New Softener System - head replacement suggestions?

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First post on this site - I am in need of advice on a water softener system problem. Long time homeowner, but relatively new to the finer points of water softeners. I do wish I'd found this site a bit sooner..... hoping you can help.

Recently purchased a P*****n PLS48 water softener system, salt-based (I don't trust this 'salt alternative/salt-free' business), to replace an older salt-based system that conked out some time ago. We are on municipal water here, but the municipality is served by a series of wells; water hardness has been measured around 14-16 gpg, no visible rust or sediment in the water, but it still does a number on appliances with scale buildup after a while. Just got a new dishwasher that I'm trying not to ruin outright.

We installed the system last week; and upon starting a regeneration cycle to put the system through its paces, the control head (a model BNT-890, based on the sticker on the back, I think it's a C***ture), promptly began to leak.... not the tank mind you, and not the connectors to the house piping, but the control unit itself. We were able to shut the unit down, put it on bypass so we still have water in the house, and I began my series of escalating alarm bells with the big box store I purchased it from (less than zero help there), as well as the manufacturer.

The manufacturer is supposed to be shipping out a replacement control head, but it's delayed for some reason. (Funny, they didn't seem to have any delay in taking my money the first time.....) And after reading some of the opinions here..... I'm not entirely sure I want that brand of control head again! Pentair seems to have other control heads (Fleck?) under their umbrella of brands; which brings me to my question:

Before I go back to ask again where this replacement head is...... should I tell them that, if they're having trouble getting that particular replacement head out the door, just replace it with another... like a Fleck valve? and if so, is there a particular Fleck valve model that would be a suitable replacement? I like the idea of a control head that will regenerate based on when it's needed rather than a set schedule ; but more than that, I'd rather have a control unit that's going to give me solid performance that I don't have to worry about coming down to a pond of water in the basement some morning.

Open to any suggestions on what I might suggest for a replacement with my next scheduled communication..... please note if I've left out any key info/specs.

Many thanks,


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For 3/4 inch plumbing, the 5600sxt or 5800sxt woudl be good. They are not going to agree to your swap request, however.


Water systems designer, R&D
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Ontario California
Agreed, the valve you have is a Can****, and I would recommend returning the whole unit... get a good system.
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