How To Choose a Water Softener for Your Family

You moved into a home where it is quite evident that you need to purchase a water softener, but you don’t know the first thing about them. You have come to the right place as we are here to assist you in choosing a water softener that is perfect for your needs. When it comes to choosing a water softener there are some questions to take into consideration. What type of water softener is best for your needs? Lastly, we will discuss the best size for your particular circumstances?

Types of water softeners on the market

Magnetic Systems

These systems work through the use of magnet fields which temporarily turn your water from hard to soft. The validity of these types of system is still unknown. They are however inexpensive, but if it is not softening your water any money maybe too expensive. It is only effective on water that is not that hard and anything over 8 grains per gallon it will be ineffective with. So use caution with choosing this type of water softener.

Salt-Free Systems

These systems are virtually maintenance free and they are reasonable to run. They work by changing the structure of water itself. Despite the popularity of these systems they do not work well in all areas, especially towns that are known for extremely hard water. They do however not only soften the water, but work to help remove existing damage already caused by hard water.

Salt Based Systems

These systems work by allowing the hard-water ions to turn into soft-water ions. They require two tanks. A brine tank that holds the salt and another tank that is called the mineral tank which is filled with a resin. This type of system is the absolute best when it comes to removing hardness from water. It does however require a considerable amount of maintenance and can be costly. Salt needs to be monitored and added to the salt tank and the tank is required to go through a regeneration process every so often. There are three types of regeneration systems to discuss.

Types of Salt Based Regeneration Systems

1. Manual regeneration

Just as the name suggest this requires the most amount of work. It requires you to remember and you to the machine and manually turn the knob so that it can rid itself of the dirty wastewater.

2. Meter regeneration

Works by setting a timer based on when you believe the water might need to be regenerated. Typically figured out by the amount of people in the house and how much water is used. The meter counts down the gallons until regeneration needs to occur.

3. Timer regeneration

Definitely, the easiest to deal with. The timer is set and the regeneration occurs automatically based on when it is set for.

How do I know the size water softener needed?

  • You can figure out what size your water softener should be based on a simple math equation.
  • First, make sure you have a hardness test done to find out grains per gallon
  • Then follow this formula to calculate needs = (People in your home) X (75) X {Grains per gallon of hardness + mg/l iron}
  • Look at the chart below to find out what capacity you would need for your household based on the calculation above. Ex. If you come up with a 0-3500 GPG then you need a 24,000 capacity softener.

Grains per GallonWater Softener Capacity
0 - 3,500 GPG 24,000
3,501 - 4,500 GPG32,000
4,501 - 5,750 GPG40,000
5,751 - 6,850 GPG48,000
6,851 - 9,150 GPG64,000
9,151 - 11,500 GPG80,000
11,501 - 13,700 GPG96,000
13,701 - 15,700 GPG10,000

Now you have the knowledge and the tools to go to the store and pick out the water softener that is perfect for you and your family.

Not sure if you need one for your home ? Read our post on why you should use a water softener!

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