Looking to buy a Fleck 5600 SXT water softener?

Read this review before your fork over your hard earned money. We cover the features, what we like… and what we don’t like about this softener.

Note: Fleck 5600SXT refers to the valve. This review will cover an ABCWaters water softener system that includes the Fleck 5600SXT valve, a resin tank, and a brine tank.


Everyone wants to know the features and specs about their water softener. So that’s what we’ll give you in easy to understand terms.

  • Capacity: 16,000 – 64,000 grain
  • Tank Size: Varies
  • Display: Digital with touchpad controls
  • Flow Rate: 12 – 20 gallons per minute
  • Pre-loaded resin? 2 cubic feet of 10% resin
  • Warranty? 5 years for valve. 10 years for tank.
  • Method? Ion Exchange

What We Like

ABCwaters Built Fleck 5600sxt 48,000 Black WATER SOFTENER

There is a lot to like about this system. First, the valve is digital and only has one moving part. This greatly decreases the chances of anything breaking and makes it super easy to monitor. You don’t have to manually adjust a tiny little metal strip. Trust me, no one likes doing that.

The digital valve also includes four different settings to make things even easier.

One thing we absolutely love is the pre-loaded resin. You don’t have to worry about generating resin for the first install. This is one of the biggest benefits of using this system. In fact, the manufacturer did this because having to load resin is the biggest complaint of using a water softener.

Finally, we love the low maintenance and long life of this unit. All you need to do is a clear salt bridges and add salt. Simply look in the tank every month and add salt if it looks low. If the salt has formed a bridge above the water, then break the bridge. It really is simple.

You should use around one or two bags of salt per month depending on the size of your household. Each bag costs about $5 or so, which means you will spend anywhere from $60 to $120 per year on salt. That is not bad.

The lifespan of this unit is anywhere from 15 years to 25 years. This is not the type of system that you constantly have to replace. They last a long time for a great price.


Installing this unit is not too difficult. However, it does require that you sweat copper, which is not something that most homeowners are capable of doing. We recommend hiring a plumber to install this unit.

Don’t worry, the maintenance on these units is very minimal. You should only have to hire the plumber to install the unit and that is it.

Here is a video that describes exactly how to install the Fleck. As we said earlier, we don’t recommend a DIY installation. We know some of our readers will want to install this themselves, so we’re including the video.

What We Don’t Like

There are a few minor things we do not like. First, this unit has four settings for the regeneration phase. However, all of these settings revolve around time. There is not a setting to automatically monitor the resin and regenerate it. This isn’t too big of a deal and expected for a unit at this price point.

We give that issue a pass.

The other issue we have is with ion exchange in general. It makes the water softer. However, it replaces the calcium and magnesium with sodium.

Yes. This unit makes the water salty. Now, this isn’t like drinking ocean water, but it does have a slightly salty taste to it. It’s not the end of the world, but still something to know before purchase.

We don’t have any other complaints.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a low salt light?
No. You can expect to use one bag of salt per month. The best course of action is to check the salt container every week for salt bridges and low salt.
Can I install this outside?
It can be installed outside with a cover to protect if from the elements. This might void the warranty. We recommend installing this indoors.
Will this leave spots on my car?
Yes, it still has sodium chloride that will leave spots. However, it will leave less spots than hard water.
Do I need a floor drain?
No. You just need to pipe the water to a suitable location to drain. A floor drain definitely makes things easier in the event of a leak though.
Should this go before or after a whole house filter?
A softener should go after a whole house filter. This will prevent the filter from getting clogged with sodium chloride.

Final Verdict

Despite some minor setbacks, we still recommend this unit. You simply will not find another unit with a long lifespan, a digital display, and a decent flow rate at this price point. Fleck truly has the market cornered in this regard.

We highly recommend this unit.

If you want a different softener, then check out some of our other reviews of softeners. We cover a lot.