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Thread: Softener advice - Which option would you choose

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member TedS's Avatar
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    Default Softener advice - Which option would you choose

    Local company gave me quotes on the bells and whistle stuff and two practical solutions to replace my very old two tank well water system. Which one would you choose?

    Here is their info:
    Your water has a slight trace of iron bacteria. Your iron is about 1 ppm of iron and hardness is 14 grains per gallon. Your pH is neutral and the TDS is 330. Based on this and your 20 years on positive experience with the greensand filter we are going to give you two options.(the other option was chlorinator, carbon, etc)

    #1 - Price: $1165.00. Equipment: 5600 1 Cu Ft Greensand Filter with Potassium Feeder and Bypass, 5600 Metered 32000 Grain Water Softener System with 15x17x36 or 18x33 brine tank and bypass installed. Warranty: 5 years on the control valve, 10 years on the tanks, and 1 year on the complete system.

    #2 - Price: $800. The control valves are Fleck 2510 controllers. These valves and equipment are about 1-2 months old. The equipment is the same as above except the control valves are 2510s. Warranty 1 year on complete unit.
    Last edited by TedS; 11-06-2013 at 02:28 PM.

  2. #2
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    If it is a local company that has been around a while, and considering the very low prices they are offering you, sounds like either one would be fine. Both valves are excellent and both are easy and cheap to rebuild.

    I would verify that it is greensand plus, I doubt greensand is even still available. http://www.clackcorp.com/downloads/i..._inversand.pdf

    The valve warranty is from the manufacturer, if they are only a few months old, they would still have 4+ years warranty.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member TedS's Avatar
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    Thanks for your response.

    It is a local company that has been around at least 10 years. He did tell me that is was green sand plus.

    I'll have to ask why the used valves don't have a 5 year mfg warranty. Are valves warranted only for the original owner?

    Is a Clack valve that much better than the 5600 or 2510? If I chose a Clack instead of a new Fleck 5600, the cost would be $275 more.

  4. #4
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    They are very good, as good as a Fleck, definetly not worth $275 more. I would pass.

  5. #5
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    IMO there is no Fleck or Autotrol valve as "good" for a DIYer than a Clack WS-1.

    And my many years of experience with both brands was that Clack is much easier to program and repair, and they on average will need repair much less often if for no other reason than they have many fewer parts, plus the parts usually cost much less. The parts that usually need replacing are Fleck's multiple individual seals and spacers, piston and brine valve and Clack's one piece multiple seals/spacers stack and piston assembly. In both cases they are not warrantied by either company because the seals/spacers and pistons are wearable/consumables.

    Clack's piston is screwed in/out when it moves. The brine piston is installed on the end of the main piston, so there is no separate brine valve as with Fleck. Fleck's piston is pushed.pulled in/out when it moves, and there is a separate brine valve to wear. Screwed in prevents side force wear on the piston stem and its o-ring. And IIRC, you have more programming features than most Fleck valves, but you can't buy Clack online or the newly redone Fleck 5000/Proflo called the 5800.

    I find that guys like the 7000 because they can make more money on it because it costs them less than most other Fleck valves. And here in a DIYer forum, ditto as a distributor not selling retail to consumers, pushes Fleck while last I looked at his web site, he doesn't sell many if any Clack valves. And if he denies that, ask him to give the URL for his web site (he doesn't like it when I post it and he whines to have it deleted from my posts) and check it out yourself.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Well as someone that has been selling and servicing for close to 40 years now I will say that both valves are excellent pieces of equipment and while Gary has pointed out the service aspects of both, believe me we are talking about maybe 5 more minutes to replace Fleck parts over Clack parts. In either case it's a pretty easy and straight forward job. Go with the best deal.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  7. #7
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Totally agree with you Tom. I can rebuild a Clack in five minutes, a Fleck in 7 minutes. Both have their quirks and problems, but we are just nitpicking tiny issues that most end users would never even know about. Others tend to try to make a huge deal over tiny things, LOL.

