Fleck 5810 SXT constant draining issue

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Thewolf56

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Hello everyone,

Thanks to this forum and its knowledgeable members, I was able to install and setup a 80k Fleck 5810 SXT water softener system 3 years ago.

This morning, my wife went into the garage and the water softener was making a horrible noise. I went out there and it sounded like the noise when it drains during a regeneration cycle. I open the brine tank and it is almost completely dry. I check the other end of the drain line and it is draining. I bypassed the system, depressurized it, and unplugged it. did some research here and read about how on new filters, the carbon in the filters can mess up the valve. There has been some new construction along the path leading into our community and a few neighborhoods had some sediment in there water systems at times, so I ran a regeneration cycle with some ResCare to see if that knocks whatever is keeping the drain open loose. No such luck.

I'm not sure what to do next. This system has been flawless until this morning. I watched the video on how to rebuild the 5810 SXT and 5812 SXT that @ditttohead had posted on youtube, but wasn't sure which parts applied to the drain valve being stuck. The system is currently bypassed, but the water is very hard here, so any help is appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
 

Reach4

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This morning, my wife went into the garage and the water softener was making a horrible noise. I went out there and it sounded like the noise when it drains during a regeneration cycle. I open the brine tank and it is almost completely dry. I check the other end of the drain line and it is draining. I bypassed the system, depressurized it, and unplugged it. did some research here and read about how on new filters, the carbon in the filters can mess up the valve. There has been some new construction along the path leading into our community and a few neighborhoods had some sediment in there water systems at times, so I ran a regeneration cycle with some ResCare to see if that knocks whatever is keeping the drain open loose. No such luck.
Take it out of bypass. Unplug power for 5 seconds, and plug it back in. What happens?
 

Reach4

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Get help from your dealer. That error message may tell the story.
 

Bannerman

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I open the brine tank and it is almost completely dry. I check the other end of the drain line and it is draining.
The brine tank will be empty after the Brine Draw phase of regeneration, before Brine Fill takes place.

Perhaps there had been a power outage during the night before regeneration was to have commenced which delayed regeneration from starting at the usual programmed time. Alternately, a power outage may have occurred after regeneration started so the stage of regeneration when power ceased was extended until after power was restored which then allowed the remaining regeneration cycles to continue until regeneration is completed.

While the SXT controllers have built-in power backup to maintain time and gallons remaining memory during a power failure, the backup power will not operate the drive motor that causes the valve position to change.

You may wish to open the bypass inlet valve, restore power to determine if regeneration will complete on its own.
 
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Thewolf56

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Get help from your dealer. That error message may tell the story.

I'm not sure it's an error code yet. It flashes so quickly when it is plugged in that if you blink, you'll miss it. I can hear the piston move and watch the cam moves during the steps of the cycle.
 

Thewolf56

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The brine tank will be empty after the Brine Draw phase of regeneration, before Brine Fill takes place.

Perhaps there had been a power outage during the night before regeneration was to have commenced which delayed regeneration starting at the usual programmed time. Alternately, a power outage may have occurred after regeneration started so the stage of regeneration when power ceased was extended until after power was restored which then allowed the remaining regeneration cycles to continue until regeneration was completed.

While the SXT controllers have built-in power backup to maintain time and gallons remaining during a power failure, the backup power will not operate the drive motor that causes the valve position to move.

You may wish to open the bypass inlet valve, restore power to determine if regeneration will complete on its own.

Thanks Bannerman. I actually manually regenerated with it out of bypass with a cycle of ResCare and it still drains constantly after the regeneration cycle finishes. Just a constant flow of water into the air gap.
 

Reach4

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Record movie as you plug it back in.
 

ditttohead

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Replace the seal/spacer stack. Around that time there were some seal/spacer stacks that got out into the field that may not have met specifications.
 

Thewolf56

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So, I replaced the piston and seal/stack today (mine was broken) and that fixed the constant drain so thanks for the advice there.

However, I now have a new problem. My valve fills the brine tank during the BD stage and does not seem to draw at all. Does the brine fill for a bit during BD and then draw? I didn't see the water line drop at all.

IMG_20200730_190732.jpg
 

Thewolf56

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So, as a follow-up, I checked the DLFC, the BLFC, the injector, the plug, and the injector screen. No issues there. I took apart the piston and seal stacker and brine valve and reinstalled and adjusted. All seemed good. I read about another post on this forum where someone had this issue with a 5600 and they had to clean out passages with a pipe cleaner. I tried that as well. The pipe cleaner was clean and it did not improve anything.

