Here Is Why You Should NOT Invest in a Fleck Water Softener

Article Last Updated: November 2023

Why You Should *NOT* Invest In Fleck Water Softeners (2023 Update)

Although this article was originally comparing the best fleck softener out of the top 3 models, I have added this update because I am no longer recommending Fleck and here are my reasons:

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Basic stand-alone Fleck softeners do NOT filter your water. This means that even though they only cost upwards of $1100, you will still need to pay for a plumber and for a filter otherwise your water is undrinkable. The final cost will be something closer to $1600 – $2000 and the final solution will be complicated with different machines doing different things.

Meanwhile there are better all-in-one softener + filter combinations from brands like Aquasana that will treat everything that affects your water NOT just hard water.

Red CrossFleck softeners don’t usually come with filters. However, the few Fleck units with integrated filters typically come with extremely basic filters.

They are likely to only filter sediments and some common contaminants. Whereas the filters that come with other salt based softener systems like the SpringWell Whole House Softener and Filter treat everything. This includes chlorine, viruses, mercury, bacteria and even pharmaceuticals.

Red CrossInstalling a Fleck by yourself can potentially void any warranty that you have. However, other whole house water systems like Aquasana provide you with a professional grade installation kit. This means you can potentially save yourself a small fortune and install it yourself.

Fleck Water Softener Reviews – The Top 3 Models Compared.

This article includes Fleck water softener reviews of the best selling models from this brand.

Fleck is one of the most trusted brands when it comes to water softening systems. This is because they are cheap, reliable, easy to install and have lots of positive customer reviews.

It is owned by a company called Pentair Water Treatment who provide a 5 year warranty on their products.

Having looked at many genuine Fleck water softener reviews online, I will quickly discuss the pros and cons of all the top models.

I will look at their different configurations, features and flaws.

However, I’ll start by explaining why people love Fleck so much and why I used to be one of them.

Yes, that’s right I used to rave about Fleck but no longer do.

I’ll explain.

Benefits of Using a Fleck Water Softener

Why would you want to consider getting a Fleck water softener? Well here are the best features of using a Fleck water softener:

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First things first, the parts are easy to find. A quick Internet search will bring up plenty of sellers selling Fleck parts, systems and replacement cartridges.

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Very good customer service – Most of the customer feedback online report of good and helpful customer service provision.Fleck 9100SXT

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Eco-friendly products – Fleck units are typically made from good quality materials that are designed for lower annual power consumption. The result of this is that they use less salt and are ultimately better for the environment.

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Affordable – Fleck provide some of the most affordable products in the water filtration market. This includes providing lots of different configurations, which means you can almost always find something in your budget.

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Easy to use – Every Fleck water softener comes with an electronic power head that has a button panel, which lets you program the unit.

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WQA certified – This is one of the highest forms of certification and attests to the brands quality.

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Easy to assemble – Fleck units typically arrive fully assembled and ready to be plumbed. It will also come with an instructional video guide that provides you with step by step directions throughout the whole installation process.Check Prices & Read Customer Reviews

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Easy to program – As the video below shows, Fleck softeners (especially the best selling 5600SXT) are relatively easy to program.

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Top Fleck Water Softeners

Finding the best water softener for you and your home depends on a number of different things.

The first and perhaps most important is to determine how hard your water is.

Fleck Water SoftenerWater hardness is when your water contains a high amount of hard dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium.

Once you work out your water hardness, then you’ll get a better idea of which type of water softener model is best for you.

ALL the fleck models below treat a high level of water hardness. The key difference being their ability to deal with things like low pressures systems, high capacity etc.

1. 5600SXT = 1-4 person household + medium hard water
2. 7000SXT = 4-6 person household + medium to very hard water.
3. 9100SXT = 5+ person household + very hard water.