    And while I do not have the years that Tom has, I do have considerable experience in residential, commercial, industrial, and pharma water including WFI, USP27, etc. Tom and I are both actually qualified with Licenses, certifications, education, etc. I tend to I work directly with the major manufacturers and get all kinds of fun prototypes from all the major companies. I even sent Tom a prototype Fleck valve last year to play with, BTW, Tom I need to send you an updated program for that, they have tightened up some of the internal settings, it works even better now!

    Fleck and Clack are the best in the world. You cant go wrong with either system. Both will last for decades, and both will need almost no service for 10-20 years. So if 3 minutes is critical to you in the year 2023, spend the extra $275.00. Some people on this site will simply disagree in a strange effort and need to troll. It is actually quite funny to read through the posts for the past several years. Some things never change.
    Last edited by ditttohead; 11-07-2013 at 04:17 PM.

  8. #8
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    As usual, while you two dumb asses brag up yourselves (although Tom used to say here that he did very little softener sales or service during his 30 yrs in daddy's plumbing business before he retired to teach HS kids plumbing part time and write code books and drink all the adult beverages he wanted to), you two are forgetting the novice, very nervous, inexperienced, first time softener DIYer tearing his valve all apart (hell some Clack owners might be following ditto's error in his YouTube video tutorial) and talk as if all of them have your experience, confidence and mechanical ability.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  9. #9
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Hmmmm Skippy, can you point me to that post wherein I said I sell very few softeners?
    Daddy as you call him retired in 1974 and moved to Florida. He may have started the company but it was me that kept it running for the past 39 years.
    I don't teach plumbing part time, I teach plumbing and HVAC full time and I teach apprentice classes part time and license renewal seminars a couple times a months.
    I don't drink adult beverages but considering your memory loss or cognitive retardation I would advise you too lay off the sauce for awhile LOL
    I'm not sure why you have a bug up your ass about Fleck valves. I sell both Fleck and Clack and I like them both. They are great products with few service issues. In this case it appears the OP wants to DIY the project and while a Clack valve would be a good choice, he will have a hard time both procuring one and getting rebuild parts also thanks to the antics of guys like you that caused Clack to quit selling to guys operating out of motor homes LOL
    I have to stop here, I'm laughing so hard the coffee's blowing out my nose. bwahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  10. #10
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Tom, isnt he just so awesome! His intellectual prowesse is mind blowing. I still havent seen his video on how to rebuild a valve. He has actually started chasing me around the internet again. It must be easy when your address is a parking spot and your biggest challenge is where are you going to steal WIFI fron each day. Like I said, we havent been feeding the troll lately, it must be getting really hungry!

  11. #11
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    He's probably got nothing better to do and living in a tin box on wheels probably makes him cranky LOL
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  12. #12
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    I find that guys like the 7000 because they can make more money on it because it costs them less than most other Fleck valves.
    I recall a few years ago asking you why you sold the Clack valve for more than the Fleck when you paid less for the Clack. Now you are trying to bust the chops of those selling the 7000 because it's cheaper? Please post pictures of face. I would love to see both sides.

    Ted,
    Clack has stopped selling online which means you have to find a dealer. If you go with the Clack, you may be stuck with higher prices for repair parts because they will only be available though an authorized dealer. Whereas most Fleck parts are available online. I have worked on and sold both the Fleck and Clack valves. Both seal packs need to be replaced over time. Just because the Clack has a one piece and the Fleck has several pieces doesn't mean one is better than the other. The prices you were quoted are great.

