, 2017 at 2:25 AM
I have a Fleck 5600sxt. It’s been running fine for 3 years now. I haven’t had a single issue. The whole made in China thing is horrible. If I would have seen a made in America water softener when I bought the one I have I would of opted for the made in the USA softener. Not because I’m rich (I’m not), but because I believe in supporting American workers first. Corrected and resubmitted my post due to auto wrong.
Jen
March 11, 2017 at 7:09 PM
Interesting article. The water treatment company who has been treating our water for years - talked us into a Fleck 5000 SXT Acid Neutralizer which they installed on 3-31-2015. In April 2016 we paid them to do a one year service / maintenance to it. Then last month (Feb 2017) less than 2 years since purchase, I noticed our water didn't seem quite right. They came out & repaired it & charged us over $200 to "replace piston, seals & spacer due to corrosion by the water." I'm really bothered by this! The acid neutralizer was not cheap to begin with - but we were told it had a five year warranty. Never did he say - oh but we won't cover parts that wear out due to acidic water. Of course our water is corrosive - hence the need for this to begin with!! Can't help feeling like we were scammed - by both the manufacturer & the installer.
Mark Timmons
March 15, 2017 at 8:12 PM
Yep, that's how we feel about Fleck valves. US Water Valves are covered for 7 years on all filters. Sorry for your loss.
Mark C
July 16, 2017 at 7:54 PM
I have a Fleck 9100, 64K grain, two-tank - older mechanical system (no LED controls)) that I had installed in 2007. Has worked fairly well but I have seen/felt that the performance of the water is not as soft in the past few months. I have been doing more homework on systems in the past few days. Your Genesis product looks interesting. I have a couple of questions: 1. Is the Fusion NLT Control Value a product developed by U.S. Water Systems? 2. Do you ever see adding wireless technology (WiFI, ZWave, etc.) to your Fusion line adding an interface to get stats, alerts, perhaps make setting updates/changes? 3. I have watched some of your companies installation videos installing the Fusion line of a softener. Any reason you don't pre-fill the resin in your tanks before you ship? I see some other Internet deals do. Just curious if there is a specific reason to don't or don't offer the service as an option?
Mark Timmons
July 16, 2017 at 9:52 PM
First of all, ours is not a Genesis product. That is a 3/4" internally ported residential valve. Ours is a 1" ported commercial valve. They just try and act like us, copy everything we do... except the tech support and seven day service. 1. Yes, that is our valve. 2. We have tested that and it creates more issues than it solves. The wild card is water. There are too many issues. I think it's 3 or v4 years away in reliability. 3. Only a moron would fill a tank and ship it. It gets destroyed in short order and you are the one who pays. It's just really, really dumb. We used to be that dumb. no more!
Gary Zuckerman
November 23, 2017 at 11:31 AM
I would love some help to determine who made the control valve that sits on the tank of a unit I got from a car dealership that closed. I have a picture of this unit but dont see a way to get that picture to you here...
Mark Timmons
November 24, 2017 at 9:36 PM
Send it to support@uswatersystems.com
Jim
November 30, 2017 at 8:25 AM
"I must say that a couple of years ago we were cancelled as an O.E.M. (Distributor) by Pentair (Fleck) because we were buying “Fleck knock-offs.” " "Barbara, We are a Fleck dealer and have been a distributor or dealer starting in the early 1980’s." Can you explain the difference in your statements?
Mark Timmons
November 30, 2017 at 11:09 PM
I guess I don't follow what you are asking. What do you want me to explain?
Robert Macys
December 5, 2017 at 1:53 PM
I just purchased and installed a Fleck XST 40,000 before running across your blog. I’m not happy with the company since I can’t talk to a person about some programmed settings. I have to E-Mail my questions and wait for a reply. No back and forth dialogue. Maybe that’s how everybody works. My question was “I purchased a Fleck XST 40.00 unit 11/22/17 and installed it 11/27/17. I have some questions about the pre programmed settings. I entered the master programming settings to see what they are because I thought the 800 gallons after regeneration was a low quantity. C- is 24. Shouldn’t that be 40 since I have a 40,000 Fleck unit? DO (day override)-is set to off. Shouldn’t that be set to some number of days like 7 or more?” Answer” No on both. It is not efficient to set nor use the entire capacity of a system. The purpose of the day override setting is for occasional use applications (weekend homes, etc.). Thank you. Best Regards, AffordableWater.us 877-848-2532 Would you care to answer if this sounds logical to ser the C- at 24,000 grains not 40,000 grains? There is a SF- 20% safety set in also. Thanks for your help, Bob
Mark Timmons
December 6, 2017 at 9:03 PM
Bob, If you had bought from us, you would have access to talk to live people who have over 200 years of combined field and installation experience, 6 days a week. That's what you give up when buy from Amazon and most other companies. What they are telling you is correct, however. Good Luck!
