I'm about to get a 48K replacement softener that should provide efficient salt use based on our usage, hardness and a little iron. A few questions:

(1) I've had recommendations for both the Fleck 2510 and 5600 valves. Claimed advantages of the 2510 are that its motors and 1" internals make it more robust, and it has more flexible programming. Claims for the 5600 are that it's simpler, cheaper and long-term reliable, and it's not likely that I'd need the extra cycle-adjustment capabilities of the 2510. Thoughts? With about 1 grain of iron, would I want a double-backwash capability?

(2) Our area has summer electrical storms that cause occasional power outages and surges. Because of that, a couple of folks suggested the Econominder instead of the SXT. I'm not worried about losing the SXT's water-metering when the electricity is out -- when it's out, so is the well pump, so there's nothing to meter. But are there reports of issues with surge damage to the SXT, like fried circuit boards, or other electrical-related issues?

(3) Do we need a salt grid in the brine tank, or is that overkill?