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So, you think you want a water softener with a Fleck valve?

by Mark Timmons November 11, 2022 54 Comments
NOTE:This is an update of a blog published back in 2013.

Let me clarify one thing at the beginning - Fleck does not make water softeners. Fleck makes water softener control valves, like one below. Fleck Controls used be called L.W. FLECKENSTEIN, INC. and people would say they had a "Fleckenstein valve." They are now called "Fleck Controls" and are owned by Pentair Water, a world conglomerate of water-related companies.

We still sell water softeners using Fleck control valves, just not as many as we used to. Fleck Controls makes a number of water softener control valves for residential applications including the following:

  • Fleck 1500
  • Fleck 2510
  • Fleck 4650
  • Fleck ProFloSXT
  • Fleck 5600
  • Fleck 5600SXT
  • Fleck 5812
  • Fleck 9000
  • Autotrol 255
  • Autotrol Performa 263/268

Yes, they have been around a long time. Yes, they are time-proven - 60+ years and counting, but like many large conglomerates, it seems to many people that they have forgotten their roots: the customer. I have been made painfully aware of this recently when it comes to warranty claims. You see, Fleck Controls offers a five-year (5) warranty on their control valves, however if you try and send in a piston and/or seal kit, they generally will not honor it. They call it "excessive war and tear." Two years old... and the piston and seal kit is bad? Too bad - it's excessive wear and tear! I have a hard time with that! Our customers deserve better, so when Fleck fails to honor their warranty, at US Water we always do. We know we can't treat our customers the way Fleck treats theirs. We eat the cost of a new piston and seal kit and make the customer happy.

Today, most of Fleck's patents have expired, and we now sell water softener control valves that use "Fleck technology" updated for the 21st Century with better seals and spacers, better brine valves and improved cantilever technology that creates less stress on the single moving part. Bottom line: they work better and last longer. Our systems have seven or ten year warranties on the valve and that includes the piston and seals.

What does that mean for you if you are wanting to buy a Fleck valve water softener? It means you should think hard, because our warranty on our Matrixx Smart Metered Water Softener is 10 years on all the parts in the valve and the electronics. PERIOD!

That's double what Fleck offers, and we include everything - the piston, motor, seals, brine valve, electronics - EVERYTHING! Well, there has to be a disclaimer (now you are thinking "got 'cha") and I have to admit that we don't cover everything that there is. If you run into it with a truck, an airplane crashes into it, a tornado, hurricane or tsunami destroys it, or if your house burns down (and any other Act of God), it is not covered! Otherwise, normal wear and tear is not an excuse.

It's my belief that you either have a warranty or you don't. At US Water we have warranties that we honor... none of this "wear and tear" stuff. If it has a bad part, we will replace it. How hard is that? When you build it better (and we do) you can guarantee it better... and we do! Why doesn't every company sell a product as good an reliable as our Fusion NLT? I'll clue you in - a dealer once told me "I couldn't make any money on service with that." At US Water Systems, our business model is not to make money on service. Our business model is to sell water softeners that don't need service for 10-20 years. Consumers love that business model!

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October 21, 2018 Mark Timmons


The hardness scake runs from 0 to infinity. You cannot go below 0, so it’s either soft or not. I know that you feel slick, but read this first:

That does sound like a salt. You could turn the salt back to 5 or 6.

October 22, 2018 Ahmad Hatampour

Is fleck 5800 XST 32k better than 5600 XST 32K?
Please advise.

Thank you,

October 22, 2018 Mark Timmons

I would not own either one. You asked…

October 22, 2018 Ahmad Hatampour

“We have been using these for nearly four (4) years, and WE HAVE NEVER HAD TO REPLACE A PISTON OR SEAL.NoExcuseZone NEVER!”
Do you think four years is enough time to say never?

October 23, 2018 Mark Timmons

Our pistons and seals have a 10 year warranty. It’s good that you did not have to replace it, because you would have had to pay for it!

November 26, 2018 Emilio

Is it recommended to install a pre filter to remove some of the particulates from well water?

November 29, 2018 Mark Timmons


December 02, 2018 Eric

While I agree you have better customer support and 5+ more years of warranty. You are $714.7 more expensive than my Fleck dealer in total, and that is for the Fleck 5810 SXT on the catalytic carbon filter and Fleck 5810 XTR2 on the softener of the same size as your low-end models. The value, bypass, and tank were sourced from Milwaukee, WI and assembled in Canada. I could also get two rebuild kits and follow the easy Youtube video and it would still be $500 more expensive for your softner and catalytic carbon filter.

I’m not saying your service, warranty, or quality is lower it is just you demand a higher price than my local dealers.

December 07, 2018 Mark Timmons

Eric, I tjhink you are comparing apples to oranges, but there are a fair number of dealers who like to “give stuff away” and I can’t blame consumers for buying it, but we get many calls every day for technical support because the guy who sold the system is out of business… BECAUSE HE WASN’T MAKING MONEY!

We give legendary tech support and I am proud to say we make money.

December 24, 2020 Kevin Fay

I see four rather concerning complaints in the BBB site against US Water Systems; anything you can share to address?

December 28, 2020 Mark Timmons

We have tens of thousands of transactions each month. 99% of the people we deal with are honest and upright people. Of the ones that you are talking about who have complaints, two installed the systems improperly and badly damaged them. We offered to fix them, but they refused. We refunded their money, and they agreed to take down the bad reviews but then refused. The other two had problems but would not allow us to fix them. Some people are just unreasonable, but 99%+ of our customers are extremely happy. I will be the first to tell you that like every company, we have problems, but we fix them… unless the customer won’t allow us. I can’t fix what they won’t allow us to fix.

February 15, 2021 Tom V

I read through all of the previous comments and it sure seems like you guys care about your customers and products. I was really thinking I would buy one of your water softener control heads to replace my six year old 7000sxt that has not worked quite right since about year 3 or 4. I replaced various parts and spent at least a couple of hours on the phone with the support people, not much improvement.

I was looking at replacing it with a 5600sxt. The 10 year warranty on your devices was quite compelling until I realized they cost 2x what I can get the 5600sxt for. I don’t doubt the Matrix heads are much better built. But not sure I can justify 2x the price to myself.

February 15, 2021 Mark Timmons

The Fleck has a 5-year warranty on the valve and electronics while the Matrixx has double that, BUT… Here’s the Big Difference: The internal parts on the Fleck ARE NOT COVERED. They are considered “wear and tear” parts. Ours are covered for 10 years. Plus, you have no control over programming and water and salt usage. It’s the difference between a hand pump and an electric pump – Literally!

October 28, 2022 Geoff

I don’t understand why you post all the comments but don’t address the questions…..all this does is infuse more doubt with no answers. Respond to customers or potential customers and earn their business. Just my opinion but I’m interested in a water softener and you are not making it easier fir me and certainly not making me feel like you are customer oriented. This is meant to be constructive and I hope that’s how you interpret it.

November 12, 2022 Mark Timmons

What questions have I not addressed?

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