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Observations and News From WaterValue.com

New Installation Guide Available for Fleck 5600 Econominder

We have been working on updating our installation and setup instructions for the products that we sell. We have a generic assembly and installation page that covers nearly every type of water softener or whole-house filter, but we also compile a list of specific questions that are emailed to us and we used that list to design this new, more specific guide.

We also tried to address some of the questions we get over the phone pertaining to this specific softener, but quite frankly it is difficult to compile a proper list of questions from people calling over the phone. In the first place most of the time we get calls from people that bought the system from a competitor or local dealer. We have no way of knowing what was included with the system or even what type of media it contains. So the phone call questions were discarded.

But this guide was created and compiled from hundreds of questions, and experiences with our Fleck model 5600 Econominder and if you read the whole thing, you’ll notice that we address common mistakes made by even professional installers. Check out the Fleck 5600 Installation and Setup Guide here. We will be producing more product specific guides each week and we’ll keep you posted here, so check back often.

Oh, and if you have any comments on this guide and future ones, please be sure to let me know!


June 22, 2007 - Posted by | Blogroll, Daily News, New Information, water treatment


  1. I cannot understand how to set this timer for number of people and how often to set for backwash. No directions were given.

    Comment by GeorgeKossaras | March 23, 2008 | Reply

  2. I have a model 5600 & 5600 Econominder and the Autotrol Performa FA Valve water softener system and have a question. Hopefully someone can point me in the right direction. Our system drains into a ~30 drum 3/4 full of limestone. The drum is perforated and set on gravel to help drain properly but the amount of water that gets flushed out of the system comes up to the surface (about 2 feet up.) I thought by digging a drainage field 4’deep by 21/2′ wide by 5′ long and filling it halfway up with limestone would create enough volume to accomodate the rinse. It hasn’t. We have the same problem and I am writing to find out if someone knows how many gallons actually flush from the system and if there is a preferred way of dealing with the drainage issue in an area that clearly doesn’t perk very well. Any help with the matter will help out and be extremely appreciated.

    Comment by Brian Sanders | April 30, 2008 | Reply

  3. I have Model 5600 Econominder, installed 5/25/2005. We do not understand how to set the Grains per gallon hardness, and the People dials, they all seem to move as one…somehow the settings on my system have been set to 7 people, Hardness around 4, and we are only 2 people, and the test kit shows grains of hardness as 17….can you point us in the right direction? Thank you.

    PS The only person who has touched the system was the installer…

    Comment by Peter Blanchard | May 24, 2008 | Reply

  4. For Brian Sanders,

    You need to disconnect the meter cable from the meter dome on the back of the control valve before you try to adjust he “people dial”. Then pull out on the clear dial as you are turning it. It’s spring loaded. Release when you align it with your setting, connect the meter cable and you’re all set.

    Comment by watervalue | June 18, 2008 | Reply

    • I have a model 5600 Econominder and I just read your reply to Mr. Blanchard. I have this system and nowhere in the manual does it mention anything whatsoever regarding how to set or adjust grains per gallon and “People” wheel, other then very general terms. Its so general in fact, that the directions are useless. Also, my wheels do not look exactly like the ones shown in the manual diagram picture. Mine appear to be missing the Grains Per Gallon Water Hardness Scale on the wheel.

      Also, my manual mentions nothing about removing the cable from the dome to facilitate this GPG setting. Further I have no idea what my GPG is and the manual says nothing about how to determine GPG. I am trying to set my softener for 2 people and have no idea which is correct. Can you help ? Thank you.

      Comment by Jerry | January 6, 2011 | Reply

  5. For George Kossaras,

    You can visit http://www.watervalue.com/softener_regen_water_usage.html for a chart of water usage for your softener. For the Filter, just subtract the amount of water for one back-rinse and the amount of water used for brine for 268 Performa valve.

    Comment by watervalue | June 19, 2008 | Reply

  6. I echo Peter Blanchard’s query….the instructions with the Economindre 5600 are just incomprehensible. My system needs adjusting to provide a little more softening but I just dont understand what to do with the ‘people dial’and am frightened of screwing everything up. It seems to me that there is only one variable…the lift and twist bit in the middle of the dial…but which way, and by how much? Help!