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Fleck Water Softener Comparison Table

Fleck 5600SXT

Fleck 7000SXT

Fleck 9100SXT

Fleck 5600SXTFleck 7000SXTFleck 9100SXT
Capacity: 48,000Capacity: 64,000Capacity: 96,000
Regeneration: meter basedRegeneration: meter basedRegeneration: meter based
Size: 10" x 54" tank, 14" x 17" x 33" brine tankSize: 18" x 33" brine tank, 12" x 55" resin tankSize: 10"x54" resin tank, 18" x 35" brine tank
Resin: 1.5 ft3Resin: 2 ft3Resin: 1.5 ft3 + 1.5 ft3
Water hardness treatment level: HighWater hardness treatment level: HighWater hardness treatment level: High
Why get it? It is the cheapest model.Why get it? Larger capacity than the 5600SXTWhy get it? It has the LARGEST capacity with twin tank processing technology.
Check the Price NowCheck the Price NowCheck the Price Now

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Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener

Good for: High hardness level and 3-6 family home capacity.

This is by far one of Flecks most popular water softener systems. The 5600 SXT comes with a 48,000 grain capacity that can treat flow rates with up to 12 gpm.

This option is good for…

…homes that have a medium to high hardness level. The capacity is good for homes that house three-six people.

lazy placeholderWhen buying the Fleck 5600 water softener you will also get an electronic controller.

The best part is that the controller has a backlit LCD display. Its very own touch pad control allows you to easily program the water softening unit.

When it comes to actual softening, the Fleck 5600 uses the ion exchange process. In English, this means that anything considered to be hard ions like calcium and magnesium ions are removed from the water.

Because you can but the regeneration process on a meter, the Fleck 5600 SXT only creates soft water when it needs to.

The brine tank design means it can hold up to 250 pounds of pelleted salt. (Pelleted salt is a better choice if you’re thinking about costs. While potassium chloride pellets are for you if you prefer the eco-friendly option.)

Check Prices & Read Customer ReviewsThis unit also comes with a safety float and overflow drain, which prevents overfilling.

Fleck 5600 SXT has not 1 but 2 separate warranties. It comes with a 5 year warranty on the head and a 10 year warranty for the tank.

It has many positive customer reviews, which you can check on Amazon.

Fleck 7000SXT Water SoftenerFleck 5600SXT

This Fleck model is ideal for people who need a bigger capacity water softener.

This is because it can handle 64,000 grains (which is a lot!).

This specific model uses the Fleck’s 7000 valve, which is one of the latest valve types.

It is a 1.25 valve that allows a high pressure flow and works with 35 gpm.

The Fleck 7000 SXT water softener has got an integral microprocessor which controls the device.

Check Prices & Read Customer ReviewsHowever, you can program it to make sure it is highly efficient at creating new soft water but uses minimal salt consumption.

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Fleck 9100SXT Dual Tank Water Softener

The 9100SXT is a twin tank system. This means it is much more efficient and has a faster processing time.

Fleck 9100SXTThe tanks alternate which means you never run out of soft water.

If you have a high level of hardness and need a larger capacity, this machine is right for you.

It is particularly good for a large family household or commercial setting.

This is because the Fleck 9100SXT has something called an “On-Demand Flow meter”.

The meter looks at how much water you use and then only produces more soft water when necessary.

Check Prices & Read Customer ReviewsHere is some technical information for those that need it.

The maximum flow rate for this unit is 12 gpm. While the resin for each tank has a 1.5 cubic feet capacity.

Fleck Water Softener Installation

One of the best things about fleck is that you don’t need a professional plumber to install it for you.

This is unlike many other water softeners that are more expensive.

There are tons of online videos that take you through the installation process step-by-step.

Below is one example of an official video by ABCwaters (the makers of Fleck) showing you how to install a Fleck water softener.

Water Softener Installation Tutorial | Video by ABCwaters

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Fleck Water Softener Price

Fleck whole house waster softening systems tend to cost upwards of $1100, with units that provide a higher capacity of water softening being more expensive.