Todd
December 22, 2017 at 5:13 PM
I have a Hague HC III 35 and the control head has quit working correctly no longer pulls water from the brine tank. I already check the brine tank float and such. Do you have a control head I can purchase to replace the existing one on my Hague.
Mark Timmons
December 23, 2017 at 6:08 PM
We have two. One which is state-of-the-art technology and another one which is very similar to your current valve. https://www.uswatersystems.com/aquatrol-metered-water-softener-valve.html https://www.uswatersystems.com/fusion-nlt-water-softener-valve.html Let me know if you need any help or call our tech support line at 800-608-8792
William W Cravey
March 3, 2018 at 7:45 PM
I need some service on mine. Do you have a service person in Orlando?
Mark Timmons
March 6, 2018 at 3:34 PM
We do not have service people.
William W Cravey
March 3, 2018 at 7:47 PM
I need my fleck control head repaired or replaced. Do you have someone in Orlando, Florida?
Mark Timmons
March 6, 2018 at 3:35 PM
No we do not.
Brad
April 14, 2018 at 1:43 AM
The control head on my (Pentair) Omnifilter OM26K just died. I was wondering, would it would make sense to replace it with one of your control heads instead of replacing the entire system? The Fusion NLT head sounds like the way to go and I would prefer to save money and not replace the tanks if I don't need to!
Mark Timmons
April 28, 2018 at 1:55 PM
You can use that or the Aquatrol: https://www.uswatersystems.com/aquatrol-metered-water-softener-valve.html It's less expensive and works very well.
Tim
April 14, 2018 at 3:44 PM
Why does US Water Systems own Flecksystems.com and sell Fleck products if the Fusion NLT is so superior and Fleck has quality issues compared to Fusion NLT? https://www.flecksystems.com/about I am shopping around and just trying to separate the marketing and opinions from the facts before I purchase. Thanks
Mark Timmons
April 28, 2018 at 1:51 PM
We have sold Fleck for 45 years and have many customers who use the product. We have over 30 employees at US Water and none have a Fleck system. There's a reason, but if people are just determined to get a Fleck product, we sell it. We are not saying it is a bad product, it's just that US Water Softeners are dramatically better.
packy
June 2, 2018 at 6:18 AM
Wow, the confusion. I used to sell Kinetico. GREAT systems just way over priced. Currently I have 32k softener with a Fleck 6600 head. It's been a real workhorse and has moved with me. I test it (hardness) every 6 months still never had a repair or problem. it's now well over 10 years old and we moved again. Time for a new one as it's not going with us this time. This time it unfortunately must be outside in the elements. The fleck 2510 sxt is the only one I know of thats in a waterproof enclosure, are any of yours?
Mark Timmons
June 2, 2018 at 10:21 AM
The 2510 is not completely waterproof. Putting any softener out in the direct sunlight and elements is going to cut it's life expectancy in half. Therre is a simple solution: https://blog.uswatersystems.com/2017/05/outside-water-softener-installations/ You can buy water softeners anywhere, but it's what happens AFTER the sale that differentiates us: Our Technical Support is legendary. Most other companioes don't even attempt it. Check out any of our softeners: https://www.uswatersystems.com/systems/water-softener-system I think you will be impressed!
Kim
July 8, 2018 at 7:47 PM
We have a water softener from our local Mills Fleet Farm, not a Fleck softener, and the brine tank developed a hairline crack. Fleet Farm told us they won’t sell a brine tank separately. Our water softener system and valves are fine and working fine. We only need the brine tank. I found one online that looks exactly the same as ours, but it has the Fleck system. Can these brine tanks be used universally with our system?
