We get literally dozens of these cases some days:
Customer: Hi. I purchased a water softener on Amazon along with professional installations.
The unit is not cycling. I’ve been trying for a few weeks to reach someone on the Amazon site but no one is replying. I’ve since had the installer come back out and check to ensure it’s been installed correctly, which was verified. I think the product is defective. Please advise on how to get a replacement.
US Water Systems: Your only recourse is with Amazon. That’s why we urge people to deal with a company with REAL technical support like us.
Customer: Are you the manufacturer for the water softener? Amazon only offers service for 30 days, No one can know it’s not working in that time. This is not a service issue, is a manufacturing issue. If you are not the manufacturer of the FLECK water softener can you refer me to who that might be?
US Water Systems: No, we do not sell Fleck Valve Water Softeners on Amazon. You should be able to look on your original listing or invoice as to who the manufacturer is.
Like I said, we hear this many times every day. A person calls or e-mails or somehow contacts us because the Fleck Valve Water Softener is not working or they are having some issue as to how they should program or set it. Look, I buy lots of stuff on Amazon. It’s easy, convenient and not a hassle, but I would NEVER in a milllion years buy a water softener on Amazon unless I was already a water softener technician. Why? Because a water softener is a device that can be very difficult to program, set or disgnose without good technical support.
US Water Systems is the only online company with a true technical support department backed by technicians with over 200 years of combined water softener experience. 200 years of experinece in servicing and installing Fleck valves. Some people say “I have a Fleck water softener.” No, they have a water softener with a Fleck valve. Fleck does not make water softners – they make the control valves which operate water softeners and backwashing filters.
I teach classes on water softening and after a 40-Hour Week of Training (at a cost of $1,990) you would be competent to install, service, troubleshoot and program a Fleck Valve water softener, or you could just buy a system from a company who has a true technical support department like US Water Systems, and call us for Tech Support, Troubleshooting and Programming Support. Our guys do thus stuff in their sleep – well not really, but it is second nature to them because they have 200 years of experience. When you buy a water softener from Amazon, you are on your own and if you have taken my course, you will be fine. If not, you might be screwed.
Why a Fleck Valve Softener?
Lots of consumers ask for a Fleck Valve water softener by name. Fleck makes lots of water softener and filter valves (see below), but the most popular are the 5600, 5800 series and 2510.
Fleck has been building these controls for 50+ years and they have excellent online reviews. I believe that many of these reviews are instituted by Fleck dealers who love the profit they make from water softeners with Fleck valves. You see, a few years ago, Fleck decided that their warranty did not cover the things that go bad the most. They have 5 year warranty on the “Valve” which is like having a 5-year warranty on the block of your car’s engine, but no warranty for the pistons, camshaft, lifters, oil pump, etc. The Valve doesn’t fail – it’s the parts that fail and this is what Fleck’s Warranty says. I have copied it verbatium as it relates to the Fleck Valves.
EXCLUSIONS FROM THIS LIMITED WARRANTY
This warranty does not cover the following instances:
Damage or failure of a Product or Part caused by friction, wear, chemical attack, or debris build-up on Wear Parts. “Wear Parts” include, but are not limited to: pistons, piston rods, seals, spacers, end cap quad rings, and brine valves on all piston operated valves, as well as valve disk flappers on Autotrol valves, and parts requiring replacement under recommended maintenance procedures, such as filter housing O-rings and gaskets.
Dealers love to charge for those repair parts. It’s “normal wear and tear,” they say. US Water Systems sells water softeners with Fleck valves at our www.FleckSystems.com site becuse there is a demand for them and we supply parts and support. However, if you ask us what we prefer, we will tell you that none of us have a Fleck Valve water softener in our homes. Fleck valves have a 5-year warranty, but that warranty does not cover “wear and tear parts” which is only just about everything that can go bad!
As a comparable system to the Fleck Valve water softeners, we sell the US Water Flexx and US Water Matrixx water softeners, which are Made in the USA and have a much better warranty. The Flexx has a 7-Year Warranty on the Valve and Electronics while the Matrixx has a 10-Year Warranty on the Valve and Electrionics, but he’s where they are dramatically better: THE FLEXX AND MATRIXX WARRANTY COVERS THE WEAR AND TEAR PARTS. Once you have one, a dealer won’t “nickle and dime you to death” with replacement wear and tear parts.
Additionally, the Flexx and Matrixx are not programmed with “dinosaur buttons” (shown to the right). The Flexx and Matrixx utilize “Precision Programming” found on the WaterLogix app on your Smartphone (Android or Apple). You don’t have to remember which buttons to push – The up or the down button or the other one, etc. All you do is open the app and hit SET, and the softener instantly becomes the time on your Smartphone.
You can also program the softener’s cycles precisely and most efficiently with the Waterlogix app (pictured at the left) and “Precision Programming” so that backwash, brine, slow rinse, fast rise and salt settings are fully adjustable and under your control. This enables you to manage the settings and efficiency better than any softener on the market with our Bluetooth activated app. You can also monitor current water flow, peak water flow, soft water remaining, todays water usage, historical water usage and total water usage. It utilizes a 9 Volt battery that returns the softener to service in case the power fails and the system is in regeneration, so that water will not be wasted. You can regenerate it immediately if needed or at the next scheduled regeneration time.
Buying a Fleck Valve Softener on Amazon may be right for you if:
- You don’t mind not having support for installation, service and tech trouble-shooting;
- You enjoy paying extra for “wear and tear” parts that would be under warranty with a US Water Flexx or Matrixx softener;
- You don’t care about ease of programming;
- You don’t care about efficiency and water waste and salt waste;
- You don’t care about monitoring your water usage; and
- You don’t care that the warranty can’t holds a candle to a Matrixx or Flexx
In other words, a softener on Amazon might be right for you if you don’t know better or don’t care. Well, now you know better, but do you care? If you do, a Flexx or Matrixx might just be what you need!