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Is Fleck Softener WORTH It?

The short answer is no.

If you go through the many customer Fleck water softener reviews online a common remark is how easy it is to use the units.

Mr Water Geek ThinkingOthers comment on how efficient Flecks machines are and most people seem to be very happy with the water softening results.

If you’re on a tight budget Fleck has more affordable offerings that still deliver good water softening capabilities.

However, I no longer think buying a Fleck is a good idea.

Fleck 9100SXTThe main reason is that fact that Fleck softeners don’t provide you with adequate or integrated water filters.

Flecks ONLY treat hard water. That’s it.

This means that when I recommended people to get a Fleck in the past they usually come back asking for how to get their water filtered and I didn’t have any quick or easy solutions.

But there are more reasons why I don’t recommend Fleck anymore.

Let me explain further.

Fleck vs Aquasana? (Whole House Salt FREE Softener + Filter)

Green Plus ArrowThe Aquasana Rhino will treat ALL the problems with your water not just hard water like a regular water softener. This system will treat sediments, contaminants, hard water etc.

mrwatergeek winner badgeGreen Plus ArrowComes with a good capacity which means it can sufficiently provide purified water for the average home of 1-4 people.

Green Plus ArrowIt will treat 1,000,000 (1 million) gallons. This essentially means it can take 10 years before you need to replace the filters.

Green Plus ArrowThe powerful filters remove things like volatile organic chemicals (VOC’s), herbicides, chlorine, heavy metals like mercury, lead and much more.

Green Plus ArrowComes with a professional installation kit.Aquasana Whole House UV Filter

Green Plus ArrowIt does NOT use or need salt.

Green Plus ArrowDespite not needing any salt it can still effectively treat hard water up to 24 parts per million (which is extremely hard).

Green Plus ArrowThe UV filter will effectively treat bacteria viruses and chlorine resistant cysts.

Check Prices & Read Customer ReviewsGreen Plus ArrowIts filters are certified to IAPMO and NSF standards.

Green Plus ArrowGet direct from Aquasana (the manufacturer) in order to get a 90-Day “Pure Satisfaction” guarantee.

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Fleck vs SpringWell? (Salt-Based Softener and Filter)

Whole House Softener Filter Combo

This salt based softener and whole house filter is ideal for very hard water.

Consider getting this softener and filter model because:

Green Plus ArrowThis is a combined salt-based softener and whole house filter in one single device.

Green Plus ArrowIt can take care of itself (set it and forget it).

Green Plus ArrowGood at dealing with very hard water.

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Treats water with a multi stage filtration process including a powerful carbon medium filter.

Green Plus ArrowCheck Prices & Read Customer ReviewsComes with a valve so once installed it will allow you to control and monitor the machine.

Green Plus ArrowComes with a 6 month guarantee and limited lifetime warranty.

Aquasana Whole House FilterPelican Softener with Filters
Treats hard water UP TO 25 ppm (low to medium low hard water).Treats hard water OVER 25 ppm (medium to extremely hard water).
Does NOT require electricity.Requires electricity if using the electronic head monitor.
Control Your System With An App:? NOControl Your System With An App:? YES
- Powerful salt-FREE water softener.
- 1,000,000 one million gallon capacity.
- Aquasana Rhino exceeds NSF standards.
- Treats hard water WITHOUT salt.
- Removes chlorine, bacteria, iron, sulfide, manganese, mercury, lead etc.
- Includes pre-filter, copper-zinc and carbon filtration stages with standard fittings.
- 90-Day Pure Satisfaction Guarantee.
- Limited 10 year warranty.
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- Powerful salt-BASED water softener.
- 1,000,000 one million gallon capacity.
- Also includes a multi-stage filter.
- Easy installation (inside or outside)
- Sufficient for 1-3 bathrooms (options for 4-6 and 7+ bathrooms also available).
- 6 month money back guarantee.
- Limited lifetime warranty.
Ships to US and CA.
Ships to US, CA and Puerto Rico.
Sale prices automatically applied by clicking this link.
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  1. Great review, thank you! I have been looking for a system to replace an old salt based kenmore; however recently found out we have pesticides in our well water. We have no Fe, Mn, Cu, etc. and hardness is @13gpg, so not insanely hard but enough to cause some scale and leave spots on everything. I do NOT need a filter for chlorine, chloramine, iron, solids, pH treatment, etc—only VOCs/pesticides and a softener, salt based. Not a huge fan of Pentair, their customer service is terrible and their hours are very inconvenient for those of us on West coast (I’m in rural Northern CA) not to mention Pentair is pricey. I was looking at the Genesis Duos, but they use a KDF-85 media, which won’t help me. Any recommendations would be appreciated… I’m looking in 64-80k grain range.

