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Fleck vs. GE Water Softeners

By G. Simms, Plumber, Contractor 

By G. Simms

Plumber, Contractor

Time: 2-minute read


Fleck vs GE water softeners. Two of the best water softeners being pitted together. Compare them based on grain capacity, rate in gallons per minute, regeneration cycles, and capacitors. 

Fleck and GE are two of the biggest names in water softeners. Fleck Water Softener, as a premier brand, is manufactured by Pentair Residential Filtration LLC., a company that has been in business for more than 40 years.

On the other hand, the GE products are produced by the General Electric Company (GE)—an American multinational conglomerate—that needs no further introduction as, since the time of Thomas A. Edison, this company has been an innovator of great products.

But which one should you buy?

Does the fact that everyone’s heard of GE make them the best?

To find out, we reviewed three of Fleck’s top-selling water softener products and three of GE’s top-selling water softener products.

We’ve tried to give a balanced evaluation of these six products to help you figure out which among them is the best buy. We also did a comparative analysis of these six products using the following criteria of efficiency, features, ease of installation, necessary maintenance, price, and terms of warranty.





Top Fleck Water Softeners

Best Overall

Fleck 5600 SXT 48,000 Grain

Top GE Water Softeners

Best Compact

GE 40,000 Grain

How to Pick the Right One For Your Needs

1. Know the hardness level of your water.

First, you should know how hard your water is before you start comparing water softeners. Knowing the exact hardness of the water coming out of your faucet will help you figure out which among the water softener models will best address your water softening needs.

The hardness of your water will be determined by many mineral grains it contains per gallon. You can use a water test kit to figure this amount. Water softeners are generally rated according to the amount of grains they can remove per gallon within a specified time.

2. Test the level of contaminants.

You should likewise test if your water contains a significant amount of iron, sulfur, or chlorine. If it does, you will want to purchase a water softener equipped with filters to remove these elements.

3. Determine the flow rate. 

Lastly, you should decide the water flow rate you need out of a water softener. Water softeners usually have a maximum flow rate listed in their specifications. So, you need to know how much soft water you would need at any one time, and based on this figure, you can gauge which water softener product will be able to meet your needs.

Most people would do well to buy a softener that can supply 2 gallons every minute per member of their family. If you buy a softener rated below that, you could run the risk of low water pressure when too many people try to use the water at the same time.

6 Best Fleck vs GE Water Softeners Reviews

The following list should help you in your search. Remember to zero in on the abovementioned grain capacity, flow rate, and water filtration specification to find right water softener for your business or household needs.

Because filtering for elements other than hard water minerals are a special case, we’ve placed the Fleck and GE models designed for those purposes last on the list. The others are arranged by our recommendation level based on grain capacity, water flow rate, and user friendliness.

  • On-demand Metered System
  • LCD Digital display
  • High efficiency valve
  • 1" Yoke
  • Meter based regeneration process

1. Fleck 5600 SXT 
48,000 Grain Water Softener

12 GPM
Flow Rate


Complete system, brine tank with float, backup power capacitor

The first product on our list is the Fleck 5600 SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener. This is surely a reliable product if you want a water softener for general usage.

It offers a 12-gallon/min flow rate, which is definitely ideal for a family of 5 to 6 members. With 12 gallons per minute, you can efficiently run practically everything inside your home, including the showers, washing machine, sinks, and dishwasher.

It is a complete water softening system that includes tank, resin, control head, and brine tank. It is a metered on-demand system, with a 48,000 grain maximum capacity that makes use of 1.5 cubic feet standard 8% resin.

The control head automatically starts the regeneration cycles after you’ve used a certain amount of water to reach its filtering capacity.

The head also comes with a backup power capacitor that preserves its program settings and cycle, and features touchpad controls for easy programming.

It has a complete brine tank with a float to stop overflows. Its dimensions are 10" x 54" for the resin tank and 15" x 33" for the brine tank.

It is definitely easy to install and comes with instructions and a USB drive to help you in the installation process. It also comes with a water test kit for more accurate measurement of your hard water.

This water softener is meant to last for 25 years or more, and it features a warranty of 5 and 10 years for the control head and tanks, respectively. It costs an economical price.

  • Twin-tank model
  • Regenerate any time
  • LCD display
  • Anti-memory Loss Capacitor
  • 10 yr warranty for tanks

2. Pentair Fleck 9100 SXT 
Twin Tank 80,000 Grain Water Softener

22 GPM
Flow Rate


Dual tank, Great for business and large estate

The Pentair Fleck 9100 SXT Twin Tank 80,000 Grain Water Softener comes with two distinct advantages over the other Fleck models on our list. First, it can regenerate anytime because it is equipped with two tanks, one of which can regenerate separately while the other tank continues to soften and supply your water. With this two-tank setup, the water supply is never interrupted.

Second, it’s capable of a 22-gallon per minute flow rate. It also boasts an 80,000-grain capacity with each tank, helping you save on water consumption and salt expenses as it undergoes fewer regeneration cycles. This setup makes this model truly efficient and an ideal choice for businesses and large estates.

It also features a Fleck 9100 SXT valve. The 9100 simply means that it’s a twin-tank model. The SXT part shows that it features the same LCD, touchpad controls, meter, and anti-memory loss capacitor as the 5600 SXT control head on the model above.

It also comes with a free bypass with male-threaded yoke for easy installation. Its dimensions are 18" x 53" x 62."

The Fleck 9100 SXT Twin Tank 80,000 Grain Water Softener doesn't need much maintenance and it could last up to 25 years or more.

It also comes with a 5-year warranty for the control panel and a 10-year warranty for its two tanks. If you don't want water interruption, this is definitely the ideal model for your needs. 