    Comment by Peter Mahaffey | September 6, 2008 | Reply

  7. The instructions for the Fleck 5600 Econominder were written by the manufacturer for the water treatment professional. They never intended them to end up being sold directly to the public without support. If you purchased your system from a water treatment dealer local to you, that is who you should be asking this question of.

    Because these professional grade systems are now sold directly to the general public by web-based water treatment companies, they too must provide the information you need to make any adjustments yourself. Water Value has a Fleck 5600 Owner’s Manual (not to be confused with the Service Manual) available at http://www.watervalue.com/documentation.html which explains how to set the softener up. There is no such thing as a dial that provides more or less softening, rather it adjusts the amount of water that will pass through the softener before the resin bed is regenerated. You will need to know how many people are using water in the home (regardless of age) and the amount of hardness in Grains Per Gallon in the water.

    Comment by watervalue | September 8, 2008 | Reply

  8. I have an econominder 5600. There is ony 1 person in my house and I work during the day but I am going through a 40 lb bag of salt about evry 3 weeks. Is this normal usage? Can I make an adjustment to have the softner recysle less or do I have to call and pay for a professional to make the adjustment?

    Comment by Laura Miller | October 27, 2008 | Reply

  9. I am a new immigrant from H.K. and I faced the same problem as what you have when I bought my house. The house left down the water softener without any manual, instruction etc. What I can do is to put in the softener salt into the brine tank every month. But I think that it is unreasonable to consume around 20 kg every month. So what can I do is to surf from the internet through the wording “model 5600 water softener”. And I got all the acknowledge there:-

    1, how to calculate the existing softener is good enough or not?
    Total Grains Per Day That Must Be Removed:
    No. of people in the household x 75 (gallon of water use per people per day) x {Water Hardness in Grains/Imp. gallon (source from your city) + Iron in ppm (if it is city water, the figure is “0”}
    for example:
    my family/house have 3 member x 75 x 9 (from Markham, Toronto) x 1.5 (safety factor) = 3,040 grains
    Calculations are based upon your softener regenerating on an average of every seven days = 3,040 grains x 7 days = 21,280 grains per week.
    So my existing model 5600 with 24k capacity is good enough. You can find the capacity in the program wheel of Model 5600.

    2, how to set up?
    a, set up the existing time by press the red time set button and turn the 24 hour gear until the correc time appear on the window of Time of Day. Because the softener has been presetted to flush and back wash in 02:00 am. So it is important to have have the time of day set correctly. But if you need to work upto middle night and will have the bath on/around 02:00 – 04:00, you have to make the adjustment by yourselves – e.g. 2 to 4 hours later than the existing time.
    b,then turn the people dial of figure 3 by lifting the “people” dial (by one hand and another hand to hold the biggest program wheel) and rotating it to aligned with the Water Hardness Scale. Release the dial and check for firm engagement setting.
    for example:-
    my family have 3 member, so I turn the people dial with figure “3” to aligned with Water Hardness Scale 14 (from City’s water supply is 9 x 1.5 for safety factor)

    After you finish about setting:-
    1, collect the water from any after softner points and test the hardness as one of the record first.
    2, 1 month later, collect the water for the hardness test again and make the comparsion with the 1st test record. This time the test result should be shown in the middle (not so hard and not so soft)
    3, check the salt level in the brine tank everymonth and fill as it need.
    4, 3 months later, collect the water for the hardness test again and to keep on monitor the test result and the salt level.

    Now, I am very satisfly with my 5600 softener and I will have the hardness test every 3 months.

    Hope above experience can help you all. With all good wishes,

    Comment by Joe Chan | November 18, 2008 | Reply

  10. I have puchased a newer home that has a Fleck 5600 model unit installed. Looks like distributer was MAC.

    The fleck site instructions and your own state to

    “Now you can set your “People” and “Hardness” dial on the right-front of the controll valve. Pull out on the spring-loaded clear plastic dial and line the number of people using water in your home or place of business up with the grains of hardness per gallon in your water.”

    This is not possible as the center dial does not have any markings for grains of hardness – all I have is a dial with people.

