Control Valve Guarantees
Fleck Control Valve Warranties
The generous “five-year warranty” on standard Fleck control valves doesn’t mean that the valve will be replaced or repaired for anything at all that goes wrong during the warranty period. In fact, most things that go wrong with filter and softener valves are regarded as normal wear and tear and are the responsibility of the owner.
Parts that are obviously defective are replaced through warranty. Examples would be a failed display screen or a burned-out transformer or a motor that stops working. In these cases, though, it is normally up to the owner to diagnose the problem and do the repair. You may have to send in the faulty part, pay shipping charges yourself, and wait for the replacement part.
This SXT control was sent to us for warranty repair. When we removed the screen cover, we found a small green frog, fried to a crisp. Damage by green frogs is considered normal wear and tear and does not qualify for warranty replacement.
City Units vs. Well Units
Filters and softeners running on clean city water normally sail through the warranty period and last years beyond without a problem. Units treating challenging well water issues like iron, manganese, heavy sediment, or extreme hardness, on the other hand, can be expected to need some maintenance from time to time. Harsh operating conditions cause problems that are regarded as normal wear and tear.
Iron-covered 5600 Control Valve. Can be restored by cleaning and seal/spacer replacement. Not covered by warranty.
Seals and Spacers
The most common control valve issue that well water users face is replacement of seals and spacers. The seals and spacers that surround the inner piston are vulnerable to damage by adverse water conditions. If you are treating iron, you can be certain that you will eventually have seal and spacer replacement to perform. Seals and spacers are non-warranty parts that fall into the “normal wear and tear” category regardless of how long they last. The manufacturer does not replace seals and spacers or reimburse for labor charges. The same normally applies to pistons, unless the piston is faulty when the control valve is new.
The difficulty of seal and spacer replacement for the three most popular Fleck residential control valves varies. All can be repaired without removing the control valve from its tank, but some are much easier than others.
Seals and Spacers are relatively inexpensive parts ($20 and up). Pistons are more in the $50 range.
In order of replacement difficulty:
Fleck 2510: Special tools are not absolutely required, but highly recommended. Both extraction and replacement of seals and spacers can be difficult without owning the “puller” and “stuffer” tools sold by Fleck.
Fleck 5600: No special tools needed and the job can be done by anyone with normal handyman skills.
Fleck 5810: Fleck’s newest valve is easiest to service. Seals and spacers are sold in a cartridge format and are easy to replace. No special tools needed. Note: 5810 has been discontinued.
Seal and Spacer replacement is explained in most Fleck control valve manuals, and online videos are plentiful. Parts are also easy to find.