    1. Hi Mike

      SpringWell’s whole house filter include activated carbon, which is highly effective at treating VOCs/pesticides.

      It’s also my understanding that their salt softeners start at a 32 grain range for the 1-3 bathroom option so you may want to select the 7+ bathroom option for a system that can cater for up to 80k grains.

      Here are both devices combined.

      Stay hydrated,

      1. Luke, I appreciate the advice, in fact I spoke to spring well at length today and sounds like a sound system, and the recommended going down to the 48k grain system and said I can send it back and exchange it for the larger softener if not happy with it. I really like the 1 Million Gal life on the activated carbon, and good warranty as well. Thank you!

  2. 25 ppm is not 25 gpg. 25 ppm is very soft while 25 gpg is very hard. the conversion is 0.058 times ppm = gpg.

  3. Hi very informative article! I need help!
    I live in the mountains of upstate NY. I have a very deep well. I have very high amounts of iron and my water is hard.
    I have had 2 companies come in and they say I need different things to fix the problem. My iron is at a 10. And my water is hard. Is there 1 system that can handle both issues? They are saying I need an iron filter that will backwash every 3 days plus a water softening system. They both want $4000 to do the job. Is there a better system that will treat the iron, soften the water and make the water drinkable at the tap? The iron is in the ferris stage. But it is destroying my home and my family’s skin and hair. Hope you can help thanks so much

    1. Hi Howard

      It sounds like you need a dedicated whole house well water filter (that treats high amounts of iron) and a softener for the hard water.

      I think you can find something much cheaper than $4000 online like this one.

      Stay hydrated,

  4. Hi mrwatergeek,
    I am on a shared metered well. We have high Nitrates, arsenic and selenium. We also have extremely hard water. We need to provide clean water for humans and to livestock ( 2 horses and dogs) What system would you say would work for us? I will need about a larger holding tank for RO for drinking (humans and animals)

  5. I have a 1.5 cu. Ft. Whole house carbon filter in my house now because of sulfur. I have a hardness of about 9 gpg. I am struggling on what type, (model, make) of water softener to purchase. Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Bill

      That’s a tricky one because sulfer filters are usually standalone devices.

      However, you could possibly get a dedicated sulfur filter + separate water softener and install them both to treat your water at source?

      Using the same manufacturer for both items will reduce compatibility issues.

      Stay hydrated,

  6. First time buyer, moved into a new housing development, and wondering for the best value of water softener any recommendations? I’m looking at either a Pelican brand or Ultima brand.


    1. Hi Eric

      I’m not too familiar with Ultima but I have a lot of personal experience with Pelican and have received lots of positive customer feedback about Pelican from my readers.

      Let me know if you have any specific questions.

      Stay hydrated,

  7. Hello, what do you recommend? I am on well water, we treat 2 houses, at 10 gallons per minute. Hardness is an 11 grains, manganese is .55ppm, iron is a 2ppm, and ph is 7.5. And Total disolved solids is 158. I am looking at the Fleck Iron Pro dual tank 9100, but am wanting to know what you think is the best? Also, what do you think of Springwells dual tank wss4 model? Thank you.

