Have you been considering purchasing a water softener and are wondering how to correctly size your water softener for your family?
Water hardness is a real issue around the country, with over 85% of American households impacted.
Now, using a water softener for your home can have many benefits, including:
- Ensuring pure drinking water for you and your family.
- Reducing limescale buildup on your water fixtures, in your plumbing system, and in your water appliances.
- Preserving the lifespan of your appliances.
- Protecting your body and hair.
- Protecting your clothes.
- Saving you money on electricity and cleaning products.
So, depending on the hardness in your water, it might be a wise investment. However, you need to make sure you purchase the right size for your family if you want it to be efficient.
So, to help you, we’ve listed below the key factors you need to determine in order to size your water softener properly.
Test Your Water Hardness
Water hardness refers to the high mineral content (particularly magnesium and calcium) present in the water. These minerals tend to deposit on plumbing systems and bond to soap and detergent, creating scum within your appliances and on your water fixtures.
Here’s a general guideline regarding water hardness:
- 0 to 60 mg/L (milligrams per liter) is considered soft water
- 61 to 120 mg/L is considered moderately hard
- 121 to 180 mg/L is considered hard
- Over 180 mg/L is considered very hard
The hardness of your water is one of the key elements you need to know in order to size your water softener properly. You can find inexpensivewater hardness kits online.
Test Your Water For Iron
If you’re on well water, this is particularly important. Indeed, if your water comes from a well, your calculation will need to compensate for the iron content present in your water.
To test your water for iron, you can use watertest kits or send a sample to a state-certifiedlaboratory.
Once you've tested your water, you’ll be able to determine more accurately the size of your water softener as it’ll tell you the number of grains your water softener should be able to remove every day.
Let’s take an example:
Say your water hardness is 10 Grains Per Gallon and the iron level 1 Part per Million. You’ll have to add 3 to 10 to compensate for 1 PPM of iron. This means that you should use 13 Grains Per Gallon when making your calculation instead of 10.
Now, a family of four uses on average 300 gallons of water a day. Therefore, your daily softening requirements will be 13 Grains Per Gallon x 300 gallons = 3,900 grains per day.
The regeneration process is also important. For instance, if your water softener is sized to regenerate every six days, then you’ll need a water softener that can efficiently remove 23,400 grains.
How Much Water And Salt Does A Water Softener Use?
The water softener brine tank needs water to flush the minerals on the resin bed during the regeneration process. Depending on your family’s water usage, the average amount of water used per regeneration will be between 25 and 50 gallons.
However, if your water softener is not properly sized or if your family tends to use more water than average, it could regenerate up to three times a week, meaning it’ll need up to 150 gallons to flush out the hardness in your water.
Besides water, your water softener also needs salt to flush out minerals. As a rule of thumb, you should always ensure that your brine tank is at least ⅓ full of salt. However, be careful not to fill it up more than 4 to 6 inches from the top. How much salt you need for a family of four depends on how much water your family uses and the level of hardness in your water. The harder the water, the more salt you’ll need to use for your water softener to function efficiently.
Talk To Professionals
Sure, this information might sound overwhelming. The idea of this blog isn’t to make it hard for you but rather to show you that defining the size of your water softener is more difficult than simply knowing how many people are in your household. That’s why the best course of action is to talk to professionals, as they’ll be able to guide you and accurately tell you what size you need for your water softener.
AtFilterSmart, we’re passionate about helping our clients access clean water for themselves and their families. We provide a range of water filters and water softeners manufactured in the USA to our customers. If you’re wondering what water softeners would work best for your family of four, don’t hesitate tocontact us. We’d be happy to advise you!