Fleck 5600 Setup/Installation Questions

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by batman71, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. batman71

    batman71 New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Ohio
    1) I have a Fleck 5600 Econominder on a resin tank with .75 cubic ft. of resin. Based on everything I've seen, that amount of resin would have a capacity of about 24,000 grains. However, the cog wheel with the hardness numbers indicates the capacity is 18,000 grains. Should I a assume 24,000 and ignore what the wheel shows?

    2) I have seen several version sof the installation manual for the Fleck valve. One said the drain should be no longer than 20 feet and should have a rise no more than 36". Another one made no mention of any limitations. My actual installation has a run of about 40' with a rise of about 48" using 1/2 " PVC. Anyone see a problem here?
  2. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    When you say cog wheel, do you mean the people dial where you set the hardness or gallons? Describe it because there is nothing on your valve that tells you the capacity but, you are correct that 3/4' is commonly called a 24K. But, that is dependent on what the salt dose is which to get 24K takes 15 lbs. per cuft of resin. Which gets you terrible salt efficiency of only 2000 grains removed per lb of salt.
  3. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,840
    Location:
    Ontario California
    1: Your actual capacity should be around 18,000 if you regenerate the unit with 6 pounds of salt. Why did you get such a small unit?
    2: The drain length and height is dependent on many factors. In general, you should be fine with your 40' at 48" using 1/2" PVC assuming you have acceptable pressure. Back pressure on the injector is the main concern, but assuming you have more than 40 PSI you will be fine.
  4. batman71

    batman71 New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Ohio
    Yes, I mean the "people wheel. At the end of the scale shown on that wheel, it shows capacity as 18K. I have seen pictures of other Fleck valves that also show the capacity (e.g. 24K)."
  5. batman71

    batman71 New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Ohio

    For the past two years, we lived in a small house that I own while we built a new home. The softener was in the old house and since it will now be used as an office, I really don't feel a need to soften the water there. So, I just moved the softener from the old to the new house. The softener was quite capable of satisfying our needs in the old house so I see no reason why it will not do the same in the new one.

    What I am trying to establish is whether I have 24K grain capacity (based on the amount of resin of .75 cubic feet) or whether I have an 18K grain unit (based on the markings on the Fleck valve wheel).
  6. flynmoose

    flynmoose New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    OK - I'm treading in dangerous territory because I'm a newb here too...

    But here it goes:

    1 Cu Ft of resin has a theoretical hardness removal of 32K grains.

    You have 0.75 Cu Ft of resin so you have 24K grains available.

    But to get that on every regen, you must use 15 lbs of salt per CuFt of resin or in your case 11.25 lbs yielding a salt efficency of 2133 grains per lb of salt (inefficient).

    So to achieve better salt efficiency and dump less salt down the drain, it sounds like you are set up for a 6lb/cuft of resin recycle. This will only allow you to remove 0.75% of the maximum hardness from the resin (18K grains for your 0.75cuft). But it ups the efficiency of the salt to 4000 grains per lb of salt.

    You should be consuming 4.5lbs of salt per recharge.

    Math: 32Kgrains/cuft * 0.75 cuft * 0.75 grains efficiency for a 6 lb charge = 18K grains

    Of course, all I did was regurgitate back what the experts already wrote here: http://www.wqpmag.com/sizing-softeners

    One of the pros will have to explain the setting on your control valve, but it sounds like it is set up for 18K grains between regens. If you up it to 24K grains but don't change the brine quantity, then you will end up with hardness leakage at the end of every cycle...

    Or I could be totally wrong and someone will come along and put me in my place. :rolleyes:
  7. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,840
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Without doing the math, your explanation is good.

    For the most part, the 5600 valves are ordered without that sticker since the same valve can be used on .1 Cu. Ft. systems all the way up to 2 Cu. Ft. systems. Only the injector, BLFC, and DLFC would usually be changed. Even today, I still sell hundreds of 5600 valves a month, they are very popular with the people who feel electronics are bad, old is good. :) The valve is bulletproof, simple, and long lasting. It is also one of the most copied valves on the market.

