Fleck 5600 water softener makes noise

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by JTH, May 8, 2009.

  1. JTH

    JTH New Member

    I have this unit for almost 6 years now and two year ago had to change resin by serviceman due to no soft water in house. Now it is making vibrating noise whenever I try to use the water in house. Is it time to change the unit or change to salt-free unit or the unit still have some life left. Anyone know what is the problem and how difficult it is to fix by myself.
  2. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    It may need a new piston, seals and spacer kit. That isn't easy for a DIYer to do but it can be done.

    Or it could be the meter turbine on a mechanical metered version or the 'boot' in a brass or SS bypass valve.

    You may want to have a local dealer come outto look at it and fix it. Do not beleive any that say it can't be fixed.

    There is no such thing as a "salt free" water softener they do not remove hardness and are not softeners.
  3. dgold

    dgold Product R&D for a powertool manufacturer

    Carlsbad, CA
    I'm late to this thread, but I'm a DIY'er and the seals & spacers tonight after watching this youtube video and ordering the parts from him.

    Took me all of five minutes with little more than a screwdriver.

    I have Fleck 5600 heads on both my acid neutralizer (aka filter) and on my softener. They came with the house. A week ago I was intimidated by it. Then I watched the videos posted by Andy. Just this evening I replaced the seals, spacers, & a bunch of o-rings.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2009
  4. TedL

    TedL New Member

    NY Capital District
    This kind of crap belongs in a PM, not here. I like a good discussion/argument based on what to do/what works. But this is in the same class as name calling.
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I agree Ted.

    About the you tube... He, Andrew Cross (I believe), says he is cheating using a new valve and had said that depending on your water quality and age of the valve, you could have to pry the seals and spacers out.

    I'd like to see anyone pry a spacer out. They fit the hole fairly tightly and there is no space to get anything into to pry them out. You have to make a puller.

    That's why Fleck has made special tools to remove and install the seals and spacers of the 3600 IIRC, 5600, 6600, 6700, the top piston on the 9000/9100 and other special tools for the 1500, 2500, 2510 and manual (no power head) 2500/2510 valves.

    I sold a Clack WS-1 to a guy two weeks ago that had to make a tool to get his seals and spacers out of his 5600 a few months ago.

    Clack has the same number of main piston seals and spacers plus 2 more seals and 3 more spacers for the brine piston; they got rid of the separate brine valve, it's drive wheel and the salt dose cams of the Fleck design.

    And all those seals and spacers in the Clack come out as one piece in under 2 seconds with nothing more than a curled finger tip.

    Andy's film took 9.47 minutes to replace the seals and spacers in a new and never used 5600.

    From the time you by pass a Clack WS-1, it takes less than half that time with a Clack. There are no screws or bolts, plates, washers, separate brine valve, meter cable or power head to remove on a Clack WS-1. And the Clack has no Teflon coating on the pistons or brine valve or their stems to leak as Andy mentions happening on a Fleck.
  6. dgold

    dgold Product R&D for a powertool manufacturer

    Carlsbad, CA
    All I'm suggesting is, before people put their Fleck valve in the garbage, it may be worth watching a few videos and spending $50 to try to bring it back to life. My Fleck valves are at least ten years old, and pulling the seals and spacers out of my softener valve was easy - really easy. And now it works again - maybe not as well as the newest technology would, and maybe for only a few years more, I don't know. But for a little time on the web, a little instruction, and a few minutes of my time, I'm glad go have my old antiquated Fleck valve working properly again.

    I have no doubt the Clack is easier to work on - if you say so, I wholeheartedly believe you. Should the day come when I can't get my Fleck working properly for a reasonable price, I will probably get a Clack, based solely on your recommendation. I will probably buy it from you too:).
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Whoa! I have not said anything about throwing valves in the garbage.

    I have never suggested replacing equipment that can be repaired.

    In many instances when a person calls me saying they have a softener that is not working, I get into what is wrong with it and what he might do to fix it. Most times the thing has been fixed a number of times and the guy says no more, I'm replacing it.

    Actually I made repairing equipment a large part of my local business when I was a local dealer.

    I have commented on the youtube video showing how you replace the seals spacers and piston etc. on a 5600. Fleck makes the special tools for the 5600 and they wouldn't IF there was no need for them.

    Many of the 5600s I worked on over 18 years needed those tools. The seals were grown fast and you tore pieces off them leaving material stuck fast to the inside of the hole and the spacer couldn't come out until that material was removed. Guys tell me they bend 2-3 pieces of metal coat hangers to be able to get the spacers out.

    So what I have pointed out is that no one should assume they can get their 5600 seals and spacers out as easily as you did, or as easily as the youtube video shows. Or as easily as biermech says it is for him to remove the "baskets". LOL
  8. TedL

    TedL New Member

    NY Capital District
    If this hasn't passed the point of anyone caring about the facts, here's what I found in the Clack manual:

    The control valve uses no traditional fasteners (e.g. screws); instead clips, threaded caps and nuts and snap type latches are used.
    Caps and nuts only need to be firmly hand tightened because radial seals are used. Tools required to service the valve include one
    small blade screw driver, one large blade screw driver, pliers and a pair of hands. A plastic wrench is available which eliminates the
    need for screwdrivers and pliers

    Bold & underline added by me.
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