Fleck 5600SE water softener programming

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by mulman, Jul 31, 2007.

  1. mulman

    mulman New Member

    Eastern PA
    I purchased a Fleck 5600SE based 24K grain water softener with 0.75 cu ft SST-60 resin over the internet. I installed the system and its softening great. Now, how to correctly program the regeneration?

    I guess the SST-60 is supposed to use less salt and less water to regen. We have a well and septic and I'd rather not use more water or salt than I need to. Currently the system is set at: 1-10 2-60 3-10 4-12 (10 minute rinse, 60 minute brine rinse, 10 minute post brine wash and 12 minute brine tank refill). I called the vendor for help programming the unit and he said that for the SST-60, just change the brine tank refill to 10 minutes. I'm not convinced! He said that in step two, the unit draws brine for about 10 minutes, then just cycles it through the resin. So, by changing the setting in step four, I am effectively changing the brine draw setting in step two?

    Can someone clearify how this works and how to program the valve correctly?


  2. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    The settings are all wrong.

    Who did you buy it from?

    Since it wasn't me, post who it was and I'll explain programming to you.

    A 3/4 cuft softener has a 6.75 gpm SFR, way too small for more than a one person one bathroom house....

    SST-60 resin should be used with high iron, otherwise it will not save you enough salt, in such a small softener, to ever recover the high additional cost of SST-60.
  3. mulman

    mulman New Member

    Eastern PA
    Hi Gary,

    Thanks for your quick reply.

    We have a deep well for our water (600' deep, with water at 525', flowing at 5 gpm) with 6 gpg hardness and <0.02 ppm iron. The pH is 7.4, alkalinity 1.75, chlorides 2, TDS 160, turbidity 1.6 and sulphates of 0.7. The home has 2.5 baths and four people (two under the age of 3, at present).

    My calculations for sizing the system showed that we need 14K grain (80 gallons per person x 4 people x 6 grains/gallon x 7 days), so the closest system I could buy was 24K grain.

    I bought the system from www.ohiopurewater.com.

    Their website explains: "Purolite's SST-60 resin is our choice for high efficiency resins. This resin reduces salt requirements during regenerations from 2 to 4 lbs per cubic foot over conventional softening resin which may also be an environmental concern. Also, less water is required during backwash due to its efficiency which translates to shorter regeneration cycles."

    Since we have a septic system, I thought an extra $60 for SST-60 would be worth it for less water and salt used.

    Now, please tell me where my choices/thinking was flawed and how to correctly program what I have?

    Thanks in advance.

  4. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    If you took justalurker's advice to contact ohio pure water, blame him for your problems. He posts, emails and PMs posters telling them to contact OPW so people won't buy from me. He bought a softener from me with the Clack WS-1 control valve in July 2004, yet tells everyone to buy a 5600 from OPW. He does tht ato prevent people from buying from me.

    Regardless of what justalurker says... ohio purewater.com is not all that good in sizing softeners and answering customer programming questions etc.. I've helped quite a few of their customers.

    People that contact me about buying water treatment equipment don't have unanswered questions about this stuff and those that buy from me don't have programming questions or problems.

    The softener is too small for more than 1-2 people and a 1-1.5 bathroom house. You can find sizing info on my web site.

    The 1-10 means the first, second etc. cycle position of a regeneration is set for 10, 60 etc. minutes. Usually that (1) is backwash. Two is brining, 3 is rapid rinse then 4 is refill. The manual tells you what position it is.

    The length of time is dictated by your water quality, how long the service run is (days/gals between regeneration) and volume and type of resin.

    You said: "Currently the system is set at: 1-10 2-60 3-10 4-12 (10 minute rinse, 60 minute brine rinse, 10 minute post brine wash and 12 minute brine tank refill).". IIRC, and I'm pretty sure I recall correctly, those settings happen to be the factory default settings for the 5600 and other Fleck control valves.

    Without knowing the DLFC gpm.... which I would need to do this 100 correctly, I suggest 1=4-6. 2=40-45, 3=4-6, 4= (usually .5gpm or 1.5lbs per minute @ .5 gpm getting 3 lbs/gallon of water added; that must be the right lbs for the K of capacity [14 you said] for SST-60 resin). Their 10 minutes of brine refill comes out to 15 lbs of salt/regen IF they have a .5 gpm/1.5 lb/minute brine line flow control (BLFC).

