Hard water is a fact of life in many parts of the world. Naturally occurring minerals and deposits found in hard water can build up over time in pipes, valves and faucets, not to mention in machinery and appliances such as tea kettles, water boilers, kitchen utensils, and bath, drainage and sewerage fittings. These parts suffer considerable damage as a result of hard mineral deposits over time and require costly maintenance or replacement. Because of this, the Fleck water softener range was introduced.
The damaging effect of hard water is not just limited to pipes and taps. Fabrics can be heavily damaged when washed in hard water, and this damage alone is enough to require costly replacement of everything from regular clothes and bed-sheets to towels and carpets. Further, more soap or detergent is needed to generate lather for a nice, thorough clean when washing in hard water. Not only does this mean higher detergent costs but there is the added nuisance of scum and other deposits forming on the surfaces of sinks, mirrors, glass and other bathroom exteriors. However, at the end of the day, although hard water is one of the most costly naturally occurring phenomena in the world, it is also very preventable.
Top Rated Water Softeners from Fleck
Fleck Systems is a market leader in the production, provision and installation of hard water treatment systems and related parts. Not only does the Fleck Company provide solutions to the costly and troublesome problems caused by hard water, but it also provides professional water testing services to help customers make more informed choices when deciding the specific type of system to purchase for their water needs.
With experience comes value, and many Fleck systems (three of which are reviewed below) have been known to run over twenty years with no issues at all. This is testimony to the sound work that Fleck has done over the years in everything from water treatment system design considerations (such as intuitive LED panels and overflow valves to avoid water leakage and spillage) to research work (for example, on ion exchange and on salt pellet replacement and reuse). All in all, Fleck systems and parts are second to none in the hard water treatment industry.
Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener
This model by Fleck Structural is an all-in-one water softening solution, ideal for small to medium sized homes. It uses ion exchange and can provide water for a 3-6 person home. The hardness levels it can treat range between hard and very hard water. By automatically measuring water usage, the system regenerates only when needed, which is a huge cost saver. By removing minerals such as calcium and magnesium from hard water in your home, you automatically save on maintenance and replacements costs. You also extend the lifetime of your appliances and pipes. For hassle-free water softening and cost-savings over the lifetime of the system, this model will save you big over many years of use.
The Fleck 5600SXT comes with an easy to read digital meter, a 100% poly-glass tank, and programmable water cycles (which can be changed or adjusted depending on your water needs). It comes in two different colors (almond and black), and has a 10 year warranty on the tanks and a 5 year warranty on other parts. It also has an LCD display, touch-pad controls, and a user friendly interface. A safety float prevents overfilling, and a convenient overflow drain provides an additional safety backup to avoid water from spilling.
Iron Pro 48K Combination Water Softener
This model is a water softener and an iron filter, all in one. It boasts 48,000 grain capacity, and has a fine mesh resin designed for high iron removal and long life of system tanks and other related parts. A digital metered valve brings in a great deal of efficiency and ease of use, and it comes with a five year warranty as well.
The range of hardness that can be removed falls between 6 ppm and 8 ppm, and the same applies to sediment, sand, rust and manganese. In terms of capacity, this model can cater to a home with up to 5 people and up to 3 baths. A simple do-it-yourself instruction manual, bypass valve, installation steps and pictures allows for hassle-free setup and use.
Fleck 7000 SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener
This model has been made and designed specifically for homes or building units where there are high water requirements. This unit is best used where there is medium to high volume water usage, and it is equipped to soften water that has very high levels of hardness. Considered to be the most efficient model on the market, it also comes with easy, self-install instructions and a digital control for ease of reading the meter.
The plumbing dimensions that the 7000 SXT works best with are 1” to 1.5” (as found in most homes or small scale commercial settings). New, larger homes on the market these days come pre-equipped with numerous luxury fixtures and appliances that need to be able to function with high pressure. Any water softener that is installed at these kinds of homes needs to be able to provide water flow without a significant fall in pressure, and this model does just that. With easy service thanks to interconnecting valve clips and other body parts, servicing this model is very easy, as is installation and general regular use.
How Fleck Water Softeners Compare to Other Brands
Depending on your needs, there are different models and brands that offer different things. For example, there are a number of under-sink water softeners available in the market, but those are only good for single-outlet water purification and softening. Aqua Clear comes closest to Fleck softeners when it comes to price, softening specs and warranties, but the biggest shortcoming of Aqua Clear softeners is limited sales and market experience (only one review over the lifetime of the product). When long-term experience is required, Fleck comes out on top against Aqua Clear.
There are a number of good models available from WaterBoss but those models focus on filtering micro-sized particles, and service family homes with up to only 4 people. Although this model boasts a very compact design, it is not significantly cheaper than Fleck models but has much lower ratings in terms of output and softening levels. Finally, it comes with a 3-year warranty, compared to the 10-year warranty of Fleck systems.
Finally, other models from Aquios and Aquasana are also worth considering, but overall reviews generally fall in the high 3-star to low 4-star range (compared to high 4-star rating of most Fleck systems).These systems are really good in terms of efficiency and design (they are designed to withstand very high pressures, and require minimal maintenance). However, unlike Fleck systems, not all of these water softeners remove the calcium, magnesium and other minerals from your water. They only use a commercial technology to ensure there is no buildup or sedimentation of these minerals, or they use multiple filters to remove deposits and other impurities, but some still stays in your water.
Final Recommendations And Conclusion
There are many different water softeners available in the market. Some are cheaper than others, some require more frequent maintenance and replacement, and others have lower or high filtering and softening ratings.
Because you can expect any Fleck water softener that you purchase to last at least 20+ years, and because these systems come with intuitive design, simple installation, long warranties and a long history of customer satisfaction, Fleck systems are your best bet when thinking of making such a long-term investment for your home. With systems that can cater for up to 6 people and handle the most stringent of softening requirements, the Fleck 5600SXT is probably the best option for anyone looking to have clean, soft water in their home for years to come, and other models can be considered depending on home size and water requirements. Fleck associates would be happy to assist you make a purchase decision so you can’t go wrong with the Fleck line.