The Fleck 5600SXT is the best water softener system for most families.
It has a high water softening capacity, enough for families of up to 6 people. It is fairly easy to install and maintain. Most importantly, it works exactly as advertised.
The most notable feature of the Fleck 5600SXT water softener is the digital control head that includes an LCD display, touch controls, and a water flow meter.
The display makes it easy to configure the system while the meter helps you save on water and salt.
If you are looking for an affordable and good quality water softener for your home, we highly recommend this one.
NOTE: If you need something different, perhaps a higher capacity system or an electronic descaler, see our whole house water softener buying guide for other great recommendations.
Water Softening Performance
You can never go wrong with a salt-based water softener.
There’s a lot of hype regarding salt-free systems. They do work but not as well as traditional water softeners.
You do, however have to deal with added salt in your water and a bit of water waste. But if you are looking for a high-performance water softener, the 5600SXT is a great choice.
It uses long life 8% cross-linked resin, the standard for most water softeners, to remove hardness minerals from water.
With a hardness grain capacity of 48,000, the 5600SXT is perfect for medium-large families of 4-6 people.
(Grain capacity refers to the number of grains of water hardness a water softener can remove before it needs to regenerate.)
With average water usage, it only needs to regenerate once a day or once every few days. For smaller families, you can set the system to regenerate once a week.
The Flow Meter
But if you want to save water and salt, don’t set any specific regeneration time or day.
The system gives you the option of selecting meter-based regeneration. This is where it regenerates automatically based on the amount of water that your family has used.
This is more precise than time-based regeneration because the system regenerates only when necessary.
This saves water and salt.
The main downside with meter-based regeneration is that, it might happen when water consumption is at its peak such as in the morning.
During regeneration, the system stops softening water, meaning you’ll have to use hard water for the next 1-2 hours.
If this is a major inconvenience for you, select the Meter Delayed Control option.
The meter will still monitor water consumption. But once the capacity (the amount of water the resin can soften in one cycle)has been reached, it will wait until the set regeneration time to regenerate.
You’ll need to set a reserve amount of water to make sure you still get softened water between when the resin capacity is reached and when the system regenerates.
Good to know: The 5600SXT uses an advanced electronic meter that is more precise and has fewer moving parts. It doesn’t require maintenance.
The controller head that goes on top of the main tank consists of an LCD display and touch control buttons.
The display shows the current time, gallons of soft water remaining, system status, error codes (which you can decode using the manual), and other bits of information.
The display is very helpful though it will take some time to get used to quickly decoding all the codes and icons at a glance.
Integrated By-pass Valve
You don’t have through the hassle of setting up your own bypass loop for disruption-free maintenance.
The Fleck 5600SXT has an integrated bypass valve that allows you to bypass water flow away from the softener when you are carrying out maintenance.This maintains water supply to the house.
Installation & Maintenance Of fleck 5600 sxt water softener
Installing a Fleck 5600SXT water softener is simple. Don’t be intimidated, even if you’ve never done a plumbing project in your life.
The manual has very clear, straightforward instructions = and there are helpful installation videos on YouTube.
Just make sure you set aside enough time, at least 2-4 hours.
Also, check that you have everything you’ll need.
The delivery kit includes the main tank, the brine tank with a safety float, the resin and the control head.
You’ll have to buy the necessary fittings and connectors to tie the system into your plumbing. The system accepts 3/4” fittings.
The most tedious part during installation is adding resin to the main tank. The opening is small, making it difficult to pour in resin.
Some customers were lucky to receive their system with the resin already added to the tank.
If you are not among the lucky ones, you can use a funnel to make the process faster.
If you encounter any other issue during installation, feel free to contact Fleck's excellent customer support. They are very helpful.
As with any other salt-based water softener, you need to add salt regularly to the Fleck 5600SXT's brine tank.
Most people opt for sodium but if you don’t want sodium-enriched water, you can also use potassium. The system works great with either.
If possible, use pellet style salt in the Fleck 5600SXT. It’s the best though customers say coarse salt and solar salt work just as well.
The amount of salt the system uses depends on your family’s water consumption and the level of water hardness.
Start with about 3 bags of pellet salt and see how long it lasts. From there, you can gauge how often you need to add salt to the brine tank.
Note: The Fleck 5600SXT doesn’t include salt when it delivered, only resin. You need to buy your own salt.
Other than adding salt, there really is no other maintenance required. Fleck designed the system to be as trouble-free as possible.
The Fleck 5600SXT tanks are incredibly well built (10-year warranty) and the electronic meter has very few moving parts, meaning it requires virtually no maintenance.
The valve has been tested for 27 years of continuous operation.As for the resin, it lasts for more than 10 years. You’ll never need to replace it.
What We Like The Most About The Fleck 5600 SXT Water Softener
We love almost everything about it. And it’s not just us.
This unit has a 4.5+ star rating from over 500 customer reviews on leading ecommerce websites.
Customers clearly love this unit because it works really well and is reliable.
No matter how hard your water is, the Fleck 5600SXT water softener transforms it into soft, cleaning-friendly, and good-for-your skin water.
It works without requiring much in terms of maintenance other than occasionally refilling the brine tank.
The digital control head is a brilliant addition.
It makes it so much easier to know what’s happening with the system and select your preferred settings.
The user interface is not the most intuitive, but you’ll get used to it in no time.
We also love the integrated electronic meter, which significantly reduces water and salt use during regeneration.
Overall, it is a solid choice for families looking for a reliable water softener system that doesn’t break the bank.
What We Don’t Like About This Fleck Water Softener
For one, the user interface could be a bit more user-friendly. Most people eventually get used to it, but there is a slight learning curve.
Another issue is the installation time. There is probably nothing the manufacturer can do about it, but it still takes a long time to have the system set up.
If you have a busy schedule or are not a fan of plumbing projects, this won’t be a lot of fun. Though I think it’s still better than paying hundreds or thousands of dollars to a plumber to install it for you (one customer on Amazon was quoted $3,000 by a plumber just for installation).But if you love challenges like this, it will be a fun afternoon project.
The Fleck 5600 SXT Water Softener Is Perfect For You If...
Avoid Buying This One If You...
Our Bottom Line
The Fleck 5600SXT water softener is our top overall pick in our water softener buying guide for lots of great reasons.
We love the 5600SXT's relatively easy DIY installation, how easy it is to use, the build quality of its components - and its excellent water softening performance.
Unless you are looking for a higher capacity softener or you prefer salt-free softening, this is the best whole house water softener system to invest in.