    1. Hi Todd

      The only issue I see with the Fleck Iron Pro dual tank 9100 is that I don’t think it will treat all the things you mentioned like dissolved solids etc.

      Perhaps you should look into whole house softener and filters for iron, manganese, hydrogen sulfide and even sediments like this one.

      Stay hydrated,

  8. I am considering buying a DuraWater IRON EATER Air Injection Iron Filter.This is a county well system.. I have 2.0ppm of iron…stained bowls and sinks.. Tap water is clear.. I would like to add a water softener after the Iron Eater.. I have 5.5 hardness… do you have a recommend softner to use ?

    1. Hi Norma

      If you mean 5.5 GPG (grains per gallon), a basic standalone softener should be sufficient because 5.5 is not too hard.

      However, I personally would prefer to get an all in one iron filter and softener combination instead of getting to separate machines.

      For example, something like this treats iron and hard water at the same time.

      Stay hydrated,

  9. I’ve got hard water and a lot of sediment. I have 2 tanks, both with Fleck 5600. The sediment filter is just not cutting it any more. The valve has been repaired twice this year; the bedding was changed but it “channels”, meaning it basically does nothing and does not properly re-bed on backwashing.

    What to do? What is the best valve in your opinion? (not happy with my Flecks). ll

    1. Hi John

      Thank you for illustrating one of the biggest issues with Fleck and why I no longer recommend them: when they do include filters, the filters are very basic and rubbish 🙁

      I don’t think Fleck filters cut it especially when compared to what is on offer from other brands so I would personally replace the entire system to save myself time from continuous problems in the future.

      However, if this is not something you can afford to do right now then your best bet is to select a replacement valve (that fits your specific Fleck make and model) with one that has the best customer feedback on somewhere like Amazon.

      Stay hydrated,

  10. Hi,

    I am looking for a dual tank water softener. I was looking into the fleck 9100sxt. I already have an ever pure h 300 filter under my kitchen sink for filtered water, so is there any reason why I would need the other two systems you recommended?

    Also, I am on a septic tank system, so I don’t want too much going into my septic tank, is fleck good for that? Or if you recommend any other brands.

    Lastly, is there a reputable buyer to buy this from. I’m hesitant to buy randomly online in case I have an issue and need to reach someone.

    Thank you for your input.

    1. Hi Brenda

      If you already have a softener and filter treating your water then you don’t need either of the two systems I recommended because those systems are essentially filter/softner combination machines.

      When it comes to your septic tank, Fleck *only* treats hard water so will not do anything to treat your sewage wastewater.

      Hope this helps,

  11. Thank you for all of the information in this review. We are new to water softeners in our house. What do you think about the Watershield brand/label?

  12. This really is a bogus review. Fleck system does a great Job of removing harden mineral. I for once, only want a water softener in my home since I have a water filtration system under the kitchen sink and my Refrigerator has an integrated filter. And since I do not drink water from the shower, or hose, a total water filtration system is not needed. You review is unbiased, if we are talking about water softening system, then Fleck is a great value and WQA certified. I coils buy any of those system that you mentions without a total home water filtration system. Your review doesn’t make any sense.

    1. Hi Javier

      I don’t understand why you are so upset?

      Most of the article talks about how good Fleck is. There is a whole section that talks about “The Benefits of Using Fleck” and I talk about everything you mentioned.

      However, you need to remeber that a) many people want a single device that softens AND filters because this is easier for them b) a salt free softener is more convenient and less hassle c) Fleck do not provide a lifetime warranty unlike other brands.

      If you love your Fleck, good.

      I actually think they are good basic standalone softeners and I say this over and over in my article.

      But I’m also allowed to present alternative solutions that other people might find better.

