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    November 08, 2016 3 min read

    As most Aquatell customers know, a water softener can be programmed a number of different ways, and some ways are much more salt efficient than others. Aquatell customers who buy a Fleck 5600SXT based softener, are shown the way to program the system to minimize salt consumption while still maintaining outstanding softening performance. The problem is that there are lots of folks out there who bought a 5600SXT-based system somewhere else and were never shown the way to make it work efficiently. That is, they were never shown the way to minimize salt consumption. And the difference between a non-efficient and efficient softener can literally mean hundreds of pounds of salt per year. So, no matter where you purchased your Fleck 5600SXT based softener, here are the programming instructions you can use to keep your salt consumption to a minimum. One quick word of warning - if your water has high iron (more than 2.0 mg/L) you may not want to use these settings. First things first - here are the buttons on the 5600SXT controller:

    Fleck 5600SXT buttons

    First we enter the master programming menu: set time to 12:01 pm (by pressing and holding up or down arrow, and once you see the time you want, press the enter button).

    Now use these settings:

    DF = GAL
    VT= df1b
    CT = FD
    NT = 1

    The next setting that the controller will want you to program, is the Capacity (C) setting. The C setting differs depending on the 'size' of water softener you purchased. This is where things can get a little tricky as the size of a water softener is described differently by different companies. Use this chart to choose the C setting to program into the controller:

    Size = 24,000 grain (may also be called 0.75 cubic feet) > Use 15 x 1000 for C setting

    Size = 32,000 grain (may also be called 1.0 cubic feet) > Use 20 x 1000 for C setting

    Size = 40,000 grain (may also be called 1.25 cubic feet) > Use 25 x 1000 for C setting

    Size = 48,000 grain (may also be called 1.5 cubic feet) > Use 30 x 1000 for C setting

    Size = 64,000 grain (may also be called 2.0 cubic feet) > Use 40 x 1000 for C setting

    The next setting that the controller will want is your hardness setting (H). Use your hardness value in grains per gallon. If you have your hardness value in mg/L (or ppm) simply divide that number by 17.1 to get the hardness expressed in grains per gallon. Important: the hardness value you program is the hardness of your untreated water.  It's not the hardness level you want in your softened water (this will always be very close to zero)

    The next settings will be the same no matter the size of your softener:

    RS = SF
    SF = 5
    DO = 7
    RT = the time of day you want the softener to regenerate (most people use 2am)
    BW = 10
    BD = 60
    RR = 10

    The next setting is Brine Fill (BF).  The BF value needs to be matched to the Capacity (C) value from one of the steps above. Here's how to choose the BF value:

    If C = 15 x 1000 then BF = 3

    If C = 20 x 1000 then BF = 4

    If C = 25 x 1000 then BF = 5

    If C = 30 x 1000 then BF = 6

    If C = 40 x 1000 then BF = 8

    Lastly, the meter type must be selected (FM).  There are two main types of meters used with the Fleck 5600SXT.  There is the turbine style, and paddlewheel style. You know if you have the paddle wheel style as there will be a cable in behind the control valve, that attaches to a dome:

    paddle wheel meterIf your Fleck 5600SXT meter looks like the one above, set the FM value to p0.7.  If you have a wire coming out of the back of the Fleck 5600SXT controller that attaches to something that does not look like the photo above, set FM value to t0.7

    That should do it!  Now that the programming is done, use the up or down arrows (press and hold) to get the clock to the proper time, then press enter.  You're done!