Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener Installation & Programming Instructions

Thanks again for your purchase of your aQuatell water softener featuring the Fleck 5600SXT control valve.  This page will take you through the setup and programming of your water softener.  Please follow along carefully!

Your aQuatell water softener shipped with the riser tube (or turbulator) and resin already pre-loaded into the softening tank.  The tank is capped for shipping so that nothing falls out.  Step one is to remove the plastic cap from the top of the tank.  Next, install the upper media screen on the control valve, and then screw the control valve onto the tank:

Once the 5600SXT control valve has been installed, we will connect a few things to it.  First, we need to connect the brine line.  The brine line can be found by taking the lid off the brine well (the brine well is a 4" diameter white tube that can be found in the brine tank).  The brine line connects the control valve to the brine tank, which is sometimes referred to as the salt tank.  At different stages of the regeneration process fresh water is pumped into the brine tank, and salt water brine is sucked out of the brine tank.  Here's how the brine line is attached:

The other end of the brine line needs to be connected to the brine tank:

At different stages of the regeneration of your softener, water will be sent to drain.  We need to connect a drain line to the Fleck 5600SXT control valve for this purpose.  The open end of the drain line can be discharged to a few different places (depending on climate and local plumbing code):

  • discharge the drain line outdoors to a pit, swale, or lawn
  • discharge to a floor drain
  • attach the drain line directly to a household drain pipe

Whatever method is used, there are a number of things to keep in mind:

  • make sure the drain line isn't kinked, bent, or twisted
  • make sure the drain line cannot ever freeze
  • the open end of the drain line must be secured or else the force of discharging water may cause it to move
  • if discharging to a floor drain or other drain, make sure you leave an air gap (a separation between the end of the drain tube and the standing level of the water)
  • the drain line can be elevated a few feet above the height of the softener without impairing performance

Here's how the drain line is connected to the Fleck 5600SXT:

Now connect the bypass valve and plumbing connectors.  The inlet and outlet of the bypass valve are each controlled with their own knob on the bypass.  Each knob is labelled.  The softener is in 'bypass' mode when both knobs are turned to 'bypass'.  The softener is in service mode when both knobs are turned parallel to the incoming and outgoing water.

Next, connect your existing plumbing to the plumbing connectors you just attached to the bypass.  Since every installation is different it's difficult to provide step by step instruction on how to plumb your softener to your existing lines.  But here are some important points to keep in mind:

  • use a small amount of teflon tape on threaded fittings
  • if using braided connectors or other plumbing aids, make sure the inner diameter is the same as your native plumbing material otherwise you may create a bottleneck
  • make sure the weight of your plumbing is not being supported by the softener bypass (secure plumbing lines to the wall or ceiling to support their weight)
  • we highly recommend Falcon Flex Connectors if you want to save a lot of time and effort on your installation
  • arrows on the bypass show which side the raw water enters and which side the soft water exits - very important to get this right!

Once the softener is plumbed, make sure the bypass is closed (that is, make sure it's in 'bypass') and then turn on the water to the softener.  Crack open the bypass valve on the water inlet side and let the softener slowly fill with water.  Once it's full of water, fully open both sides of the bypass so the softener is in 'service' mode.  The resin in the softener comes ready-to-soften, so your cold water should be instantly soft.  Since the water in your hot water tank is not softened, it may take a couple of days for the hot water to completely cycle through.

Now we need to program the Fleck 5600SXT control valve.  Plug the power adapter into a wall outlet and let's get started:

Your softener is now fully installed, programmed, and ready to go!  You should force a regeneration while you're there to watch it, just to make sure everything is working properly and nothing is leaking.  Before doing this, add two or three gallons of water to the brine tank.  To force a regeneration, press and hold the regeneration button (four small arrows in the shape of a square).  When you hear the motor begin to move, release the button.

The regeneration will take about an hour and a half.  There are several stages to the regeneration process.  During the second stage, the Brine Draw (BD) stage, it's important to make sure that the water in the brine tank is drawn up.  Please watch this stage for several minutes to ensure the water level in the brine tank is going down.  Check in on the first regeneration periodically to make sure nothing is leaking.

Once this first regeneration is complete the brine tank will have a measured amount of water in it.  You can now add salt to the brine tank.  We get asked all the time what kind of salt we recommend.  As far as we can tell, the performance of a softener has little to do with the type of salt used.  Pretty much any salt you can get from the local hardware store, big box, grocery store, or gas station will work nicely.  Just don't use salt licks or salt that's meant for spreading on sidewalks.  All aQuatell water softeners are compatible with potassium salt also.

Pat yourself on the back for a job well done.  Now go enjoy your beautiful, soft water!