    As to your 3/4" Cu. Ft. application, that is a very small system, but as you can see, even greatly exceeding the systems design parameters for years has almost no ill affect on it. The resin will not last as long as it should, but what does that mean? Your resin may only last 5-15 years instead of 10-20 years? Exceeding the resins flow designs will also give you additional hardness leakage, again, so what? For the most part you will maintain below 1 GPG even at higher flow rates. The main concern is efficiency. Much greater efficiencies can be had with larger system designs in most but not all applications. The most popular unit for the past 10 years has been the 1.5 Cu. Ft. system, twice your systems size. The idea is to get beyond 6 days between regenerations. Anything past 76 days is good, but the increase of efficiency drops quickly past 10 days. Systems can regenerate monthly without an issue, but that "super efficiency" is simply getting to the point of silliness.

    I have worked on many undersized systems that are heavily abused with the 5600, amazingly, they do much better than anybody should expect. 3/4 cu. ft. 5600, 10 Years in a restaurant flowing 10+ gpm regularly 1000+ gallons per day, regenerating daily, no service for a decade, not too shabby.

    In order to determine if the system is suitable for your application, we would need some basic water test iformation. Hardness, Iron, etc.

    Hope this helps!
  8. batman71

    batman71 New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Ohio
    Thanks flynmosse and dittohead....

    I followed everything yo said. I am leaning towards a 6 lb. dose and I know how to change the setting on the valve. However, should I be changing the injector size or any other components? You used a couple of acronyms that I am not familiar with...BLFC and DLFC.

    I have seen two charts showing salt efficiencies and they don't agree. For example, at 6 lbs. one shows 3,333 grains per lb. per cubic foot and the other is 3,800. Do either of you know a reliable source for this information?

    BTW dittohead, the 18K capacity label is not a sticker. It is actually etched into the wheel just like the numbers for hardness and number of people.
  9. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Batman, part of the problem is that many dealers say you can get 32k per cuft of regular mesh resin using a salt dose of 15 lbs. It's been a long time since I looked it up but most resin manufacturers say real world 30K/15 lbs. And the salt efficiency is 30,000 divided by 15 lbs = 2000 grains per lb. And then there are dealers that will make up their own numbers so to speak. I always used 30 k with 15 lbs and kept that in various volumes of resin.

    In the sizing softeners article linked above, I see it using 32K per cuft. IMO that is not going to happen in most cases.

    So... 1 cuft at 6 lbs gets 20K (20,000/6 = 3333), not 24k. I always used 60 gals per person per day and a number of customers that programed for less than that usually had hard water breakthrough and then had to reprogram or live with hard water.

    Your BLFC and DLFC (brine line flow control and drain line flow control) will be just fine.

    Also, I always used a gravel underbed and a cone shaped bottom basket and never had customers having channeling problems. Since Jan 2004 I sold Clack valves with the ability to record the highest gpm flow rate run through the softener and never had a customer that their peak demand was over the SFR (service flow rate) I told them to expect based on their family size, number of bathrooms and what fixtures they had and how they used water. Some got within 1 gpm but no one showed they over ran it. The valve also recorded the number of gallons used between regenerations and my 60 gals/person/per day was right one in most cases.

    All softeners have a means to set the salt dose although the manual may not tell you how to do it. Any softener with an industry standard Autotrol, Clack or Fleck valve will and they also allow setting the number of gallons between regenerations, among other things. I always set the length of time for backwash, slow rinse/brine draw and rinse based on the cuft of resin and water quality. Example, slow rinse at 45 minutes instead of the 60 minutes most dealers etc. do. The bottom line is that the K of capacity, and thereby the salt efficiency, is adjustable on the vast majority of all softeners and it is controlled by the salt dose setting. The same is true concerning water use efficiencyl controlled by the length of time each cycle position of the other cycles of a regeneration but.... you have to know what you are doing to change them or the is not going to work very well. Sad to say that most people selling softeners will not tell their customers what to change them to. Factory default settings are usually, 10-12 minutes for backwash, 60 for slow rinse/brine draw, 6-10 for rinse and 10-12 for refill. The Fleck 5600 mechanical metered usually has the salt set at 18 lbs but that and the people dial (among other things) has to be ordered like that from Fleck by the distributor the dealer buys from.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  10. batman71

    batman71 New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Ohio
    Thanks again for your input....

    I did some calculations for annual salt usage at various salt dosage levels and discovered that the difference betwen 6 lbs. and 10 lbs. is about $10 per year. So, salt efficiency doesn't seem to be something I will concern myself with. I'll just set the gallons so that it regenerates about once per week.
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