    How do I set this type – the model is a 5600 per back of unit

    Comment by Andrew Brett | December 15, 2008 | Reply

  11. I have a Fleck 5600 system and would like to use the discharge for watering purposes. What is the discharge composed of? What can I do to filter this into irrigation water?

    Comment by john timberlake | January 7, 2009 | Reply

  12. How do I go about ordering parts?

    Comment by Joe Farias | May 4, 2009 | Reply

  13. We are living in a rented house in Belgium, and our Dutch and French are both very poor so far.
    The house has a 5600 Ecominder (it says “Hydromat” on the outer cover). We have kind of usage manual, but it’s all in french.
    The machine has been unplugged for several months now, because it didn’t seem to be working. I don’t understand how it works. at all. But if it is switched on, and the timer is set correctly, then an alarm goes off at 2AM, and only goes off when the water (to the whole house!) is switched off. So we just stopped using it. But it seems barmy that we have it, and are not using it.
    The tank part seems to be filled with large white “tablets”- we don’t know what they are. And some other questions here talk about using salt, and calculating settings by no. of people living in the house. We weren’t told anything about this. Where does the salt go? How much do we use? Where do we buy salt from? Does it have to be a special salt? Is it expensive? What is backwash, and why?
    This is most frustrating. Is it possible that the alarm is going off simply because we have added no salt?
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. We’d get it serviced if we could figure out who could do it. The ordinary plumber won’t go near it.


    Di Cope, Belgium.

    Comment by Di Cope | May 8, 2009 | Reply

  14. Hi, I read all of the above posts and would just like a final clarification in order to fully set the dials on my 5600 econominder: Once the “people” and “hardness” are set in relation to one another as should be (# of persons in my household vs. # of grains), do I need to align these with anything? There’s an arrow at the top-left of the wheels, do I need to align anything with it? Is there any use to the “white dot” that is located on the program wheel as seen in the set-up manual?

    Ok, that was more than one question but this has been bugging me for a while.

    Thanks a lot for the help,



    Comment by Philippe C. | May 16, 2009 | Reply

  15. ok everyone here’s the Model 5600 ECONOMINDER SET UP PROCEDURES

    First of all the unit consists of two “tanks” the main unit is the one with the timer on it ans contains resin beads which absorb hardness which is then cleaned and flushed out to drain by the brine solution which is the other tank..”brine tank”… there are salt pellets, “little white pellets” which are required to maintain the brine solution they combine with water into solution and get used up and discharged to drain therefore it is required to add salt pellets, (clean white pellets NOT rock salt which is more granular and is relatively dirty and will plug up the system over time..you can buy them in 20 or 40 Kg bags and empty them into the top of the brine tank..takes about 100 kg to fill and should last a few months on average for a family of 4

    If unit is cycling and you still have water hardness problems it is worthwhile to call any softener company and pay them to set up/service the unit..typically use 1/2 the normal household detergents with soft water not to mention that it feels great when bathing and is much better on the skin

    Hope this helped….old boiler guy


    before plugging in the unit..turn the softener control dial/knob to the “service” position (this is done by turning it clockwise until the word service appears in the window…

    and let the water flow into the resin tank,that’s the tank the timer sits on…wait until you hear the flow stop, then go and open a tap in the house to allow any air to escape out of the top of the tank…if the water is sputtering out of the tap there is still air in the system..once it flows smoothly then shut the tap off and go back to the softener.

    NOTE The various regeneration positions may be dialed manually by turning the knob on the front of the control until the desired position shows in the window in white lettering, Just turn the knob do not pull or push etc.

    there are 2 methods of setting up the water usage program wheel

    Typical Residential Application

    To program just set the time, set the hardness and it automatically monitors systems needs and regenerates only when necessary. To set time press red button in and turn 24 hour gear until present time of day is at, “time of day”

    Set Program Wheel by pulling out the people” dial and rotating it so that the number of people in the household is aligned with the grains per gallon water hardness…you would have to test the water for accuracy but generally speaking municipal water is around 5-10 and 30 is extremely hard..I am on drilled well with some iron so have set mine to align with 20…

    also note that softeners will treat iron
    up to 2ppm (parts per million) if rust staining still occurs you may require an iron filter