      Stay hydrated,

    2. Javier-
      Luke’s review is very helpful. I was looking at Fleck, which he very clearly and at length described why he like its for water softening. The whole review was very informative and allowed me to figure that we don’t need filtration, only softening. Additionally, the reason those of us with hard water like a whole house system it that we have indeed experienced damage to our appliances. It’s diminished the life of our water heater and faucets, and has an impact on waterflow overall around the house.
      You are lucky that you don’t seem to have that problem
      thanks mrwatergeek

  13. I have a Fleck 9100 dual tank system. Can I backwash both tanks at the same time. I have been doing 1 at a time which is take 3 hours to do.

    1. Hi Rachel
      I’m really not sure and would not want to give you the wrong information.
      You should really speak to the manufacturer to make sure you don’t completely damage your 9100.
      If it’s made by Pentair then contact them through:
      Please let me know how it gets resolved as I’d like to update my own knowledge on this issue.
      Best wishes,

  14. We purchased an EcoWater ECR3700R70 in January for around $8k. It has not worked since day 1. They even swapped it out with a new one last month and same results. At best, we have soft water 1-2 days per week. I’m seeking a refund. Our raw well water is 80-100+ gpg in hardness!! We use an average of 150 gallons/day, as metered by the unit. Which Flex 9100sxt model would be the best option for us? Can it stand up to our extremely, ridiculously hard water?

    1. So sorry to hear you had problems with your EcoWater system.

      Yes, the Fleck 9100SXT dual tank will be able to treat that level of extremely hard water. However, it will not filter anything out. This means you will be left with soft but undrinkable water that’s still full of contaminants.

      Something like this is able to treat up to your level of gpg (which I calculate to be 5.835 gpm). It has a multi-stage filter that filters out contaminants like pesticides and industrial solvents.

      Stay hydrated,

  15. I’m thinking about getting the Fleck 9100 STX. I live in San Diego and have 5 members in my home average 70-80 gallon per person. Would you recommend the 9100 or a different model and what grain size should I consider? Thanks.

    1. Hi Pat

      Yes, the Fleck 9100STX twin tank model will be able to provide enough soft water for a home of 5 people.

      It’s a good solution if you ONLY need soft water.

      This machine will not deal with any other issues or contaminants in your water unlike Aquasana.

      Hope this helps.

  16. I have a fleck, the smaller black one. I live in NW Fl. I have sediment build up on my faucets and am wondering if the Softner
    Is defective. I do have soft water but everything in my house has water spots in clouding drinking glasses washed in the dishwasher . Any ideas how to fix this problem?

    1. Hi Marie

      A sediment build up on the faucet and cloudy spots on drinking glasses suggests the water softener is not working well. You can try regenerating so that it reboots. If the problem persists, get a plumber in to check it out or get it fixed for free if it’s still under warranty.

      If you’re in the position to get a new softener then consider something like this.

      Stay hydrated,

  17. From what I know about coconut based filters, they are more eco-friendly but not as effective as traditional water filters. If you’re worried about chlorine and ammonia then you’ll need something that removes “chloramines”. You should consider getting Aquasana’s Whole House Water Systems… I reviewed whole house systems and Aquasana was my favourite when comparing all top models…

  18. Looks good, I’ll probably need the 9100. What about a filter for the entire home to remove chlorine and ammonia? Could you offer a recommendation? In my continued research sounds like the coconut based filter is the best way to go? No? Thanks!!

  19. I’m struggling with what system to put it, need a full home water filtration system to clean and soften the water. And perhaps purified system under the sink. Culligan came out and did their thing, I’ve been researching online and reading a lot about Fleck and APEC, and I have someone coming out from a local company tomorrow TB water. After testing our water is measuring 230 for hardness and on the high side for chlorine for 4m something.. help.

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About The Author

About The Author Of This Post

I'm Luke and I enjoy researching, testing and writing about water treatment products. Read full bio.