Need help to settle a wager: Culligan vs Fleck, Clack, etc.

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by dgold, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. dgold

    dgold Product R&D

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2006
    Occupation:
    Product R&D - Swimming Pool Industry
    Location:
    Carlsbad, CA
    Had dinner with my cousin the other night and the subject of water softening came up. I have a "typical" Fleck 5600 controlled water softening system, with a freestanding 8" resin tank, and a seperate freestanding brine tank.

    He mentioned that I should look at a Culligan -- that they're the best -- and that it would make the water taste better. My initial response, was "it's the same thing." My impression was that they're all functionally identical in terms of how they condition the water -- that as long as they're set up and installed properly, with the proper settings, etc. there's really no big difference between them other than cost, and who provides service (should you need it) down the road.

    Am I right, or is there a real difference in terms of what they do?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

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    Business owner/service and sales
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    Alaska
    Functionally softeners are the same, ie media tank, cation resin, control valve (Brand name or Fleck, Autrol, Clack) brine tank.
    It is like 1 ton pickups... Ford or Chevy or Dodge or Toyota or.... the basics are the same.

    But get ready for a firestorm...
     
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  4. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Joined:
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    Retired
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    You are right as to what they do; they all use ion exchange (opposite charged particles attract each other) to remove positive charged ions of hardness (calcium and magnesium), ferrous iron and manganese etc. etc. if any is in the water.

    What control valve is used and its quality and its features, ease of repair and parts prices and availability all varies widely.
     
  5. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

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    Good answers gentlemen. Well done.
     
  6. dgold

    dgold Product R&D

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2006
    Occupation:
    Product R&D - Swimming Pool Industry
    Location:
    Carlsbad, CA
    Gentlemen,
    Thank you all very much.
    I believe a steak dinner will be coming my way very soon.

    David
     
  7. David Spivey

    David Spivey New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Location:
    Indiana
    Almost all softener companies use the same equipment. We are all reselling Pentair Fleck or Clack. Most vessels in our country that are fiberglass are made from Clack and household market share is mostly covered by Clack. Everything over 1" is usually Fleck because Clack has only gone over 1" since 2009.

    The reason I am giving this slight market analysis is because Marlo, Culligan, Enting, and Aquasystems all sell the same stuff and package it just a little differently.

    Kinetico uses their own valve and at a much more expensive cost to the customer. The biggest difference between all of these is simply put... Service.
     
  8. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Occupation:
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Location:
    Ontario California
    FYI, Culligan has used Fleck to manufacture many of their valves for decades. The commercial line, 9000, and even variants of the 7000.
     
  9. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    Also, most "vessels" (assuming you mean resin tanks) are Structural Fibers owned by Pentair, not Clack. Pentair is a holding company and owns Autotrol, Fleck, Structural etc. etc. etc.. Now salt tanks would probably be Clack Corp.

    As to the 1"... assuming you mean the internals of a control valve, the Clack WS-1 can service 6" to 21" resin tanks where Fleck, until the 7000 (2005) did not have one 'residential' valve to do that. To connect to larger than 1" plumbing, you simply order the diameter connectors you need. I think the Clack WS-1.25" and 1.5" controls came out much sooner than 2009.
     
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