    Plug in softener and allow to run through cycle which takes approx 3 hours

    Also Note ..if you take off the plastic shroud and look behind you will see a valve actuator which has been preset at the factory to suit the capacity rating of the unit..not recommended to change…

    Also you need patience if you want to determine if the programmer is working..sit and watch for 3 hours to see each stage show up in window

    Stages include, “back rinse”, “back wash”, “brine rinse”, “settle rinse” and “brine tank refilling which is not indicated but you can see the tank filling if you remove the cover and can also hear the flow…this repeats as necessary..I believe the unit is equipped with a water hardness sensor that varies the cycle timing as required

    Make sure the by-pass valve is at the “service” position….the bypass valve is a manually operated valve in the piping at the back of the unit and has a position indicator on a plate..you may have to clean off to see it..the valve handle should be positioned between the two pipes entering the back of the unit

    that’s all folks!

    Old retired boiler guy, Adrian from near Toronto Canada

    Comment by Adrian | July 27, 2009 | Reply

  16. I have a continuous light flow of drain water while the timer is in the “service” position. I have manually run a charge thinking it may clear an obstruction or reposition a valve. No change. Any ideas?

    Comment by Bob Kosar | August 14, 2009 | Reply

  17. Thank you for the information on this site. It’s helped me set up our 5600 Econominder; however, I echo Phillipe’s question above about the proper alignment of all of the rotating wheels? I have set up our people number with the hardness number – is that all I need to do? Or do I need to align them with the black arrow (upper left) or the white dot (on the outer rotating ring)?? Thank you.

    Comment by Rob Martin | November 15, 2009 | Reply

  18. 😦

    We leave ours turned off now. We can’t stop it from occasionally (about fortnightly) alarming in the middle of the night, even if it’s well topped up with salt tabs. So we just don’t use it. It is such a shame to have it, but for the whole system to calc up because we don’t use it.

    I don’t suppose anyone has any proper way to sort this out?


    Comment by Di Cope | November 15, 2009 | Reply

  19. My fleck 5600 sets at 5am, the time keep changing in its window, but that is all its doing, its not doing any thing else like regen/rewashs etch.

    Comment by sam | October 23, 2010 | Reply

  20. Years ago an installer left us a service manual for a model 5600 Econominder for our new softener, but the dials in the manual don’t quite match those of our softener. The installer is out of business. We use too much salt. Help! Our softener has only one dial that is actually labeled. It is numbered 0-21 (X 100). A clear plastic cover is attached to this dial and it has a stop which is set at 3 (X 100). Do I change this, and how? Where do I set the white dot? Where should these be set with respect to the black arrow labeled “capacity (gallons)”? The installation papers indicate our water hardness is 18 GPG, and the system size is 48,000 (what?). We have three people in our house.

    Comment by Dan | November 24, 2010 | Reply

  21. This “Worthless” to me. Show pictures/diagrams of how to set dials to number of people, hardness, etc. Otherwise this site is “Worthless” to me.

    Comment by Andy | December 7, 2010 | Reply

  22. I am trying to set the number of people in the house and hardness of water. Pictures would be helpful. Thank you.

    Comment by deanna ortiz | December 27, 2010 | Reply

  23. I’m with the last comment…If anyone knows how to set the 5600 up please post it for dummies here w/pictures. I can send you a picture of what the current settings are on my unit (it has been unplugged for years because we didn’t know how to set it correctly..0

    Comment by David Parham | December 29, 2010 | Reply

  24. I think what some people are missing here (I know it took me a while to figure out) is that the 5600 Econominder meters with the people and hardness settings on them are made specific for each tank capacity. There is tiny print on the hardness dial that will say “24k Cap” or similar. Therefore, with these meters, you do not need to do anything else but set the number of people in line with the hardness. The grains capacity of the system is already known by the original manufacturer and they chose the proper model of 5600 to put on the softener for you.

    These can also be set just like the standard 5600 meters by using manual calculations and simply setting the number of gallons before regeneration.

    Here is how to figure meter settings,

    The setting ( each digit equals 100 gallons ) on the 5600 meter determines how much water is used before a regeneration is run ( at 2 a.m. ).
    It does not regenerate every night, but only as water usage dictates the need.