I went upstairs again to where the air gap is in my laundry room and it was draining at every stage of the backwash cycle. I could not measure the flow where it was located and did not have an adapter to measure the flow straight out of the valve. The water in the air gap seemed quieter than normal, but that could have been because the backwash is scheduled at 2 am and everything seems loud when the house is quiet (and it had been a while since I actually heard the backwash cycle run).

So I watched a few different videos that all addressed basic things (like overfilled brine tank or faulty safety valve) that I had already checked. I found this video
and it described the issue I was having (It was a Fleck 5600 model, but the same principles are used on this model for brine draw). I had already checked my DLFC and button and there was no clog, so I opened that part up again, and that part was still not clogged. I looked inside with a flashlight and couldn't see anything, but saw a little speck that did not seem to be part of the housing at the very edge of visibility. I felt inside with my finger and sure enough, I could feel that it was a piece that had broken off of my old piston when it shattered. Unfortunately, I could not grab it with any of my tools, so resorted to flushing it through the drain according to the steps in the video. Once I flushed the drain and then reinstalled the button, everything worked the way it is supposed to. So, when the drain was in play, that piece must have flowed up the DLFC button and restricted the flow enough to not create a siphon to draw the brine, but not seal completely enough to not have any drain flow.

So, if the Fleck 5810 SXT does not draw brine, and everything looks clean when you take it apart and the drain still flows, check inside the valve housing at the DLFC to see if there is a piece that can clog enough to restrict flow. I'm sure the experts already knew that, but it took this layperson a few tries to figure that out.

Thanks again for everyone's help in getting my system up and running without having to need a service call.
 

JasonG2020

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Good morning, I'm experiencing the exact same issue regarding constant draining as the OP. I found the link the video referenced above, but am unsure precisely which parts require replacement to fix the continuous draining issue. Is it just the brine valve and seal/space assembly? Can someone post a link to the correct parts?

My softener is around 3 years old, and my installer came out once to replace a valve a few months ago. He claimed that that unit has a design defect that is causing repeated failures. Sure enough, it worked again for a few months, then failed in the same manner. Several other customers complained about the same issue on the BBB website, as these units have a five-year warranty and the installer is refusing further repairs. Is anyone aware of any persistent failures with these units?
 

Reach4

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Good morning, I'm experiencing the exact same issue regarding constant draining as the OP.
thewolf56 replaced the seal and spacer stack. However he had some additional symptom, which turned out to be be debris partially blocking the DLFC flow.
 
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ditttohead

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I sent you a PM. The seal/spacer kits have been modified so hopefully the problem should be corrected. Replacing the seal/spacer/piston only takes a few minutes and is fairly easy to DIY.
 

Thewolf56

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thewolf56 replaced the seal and spacer stack. However he had some additional symptom, which turned out to be be debris partially blocking the DLFC flow.

That is correct. The seal and spacer stack (along with some new grease) were the only parts I purchased. If it wasn't for the debris blocking the drain line, the whole thing would have been finished in less than an hour. Hardest part of the installation for me was aligning the cam, but that's because the location plus the tall resin tank made seeing any part of the back awkward. Just follow the @ditttohead rebuild video and it's not too hard.

I was the installer, so no installation warranty. When the piston broke, it was a loud roar of water coming from the mechanism as it was being drained at full water pressure flow. After fixing the piston and seal, the open drain for the lack of brine refill caused by the debris was a gentle flow.
 

Timspeed

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This is insane..
My 5810SXT is almost exactly three years old..broke piston (ie: Constant Draining)
I pulled it apart to verify it was indeed a broke piston..interesting that this “batch” all has the same failures.
1C414B08-C2CF-4839-9092-15337152EF35.jpeg
 

Bannerman

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.interesting that this “batch” all has the same failures.
Ditttohead's comments implied there was a specification or design issue with some seals and spacers which I interpret may have resulted in excessive stress placed on the piston. If this interpretation is correct, depending on the number of incorrect seals/spacers installed, it would not be unusual for a that number of pistons within that production run to fail in a similar manner as they would undergo identical stress conditions.
 

JasonG2020

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This is insane..
My 5810SXT is almost exactly three years old..broke piston (ie: Constant Draining)
I pulled it apart to verify it was indeed a broke piston..interesting that this “batch” all has the same failures.

Mine failed in the same manner, that exact same piece broke in the same location. The strange thing is that the original lasted around 3 years, while the replacement barely lasted a year.
 

Kevin2u

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I just bought two 5610 SXT heads one for softener and carbon tank. Have they upgraded these parts? Thank you
 
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