  13. #13
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    Hmmmm Skippy, can you point me to that post wherein I said I sell very few softeners?
    Daddy as you call him retired in 1974 and moved to Florida. He may have started the company but it was me that kept it running for the past 39 years.
    I don't teach plumbing part time, I teach plumbing and HVAC full time and I teach apprentice classes part time and license renewal seminars a couple times a months.
    I don't drink adult beverages but considering your memory loss or cognitive retardation I would advise you too lay off the sauce for awhile LOL
    I'm not sure why you have a bug up your ass about Fleck valves. I sell both Fleck and Clack and I like them both. They are great products with few service issues. In this case it appears the OP wants to DIY the project and while a Clack valve would be a good choice, he will have a hard time both procuring one and getting rebuild parts also thanks to the antics of guys like you that caused Clack to quit selling to guys operating out of motor homes LOL
    I have to stop here, I'm laughing so hard the coffee's blowing out my nose. bwahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....
    Stevie you seem to have forgot to mention your brother and how you turned the company over to him when you retired to go fill young minds full of mush how to plumb.

    As to parts for a Clack, softenerparts.com sells them. BTW, since you say you sell Clack, see if you can identify the error in ditto's YouTube video of him rebuilding a Clack. I bet ya can't.

    Anyway, talking about memory problems, it seems that you have forgotten that the OP here was offered a Clack for $275 more than the softeners with Fleck controls that were proposed to him by his local dealer.

    BTW, I see you didn't disagree with any of the advantages I listed the Clack having over Fleck valves.

    ditto.... wrong again. Actually we have a .74 meter automatic satellite dish on the roof for both mobile Hughesnet (internet) and DirecTV. I also have a data plan with a Hotspot service capability on my Verizon Droidx2 cell phone. That was for the 9 months per year, for the 6+ years that we were out in the boonies all alone where I suspect a fat fingered (or not) city boy might be scared to go. Here in the campground out in the deep woods of FL we use the 'free' WIFI so I have dropped the all but $100/month Hughesnet service and since I'm out of business, I cut back my 4500 minutes/month cell phone to 450 minutes a month but still have the above features.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  14. #14
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Anyway, talking about memory problems, it seems that you have forgotten that the OP here was offered a Clack for $275 more than the softeners with Fleck controls that were proposed to him by his local dealer.
    My point exactly. Why did you charge more for the Clack when you paid less? For some reason you failed to answer this question then and now. Why is that? Why would you sell it for more than a Fleck when you can buy it for less than a Fleck?

  15. #15
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Stevie you seem to have forgot to mention your brother and how you turned the company over to him when you retired to go fill young minds full of mush how to plumb.

    Yes, my brother manages the company. I own it. Is that a problem for you ?

    As to parts for a Clack, softenerparts.com sells them. BTW, since you say you sell Clack, see if you can identify the error in ditto's YouTube video of him rebuilding a Clack. I bet ya can't.

    Honestly, I haven't watched it. I will though if it makes you happy. LOL

    Anyway, talking about memory problems, it seems that you have forgotten that the OP here was offered a Clack for $275 more than the softeners with Fleck controls that were proposed to him by his local dealer.

    Nope, I didn't forget, nor do I care. I'm just saying that quality wise both valves are excellent.

    BTW, I see you didn't disagree with any of the advantages I listed the Clack having over Fleck valves.

    Correct again Skippy. Clack is a very good valve indeed. Harder for diy'ers to get parts for but other than that, top notch stuff.

    ditto.... wrong again. Actually we have a .74 meter automatic satellite dish on the roof for both mobile Hughesnet (internet) and DirecTV. I also have a data plan with a Hotspot service capability on my Verizon Droidx2 cell phone. That was for the 9 months per year, for the 6+ years that we were out in the boonies all alone where I suspect a fat fingered (or not) city boy might be scared to go. Here in the campground out in the deep woods of FL we use the 'free' WIFI so I have dropped the all but $100/month Hughesnet service and since I'm out of business, I cut back my 4500 minutes/month cell phone to 450 minutes a month but still have the above features.
    And there a WGAf sentence if ever there was one LOL. So basically you are saying that you are a Gypsey.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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