    To compute the proper setting of the program meter wheel ( dial on the front of control ), you must know your hardness ( & iron level, if any ).
    You also must know the capacity of your resin tank.
    The average size resin tank is 9″ x 48″ and holds one cubic foot of resin. Resin has a maximum capacity of 32,000 grains removal ( when regenerated with about 18 lbs. of salt ).
    Softeners should be sized and set to work at 75% capacity ( which requires half as much salt ).
    With the capacity and the hardness level known ( add 3 grains hardness for each ppm of iron present in the water ), you are ready to set your program wheel.

    Computing Gallon Setting
    Take the grains capacity of your resin tank times 75% ( 0.75 ) divided by hardness ( in grains ),
    then subtract 75 gallons per person using the water as a reserve.

    Example: 32,000 grains x .75 = 24,000 divide by 20 grains hardness = 1,200 gallons – 150 ( 2 people ) = 1,050 setting.

    You set the gallons by lifting the clear portion of the program wheel, and align the white dot with the number of gallons you wish the unit to use prior to initiating a regenerate ( the night following the meter reaching Zero ).

    Also the salt setting should be 9 lbs. per cu. ft. of resins ( 32,000 grains ).
    You can find this adjustment on the “Brine Cam” gear inside the back of your control head. It is a small halve moon shaped piece that it held on to the Brine Cam with one screw. It has a small pointer which indicates the pounds of salt to be used per regeneration.

    If you do not know your resin tank capacity, send us the tank’s height and diameter, and we will let you know how much resin is normally used in your size tank. We will also do the rest of the math for you, if provide the hardness & iron levels ( note: most “city” water does not contain iron ). Also, you might need to know that 17.1 ppm of hardness = 1 grain of hardness.

    How To Move Program Wheel To Set Gallons:

    1 ) The “locking” teeth are under the part that says ( x100 ), so this is the critical area that must lift.
    2 ) It is VERY HELPFUL ( maybe NECESSARY ) if you hold the Black Gear “down” while pulling up on the Clear portion.
    3 ) Turn the Clear Portion counter clockwise, and Black Gear Clockwise
    4 ) Line up “white” dot with the gallon setting you’ve computed.

    Comment by Me | February 1, 2011 | Reply

  25. I have a 5600 Econminder and I have no idea how to set everything. We have 4 people in our hose which is 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. Can you please send a visual picture.

    Comment by Deanna Ortiz | February 7, 2011 | Reply

  26. Hi, I’m new on this post. Recently I have bought a water softener with a Fleck 5600 Econominder meter valve and I have notice that it has no people dial, there is only the water hardness dial. What does this mean? Is this an old model valve or it is a newer model valve?

    Comment by Gonzalo | March 7, 2011 | Reply

  27. I have a 5600 Econominder and am wondering what kind of salt is OK to use. I bought my house recently and the water softener had white salt pellets about half to one inch wide. By mistake I bought and emptied a 40# bag of extra course salt into the brine tank …..is this OK or will this cause trouble for the working of my water conditioner?

    Please send your answer to my above email address.

    Thank you,
    Ginny Helfrich

    Comment by Ginny Helfrich | March 27, 2011 | Reply

  28. Hi, I have a 5600 Econominder that needs replacement. Does any one know of a Southern California dealer/repair person/company? Thanks, Deborah

    Comment by Deborah | March 29, 2011 | Reply

  29. Hi

    Can anyone advise me which inlet valave on the 5600 is for the hard water from the mains supply. looking at the valve unit from the back is it left one or the right.

    many thanks


    Comment by Peter Chisholm | June 16, 2011 | Reply

  30. I am going away from the house for 8 months,
    and it will not be lived in.
    What would be recommended for decommissioning the 5600.


    Comment by James | July 29, 2011 | Reply

  31. This product is embarassing.
    Stay clear of any Fleck products

    Comment by house | September 15, 2011 | Reply

  32. We have just purchased an estate home with the Econominder water softner. Are you saying there is no way to set an automatic regeneration on the time of day that you want this to happen? Help!

    Comment by Kanne Smith | April 13, 2013 | Reply

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