  • On-demand salt compartment
  • Automatic Tracking System
  • Alarm for low Salt
  • 3 ppm Iron Removal

3. GE 40,000 Grain 

9.5 GPM
Flow Rate


Compact Design, Smartsoft Technology

The GE 40,000 Grain Water Softener has a grain capacity of 40,000 and can hold up to 230 lbs of salt. It is definitely ideal for small-sized homes. It also comes in a compact design that could provide around 95 grains per gallon hardness removal and up to 3 parts per million iron removal. It is efficiently functional when used for small-sized homes.

The salt compartment readily feeds the resin tank “on-demand” for every regeneration. It also features an automatic tracking system that tracks how much water you have already used for feeding the salt into the resin compartment. If you have well water, you’ll appreciate the built-in filter that easily removes sediment.

It has a flow rate of 9.5 gallons/minute which is enough to supply soft water to a household of 4.

GE 40,000 Grain Water Softener features SmartSoft technology capable of monitoring the water usage of your home and anticipating future demand. It is easy to use with an alarm for low-salt and indicator lights for errors. It weighs around 100 pounds and is easy to install.

It comes with 3-year warranty on its control panel and a 10-year warranty on its tank.

  • On-demand salt compartment
  • Automatic Tracking System
  • Alarm for low Salt
  • 3 ppm Iron Removal

4. GE 30,000 Grain Standard Flow 

7.5 GPM
Flow Rate


Minimal level of maintenance

The GE 30,000 Grain Standard Flow Softener is definitely the least costly among the water softener models from GE. It is a single unit device that has integrated salt and resin tanks.

It features an “on-demand” feed delivery system of salt for the regeneration process. It also has an easy-to-use control panel that tracks the amount of water used for the automatic feeding of salt into the resin tank for quick flushing as needed.

It has a 30,000-grain capacity, which makes it ideal for small offices or households. A beep tells you when salt reserve gets low. Its dimensions are 23" x 44" x 15."

Because this water softener device consists only of one unit, it is definitely easy to install.

The level of maintenance for this item consists of refilling the salt. Beyond that, you should be able to count on it meeting your water softening needs for up to ten years. The price of the GE 30,000 model comes with a 1-year warranty for its electronic head and a 10-year warranty for its tank.

  • High Capacity Fine Mesh Resin
  • KDF 85 Media Guard
  • 0.25-cubic foot gravel bed
  • Requires no Maintenance

5. Fleck 5600 SXT 48,000 Grain 
Iron & Sulfur Eradicator 2000

12 GPM
Flow Rate


Automatic regeneration cycles; Designed for treating well water

The Fleck 5600 SXT 48,000 Grain Iron & Sulfur Eradicator 2000 features the same grain capacity and control head as the first product. The difference is that this one is designed for treating well water that contains iron, sulfur, or both.

To treat well water, this device is equipped with KDF Media Guard to filter out sulfur and manganese from the hard water. It is also equipped with a very fine mesh filter for removing iron.

Its added efficiency includes its capacity to filter out around 50 grains of magnesium and calcium per water gallon. This efficiency rating is higher than the national hard water average. This device therefore is specifically designed for handling hard water with added minerals. It is very efficient and engages in regeneration cycles automatically when needed. It is also equipped with a backup capacitor that keeps your water meter running even if your electricity supply is interrupted.

The Fleck 5600 SXT 48,000 Grain Iron & Sulfur Eradicator 2000 comes with a high capacity fine mesh resin with a .25-cubic foot gravel bed, and KDF 85 Media Guard in the 48,000-grain resin tank. It is very easy to install provided you have some basic plumbing tools.

This device is built to last 25 years or more and requires no maintenance. It comes with a 5-year warranty for the control panel and a 10-year warranty for the tanks.

  • Takes out chlorines which can dry skin and hair
  • Self-cleaning filter
  • Automatic control panel
  • Easy to install

6. GE 31,100 Grain and Filter 

22 GPM
Flow Rate


Removes Sediment; Kills bacteria and viruses

Among the three GE water softeners, the GE 31,100 Grain Water Softener and Filter is the most expensive. That’s because it comes with an added filter to remove the chlorine that cities add to kill bacteria and viruses. That chlorine dries out your skin and hair and can carry an odor and taste as well.

If you have well water, the filter removes sediment. The filter is self-cleaning, so you won’t need to worry about changing it or rinsing it as it protects your plumbing and health.

Like the two previous models from GE, this one also comes with an automatic control panel. It also has the capacity to store 230 lbs. of salt and can produce soft water at a rate of 22.2 gallons/minute. It is definitely easy to install.

It comes with a 1-year warranty for the entire device, a limited 10-year warranty for its resin tank, and a 3-year electronic monitor warranty.

Final Verdict

Fleck 5600 SXT 48,000 Grain

These six models come with individual benefits, depending on your water softening needs. Our choice for most users, however, is the Fleck 5600 SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener. Here’s why:

First, it comes at a very affordable price, which is at the lower end of the price spectrum of water softeners. Next, it also has a very efficient flow rate of 12 gallons/minute. Third, it provides an 8% crosslink resin that serves as protection from chlorine.

It is also easy to install, just like the other water softener units, with USB drive illustrations. It has an easy-to-navigate control panel that makes it easily programmable. Moreover, it comes with a water test kit to help you program it correctly for your needs.

Its warranty is quite good at 5 years for its control panel and 10 years for each tank. Lastly, it is known to last for more than 25 years with little or no maintenance needed at all.

You might also want to check Fleck 64000 or 7000 Grain as alternatives to the 48000 Grain. 

About the Author

George Simms is a Salt Lake City based plumber and contractor, with a focus on aiding homes and businesses (particularly farm) solve problems with hard and contaminated water. Walter is here to share his wealth of job experience and a knowledge of both modern and antique plumbing.

Last Updated on January 9, 2023