The standard confusion - Fleck or Clack?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by Groves, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. Groves

    Groves New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Springfield, MO
    Big Box stores everywhere. I'm sure the units work, but I'd rather not have the lowest cost lowest quality gig.


    You guys have been a great resource. I'm want a unit that will last and be serviceable.


    From what I gather here, a fleck or clack valve is what I'm after.

    Only one place in town that sells them. They used to deal in fleck, but now deal mostly in clack valves (Hellenbrand)

    They would have me believe that the Fleck quality has stagnated, but their clack setups are $1500-$1700. Low number for a 1.0cu ft promate 1.0 with 8% resin, the high number for a promate 6.0 head with 10% resin.

    Are there any quality Fleck valves?

    Anyone heard anything about the new promate 6.5 heads?

    I'm just putting a unit in my house, 5 people, 2 baths, 9-14 grain city water. Heavy chlorine.

    I have above average DIY skills, and will be plumbing it myself.

    I see units at places like qualitywaterforless.com for way under those prices, but perhaps there are subtleties I'm unaware of?
  2. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    720
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    I am a true believer in Fleck valves especially the Fleck 5600. On the other hand, I believe the Clack valve is just as good, if not better. You can find a Clack for $750 and a Fleck 5600 for less but the Clack will be more efficient than the standard 5600. I have heard Fleck having problems with the 7000 but may have solved the issues. With 5 people, I think you would be bettered with a 1.5 CF unit.
  3. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,791
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Clack, Fleck, and Autotrol all make extrmely capable and high quality valves. I work with the manufacturers directly, and Clack and Fleck do not mess around when it comes to quality or R&D. Many companies simply copy these designs, poorly.

    If you have a decent amount of chlorine, a 10% crosslink resin would be the minimum spec, but chlorine removal would be better. Many systems combine GAC and Resin, do not go for that design. A seperate GAC tank would make a lot more sense.

    Clack and Fleck have both had intermittent quality control issues. This is inevitable when you sell as many controls as these companies do. For the most part, both are extremely high quality and both have an extremely low complaint rate. In our complaint tracking system, both valves have a nearly identical record of less than 1% problem rate. This is exceptional for any company to maintain consistently over the course of a decade.

    The 7000SXT is an exceptional valve and recently had a minor QC issue with the brine valve o-ring surface being imperfect. it is easily fixed with a new o-ring or a new valve body. Fleck has fully warranted this problem and hes even offered a substantial reimbursment to dealers who have to go out to fix them.

    All 7000SXT's currently being sold are updated. Every distributor was informed and the valves were recalled and reworked.

    My favorite valve is th 7000SXT, the 5800 series, or the Clack WS1. The 2510 is also great, and the 5600 electromechanical is an amazing valve for being over 30 years old. It is still one of our best sellers.

    The Fleck valves will be better for the DIY guys due to no problems with parts availability. Proprietary systems like the units from Hellenbrand can be great so long as the company selling them remains a good company. Hellenbrand has been around for many years and I have heard very few compaints about them, other than the cost is slightly higher, but this is normal for a proprietary system.


    hope this helps,
  4. Groves

    Groves New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Springfield, MO
    These are all comforting responses. I had thought the fleck was not as dog-ish as the dealer was making it out to be.

    Think I'll go with a 7000SXT.


    The dealer was suggesting a carbon filter to remove the chlorine so it wouldn't damage the resin. I pay about $40 for my little carbon filter in my fridge, I hope the whole house versions aren't scaled up from that in price.



    He was suggesting a 32,000 unit in a 1.0 cu ft package. Does that sound right for a household of 5 (3 kids 12,11,8) ? I don't want to oversize and create ant trails, but our water usage will be going up in the future I'm sure.


    Are the turbo options at the bottom of the resin tank worth it? Are all 10% resins the same?

    So many questions. Family is excited. Ready to order (almost)
  5. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,791
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Bottom distribution is a long and contreversial subject. The claims of 30% reduction in backwash, super efficiency, etc are all neat but few in the industry really beleive these claims for the bottom plate designs. It is great marketing, but a proper gravel bed and a high quality bottom screen seems to be just as effcient. I would not pay the extra, but I dont see any major negatives to the bottom distributor plate design either. We have had several customers that have had the bottom tube get dislodged during shipping causing major problems, and media replacement is much more difficult than a standard system.

    My own system at my house is a simple 40922 bottom screen.

    The carbon system ahead of the softener will cost about the same as the softener, and will look almost identical. You will basically double your cost.