    BTW, SST-60 is not a good choice for residential unless it is used for iron removal of over 2.5-3 ppm. It will not save water and/or salt sufficiently enough to justify the added expense. The only way to save water with it is to shorten the length of time of the backwash. If the location's water quality will allow that and on city water determining that is iffy at best. That is based on my 21 years of hands on experience in treating problem well water.

    The EPA says the best place for your discharge water is the septic tank; I agree. They also say based on the two times they have done research on the subject over the last 25 years, that if there's any change in the operation of the septic tank that is working normally, there is a slight improvement due to the additional water. Salt water will not harm bacteria, the oceans and seas are full of bacteria and much saltier than any softener's discharge.
  5. mulman

    mulman New Member

    Eastern PA

    Thanks, Gary!

    I did not follow justalurker's advice in buying from Ohiopurewater. I looked around a few discussion groups and saw people complaining about GE/Whirlpool.Kenmore water softeners and getting advice to use Fleck valves instead. I searched Fleck on the web and chose a vendor geographically close to me for faster shipping and cheaper return shipping, in the event that something was broken. In any event, I was not impressed with Ohiopurewater's customer service. I got a quick initial reply to my email asking about what softener I need but haven't gotten an email reply, in a week's time now, about programming so when I called them a grouchy guy told me that the default settings are fine for me. When I told him that I thought that the SST60 was supposed to use less salt he told me to change 4-12 to 4-10.

    The drain outlet on my softener has a sticker that reads 1.5 gpm. The brine inlet has a sticker that reads 0.5 gpm (1.5 lb/min). My total water hardness is 6 gpg. I have a 0.75 cu ft SST-60 softener. I set the regen to start at 2300 gallons (24K capacity / 6 gpg = 4000 gallons so regen at a bit over half).

    The Purolite website lists this table on their spec sheet for SST-60:

    Standard Operating Conditions (Co-current Softening of Water)
    Operation Rate Solution Minutes Amount
    Service 1.0 - 7.5 gpm/cf Influent water per design per design
    Backwash Influent water 5 - 20 10 - 20 gal/cf
    Regeneration 0.25 - 0.9 gpm/cf 8 - 20% NaCl 10 -30 2 - 15 lb/cf
    Rinse, (slow) 0.25 - 0.9 gpm/cf Influent water 12 - 60 10 - 15 gal/cf
    Rinse, (fast) 1.0 - 5.0 gpm/cf Influent water 6 - 30 8 - 40 gal/cf

    How does one decide what to use, other than based on experience, such as your experience?

    I guess the amount of salt used is based on the amount of water added in step 4 of the previous regen such that during step 2 in the regen it just sucks up all the available brine as it does the slow flush. Now, do I regenerate assuming 2300 gallons used at 6 gpg hardness or do I regenerate assuming the full 24K grain of the water softener was used up, as far as the amount of brine that I want to add to the regen?

    Thanks again.

  6. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    justalurker suggests people buy Fleck although he bought a softener from me in July 2004 with a Clack WS-1 control. Fleck requires special control valve model specific tools to rebuild them. The Clack does not. The Clack is much easier to repair and the parts costs less than Fleck; yet they both use the piston, seals and spacer design. The Clack is the latest improved version of the design.

    I hear that from more than a few of their customers, but justalurker keeps saying otherwise.

    The 1.5 gpm is the DLFC, the .5 and 1.5 lb/min is for the BLFC flow into the brine tank. You get .5 gpm or 1.5 lb/minute of water flow for the minutes in refill.

    Your 3/4 cuft only gets 24k of capacity (with regular mesh resin) at the max salt dose of 15lb/cuft.

    You don't come up with the gallons that way. Learn how to do that here:

    I've been to many industry training sessions and read a lot of industry publications for many years. Then there's hands on experience. Learning water treatment is a long process because all waters are different but applying a softener is fairly constant and simple if you get the correct size.

    You'll better understand the Service part of the spec sheet data when you visit the sizing chart page on my web site. You'll learn more on sizing/set up of a softener too. At the bottom of that page, check out the calculator page too. Use 60 gallons/person/day.
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