Mark Timmons
July 8, 2018 at 10:31 PM
You can use either one of these brine tanks: https://www.uswatersystems.com/parts/water-softener-parts-and-accessories/brine-tanks
BW Zone
August 5, 2018 at 9:43 AM
You can check best 3 water softeners comparison here to choose the best one. http://bestwarezone.com/best-fleck-water-softeners
Mark Timmons
August 5, 2018 at 1:30 PM
Thanks for posting this link. If anyone is dumb enough to believe this is a site for comparing water softeners, they are dumber than a bag of hammers. You pay these guys money and they will say whatever you want about their products. Be careful what you read on the internet and be careful about believing testimonials.
Harold Lapprich
September 26, 2018 at 11:07 AM
Have a Fleck 1500 water softener installed in 1978, bought the house in 1986 with the softener and it has been a work horse. Have replaced a couple of timers, rebuilt the value head 1 time and replace the salt-holder 1 time (float value rusted out) over 30 years. Would like to know what the factory default setting are for RED DIAL (BACKWASH - Time In Minutes: 24), WHITE DIAL (BRIME & RINSE - Time in Minutes: 6) and YELLOW DIAL (SAULT USED PER REGENERATION 6/10 Pound Per Minute. Would also like to know what you have as a replacement and if parts can be bought on-line for a person doing their own repair work. Thanks!
Mark Timmons
October 7, 2018 at 10:58 PM
My first inclination is to say "Buy a new softener." The resin has to be exhausted. I peronally think it is a waste of time to ftry and fis a 40 year-old system.
Merlin
October 14, 2018 at 3:16 PM
I have a softener with Fleck control head. The valve operates well and trouble free. The instruction pamphlet that came with it is useless and their website is too. Simple problem here: my water is too soft. Rinsing after a shower feels like I’m being soaked in WD 40. I’d like to “harden” my water a little. Can I? Also, salt use is excessive...salt setting at 8 by installing plumber. I live alone and go thru 50 lbs every two weeks. I trust your site a lot...can you advise me Please? Thanks.
Mark Timmons
October 23, 2018 at 5:20 PM
Merlin, The hardness scake runs from 0 to infinity. You cannot go below 0, so it's either soft or not. I know that you feel slick, but read this first: https://blog.uswatersystems.com/2014/08/explain-the-slimy-feeling-with-soft-water/ That does sound like a salt. You could turn the salt back to 5 or 6.
Ahmad Hatampour
October 22, 2018 at 6:45 AM
Is fleck 5800 XST 32k better than 5600 XST 32K? Please advise. Thank you,
Mark Timmons
October 23, 2018 at 4:23 PM
I would not own either one. You asked...
Ahmad Hatampour
October 22, 2018 at 6:58 AM
"We have been using these for nearly four (4) years, and WE HAVE NEVER HAD TO REPLACE A PISTON OR SEAL.NoExcuseZone NEVER!" Do you think four years is enough time to say never?
Mark Timmons
October 23, 2018 at 4:24 PM
Our pistons and seals have a 10 year warranty. It's good that you did not have to replace it, because you would have had to pay for it!
Emilio
November 26, 2018 at 2:35 PM
Is it recommended to install a pre filter to remove some of the particulates from well water?
Mark Timmons
November 29, 2018 at 10:18 PM
ABSOLUTELY!
Eric
December 2, 2018 at 4:18 AM
While I agree you have better customer support and 5+ more years of warranty. You are $714.7 more expensive than my Fleck dealer in total, and that is for the Fleck 5810 SXT on the catalytic carbon filter and Fleck 5810 XTR2 on the softener of the same size as your low-end models. The value, bypass, and tank were sourced from Milwaukee, WI and assembled in Canada. I could also get two rebuild kits and follow the easy Youtube video and it would still be $500 more expensive for your softner and catalytic carbon filter. I'm not saying your service, warranty, or quality is lower it is just you demand a higher price than my local dealers.
Mark Timmons
December 7, 2018 at 10:43 AM
Eric, I tjhink you are comparing apples to oranges, but there are a fair number of dealers who like to "give stuff away" and I can't blame consumers for buying it, but we get many calls every day for technical support because the guy who sold the system is out of business... BECAUSE HE WASN'T MAKING MONEY! We give legendary tech support and I am proud to say we make money.