    I would recommend a 1.5 cu. ft. softener at minimum for your application. The rating would be a 45,000 or 48,000 grain system, but remember in the real world, the capacity will be only 24,000 grains per cu. ft. of resin. The cost difference shold be minimal between a 1 cu. ft and a 1.5 cu. ft..

    10% crosslink resins come in many different types, but in general, they all have a longer life expectancy in chlorinated waters or in applications The "Black" resin goes through an extra manufacturing step that is supposed to further enhance its structural integrity...

    For chlorine removal only, a stacked tank design is effective. GAC is extremely effective and fast at removing Chlorine. These stacked tank designs are not recommended for organics removal, etc. Check out this link. These usually cost much less than 2 seperate systems and takes up less floor space. The GAC should last for 3-5 years in the upper chamber and is easily and cheaply replaced. Check out this link for a picture. http://www.terrylove.com/forums/sho...Rapidly-Growing-Family&highlight=stacked tank
  6. Groves

    Groves New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Springfield, MO
    Wow.

    This is totally new info to me. I had in mind I'd put a $100 filter on before the softener that would take care of my chlorine.

    If the Hellenbrand guy was suggesting such a setup (big inline filter) that uses $45 cartridges, is he kidding himself? or is he just thinking he'll take the chlorine level down to more reasonable level.

    My city water report has our water with an average of 1.4ppm chlorine, measured levels range from .8 to 2.3

    Here's the report: http://www.cityutilities.net/resident/pgms/waterqualityreport.pdf
  7. Groves

    Groves New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Springfield, MO
    Also, is that new 7000 valve available yet?
  8. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,791
    Location:
    Ontario California
    The 7000SXT is available, the NXT and XTR are semi-proprietary valves only available to certain dealers.

    A properly designed carbon tank can be changed every 5 years for a very low media cost. $45 cartridges that will probably need to be changed regularly and will only remove a portion of the chlorine, and that will restrict flow rate, doesnt sound like to good of an idea to me.

    The stacked tank design is the cheapest good way to do it, a seperate backwashing tank is even better but a little more costly.
  9. Groves

    Groves New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Springfield, MO
    I'm new to the whole GAC scene. Do those need to be sized in the same way as the softener? If you're (I'm) getting a 1.5cu-ft softener, do I need a 1.5cu-ft GAC? I see some "in/out" type tall GAC tanks. What benefit are the ones with a valve?

    Have really appreciated yours and others help. Confusing world, but clearer with explanation.

    Deciding now whether 10% resin is worth it. Some places have told me that they don't stock it because a)too expensive, and b)it requires 75psi to make any difference.

    Thoughts?
  10. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,791
    Location:
    Ontario California
    HUH!!!??? 75 psi??? Not sure what that means. 10% crosslink is more resistant to chlorine, osmotic shock, oxidation damage etc. It is only slightly more expensive than 8% crosslink. Many companies use much lower than 8% crosslink, be careful of these resins, they are junk and do not last well if any chlorine is present.

    If you dechlorinate, 8% is just fine.

    Upflow GAC is popular but is also a bad design. We sell tons of upflow systems, but we all know the problems with this design, many companies are only looking to save a few dollars and to market these as "no wasted water or electricity". Downflow w/ backwash is more expensive but performs far better. I have yet to see anyone who is a professional argue this point, most just admit that it is too save money and for marketing purposes.

    I prefer to match the tanks, it looks better and usually makes installing a little easier.

    Stacked tank designs are a great way to save money, backwash water, and floor space. These have a smaller GAC capacity but the GAC will last 3-5 years on a standard residential application for chlorine removal. it is not recommended for organics removal as more bed volume is required. http://www.terrylove.com/forums/show...t=stacked+tank
  11. Groves

    Groves New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Springfield, MO
    Just to close the loop, here's what we went with.


    Softener:
    1.5cu-ft 8% resin
    Fleck 7000sxt valve
    Non-vortex

    Chlorine Filter:
    1.5cu-ft Coconut Carbon
    Fleck 7000 valve
    no vortex

    Also bought some 90 degree 61601 to facilitate neater routing.

    I'm figuring out how many ports I want pre-charcoal (hose bibs, etc) I do like the thought of a switchable bib that could give occasional soft water in case I ever decide to wash my cars, which isn't likely.

    Are there common applications for ports that are post-GAC, but pre-softener? Icemaker? Garden?

    I'll try not to start too many installation threads, ha.

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