Opinions Clack or Fleck 5600sxt

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by bishoptf, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. bishoptf

    bishoptf New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    missouri
    Still need to get my current numbers I have a sears (yeah I know) softener that I am going to be replacing, actually it has served me well but its not on demand and uses salt and water, its almost 20years old....I have re-built it several times...so I know about not being able to get parts on the net for the clack but I can purchase one locally, looking at an aquapure cws- series of softener which I believe uses the clack head but just trying to get opinions on that vs a 5600sxt setup from a reputable company (looking at CAI technologies).

    It appears that I can order parts from aquapure if my local supply house goes away but I haven't verified that, I know I oculd get fleck parts just about anywhere.

    My home is is 3/4" copper main into the house on city water. 2 adults 2 almost teenagers, 3 baths although one bath is in the basement and not used hardly at all.

    Just wanted to get some opionions and see if I missed anything, or things to think about, thanks.



    I just looked at a rebuild video for the clack head that dittohead posted, and man looks very easy to work on....hmmm, looks very nice..:)
  2. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You can't find a better control valve than a Clack WS1 CS. There are problems with the Fleck 7000 (again) and it is much harder to repair and program than a Clack.

    To my knowledge there are no problems with the Fleck 5600 or 2510.

    To replace the Clack piston and stack you need to follow the instructions in the manual that were left out of that video you mentioned.
  3. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,828
    Location:
    Ontario California
    The 5600SXT is still a good valve, far better than most but I would prefer the WS1 over it. The Clack, Fleck, Autotrols have all had their manufacturing problems. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is a Kool-Aid drinker. The 7000 has a valve body issue but they are already back in production and should be available within a few weeks. We have tested the majority of our 7000 valves, and so far have only found 2 that have the valve body issue. If programming simplicity is the issue, then the LXT programming by Fleck would be the only valve anybody would sell. A kid could be told over the phone how to program it successfully in under a minute.

    The 2510 has had many manufacturing problems over the years, as has the WS1, this does not make them bad valves. The fast response and guarantee that they will gladly replace any 7000 valve that was affected by this issue is what makes Fleck such a good choice. The WS1 has had its share of board problems in the past, and they have also done a good job of taking care of the problems. The valve bodies on these valves are some of the most complex pieces of plastic you will ever see. I will try to post a cutaway picture of the 7000 valve this weekend so you can see just how intricate and difficult of a piece these valve bodies have become over the years.

    My personal preferance (coming from 25 years of actual field experience, and working first hand with every softener manufacturing company)

    7000XTR
    7000NXT (not available yet)
    7000SXT
    5800XTR2 (not available yet)
    5800LXT (for normal water supplies, like the WS1CS, not highly programmable)
    5800SXT
    Clack WS1 (any series, note: CS can not be programmed outside of a few set parameters, great for the vast majority of applications)
    2510SXT

    These 4 series are all top notch valves that are easily serviced (ease of service is not an issue since these valves typically only need to be rebuilt once a decade), high quality, high flowing, and do not compromise quality in any of their components.

    2nd choice valves, excellent, but not my preference
    5600SXT
    5600 Mechanical (still our best seller)
    5000SXT
    6700XTR
    Any Autotrol,

    Many other companies make valves, some are simply knockoffs of the Flecks ie: (Canature), others are their own unique design ie:(Erie) that have decades of experience making good quality control valves.

    This is an opinion based on extensive experience. Many companies will argue that the only valve that was and will ever be is the 5600 electro-mechanical. Others will argue the 7000 since it can be used for any house, big or small. Still others will argue the WS1 because it is easy to rebuild. Truth is, Flack, Calck, and Autotrol all make you absolute best valves that will last for many years of trouble free service.

    If you are a DIY'r, then the WS1 and 5800 series are not for you.

    Hope this helps.
  4. bishoptf

    bishoptf New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    missouri
    Great information but that one line I am wondering about...I thought one of the advantage of the clack ws1 was the fact that for the DIY person it was one of the easiest to work on and replace/repair....have I miss read something?
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You must understand that he is a distributor and distributes to mostly factory reps and plumbing supply houses which then sell to their dealers and he has no experience with DIYers except here.

    He loves Fleck because he can sell more of them simply because they have been on the market longer than Autotrol and Clack. He's here to counter everything I say and usually, as in his post above, he talks as if he is talking to other dealers.

    He keeps saying Clack has had problems. I've sold a couple thousand and I had 2 bad circuit boards in 2004 just after starting to sell Clack. I can't recall any other problems or changes. Clack replaced those boards directly to my internet customers and paid the shipping. The customers were up and running in 3-4 days. Fleck is still weeks away from having good 7000 valves to their distributors... and the problem was with the valve body not a part on the valve as a circuit board is. That means the valve must be removed from the tank and then replaced and reprogrammed. And I suspect most of the customers will have bought from a local dealer so they will be waiting until the dealer can get around to them to do the job.

    You could ask him what problems he has seen with Clack but I'm not sure he sells many, or has sold many and he surely has little to no field experience with them since he has said that he hasn't been in the field in years. And when he mentions his customers, remember he means his distributors, not you the end user.

    He says he has worked with all the water softener companies... he means the national brand types and frankly, most DIYers have never heard of them but, local independent dealers such as me and hundreds of thousands others sell factory stock valves and have never heard of him or his companies (one of which sells knock off versions of Fleck and Clack). National brand dealers usually sell proprietary versions. And my guess is that most of the valves he sells are to guys treating city water with little to no experience on private well water.

    He suggests the Fleck 7000 but if you watch the video of it and replacing the seals, spacers and piston, and the watch his video of the Clack, ask yourself which would you rather work on as a DIYer. The 7000 has been on the market since early 2005.

    He suggests the 5800 too. It is a redone Fleck 5000 that had serious problems way back when and then was changed to the Proflo and now into the 5800. The previous versions weren't very popular.

    He mentions the WS1 CS and limited programming... it has preset programming that you or the dealer choose from and there are some IIRC, 70+ to chose from for a softener and something like 30+/- for a regenerated or backwash only filter. And it can be used on tanks from 6" to 21" diameter which is about a 7 cuft softener. And the programing is only in day to day simple English, no Greek like one or two cryptic letters plus a number or two like Fleck requires.Anyione you buy a softener with a Clack valve on should be able to sell you parts if you need them. Or you go to;
    www.softenerparts.com
  6. bishoptf

    bishoptf New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    missouri
    Thanks, from looking at the videos the clack appeared to be the easier one to work on...I'm sure both are good valves but I think I am going to go with a Clack, I can get one from my local distributor...
  7. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,828
    Location:
    Ontario California
    I think I stated it quite simply and fairly. You are correct in that the WS1 is the easiest to service, that being said. Clack, Fleck, and Autotrol valves rarely need servicing. By the time the Clack valve needs to be serviced, you could probably have a couple kids, and be watching them graduate high school. None of the high end valves are difficult to service. The Clack is an excellent choice and will provide you decades of excellent service. If you can get it locally, from a reputable company you will not be disapointed. Parts on the WS1 are more difficult to find, but not that difficult. That being said, I have several WS1 valves in my own families houses, and after a decade, only 1 has had a problem. A minor drip to the drain, but considering the poor quality of the source water, it did extremely well.
  8. bishoptf

    bishoptf New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    missouri
    Purchased a aquapure cws150me, which uses a clack ws1 control valve. Much better then the sears that I have been using for 20 years, lol....and its still running, although not efficiently...now I need to double check my math but will post that in another thread...
  9. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I can't help asking what it is that a disreputable company does that lowers/reduces the quality of a Clack control valve?
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