As the name suggests, a water softener reduces water hardness caused by an excessive presence of minerals in the water supply, such as calcium and magnesium. Water softeners operate through ion exchange resin to remove hard water minerals from the supply and are exchanged for sodium ions, which results in softer water.
Benefits of Water Softeners
You might be wondering why you should care about the hardness of your water. Because hard water deposits and can build up in hot water heaters and boilers, water usage can run up costs due to low efficiency. Hard water can also dry out your skin and hair and lead to soap scum. A water softener will reduce soap scum and mineral buildup that leads to these problems.
How to Calculate the Proper Size
The proper size of a water softener is determined by a few factors: how much water your household uses, the hardness of your water, and the flow rate.
Water hardness can be measured with testing kits that show you the levels of minerals that are present in your water or you may be able to obtain this information from your municipality. Take the number of people in your household and multiply that figure by how many gallons they use per day.
If you can’t discern this information from your water bill, use the average which is 50-75 gallons of water per person per day. Multiply the average amount of water usage by each person in your household to determine the total water usage.
Now you’ll need to find out the grain capacity. To get this figure, multiply the grains per gallon of hardness by your total water consumption. This tells you how many grains per day the softener will need to remove.
When a water softener regenerates, it flushes out minerals from the hard water. It’s the process of replacing calcium ions with sodium ions. Therefore, your softener capacity determines how much salt is necessary to keep treating new hard water.
The flow rate takes into account how many sources of water usage can occur at any given time, whether it be from sinks, showers, or toilets. Add all of the possible sources of water up together in gallons per minute. This is your flow rate.
What Happens If I Choose the Wrong Size?
The proper size for a water softener is based on these previously mentioned calculations. If your softener doesn’t have enough grain capacity, regeneration will have to occur more frequently which means it will need more salt. Alternatively, getting a water softener that is too big is no good either, as this reduces efficiency and flow rates and will cost more upfront.
Water Softeners at Ising’s Culligan Water
If you need a new water softener, then contact us at Ising’s Culligan Water. We can assist you with finding the right sized water softener for your household and our water softeners extend the longevity of your pipes as well as your home appliances. To learn more about our water softeners, give us a call at 925-447-3717.
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