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Water softener size

What Size Water Softener Should I Choose?

So it is time, you have finally had it with scrubbing the lime-scale build-up around your taps, in your toilets and pretty much every other surface that comes into contact with the hard water in your residence.

Perhaps the last straw was that you spent your hard earned money on fixing your washing machine or dishwasher, only to be told that this time around it needs to be replaced.

All of these troubles are due to hard water.

We get your issue.

We also understand that the journey to  that you are about to tackle (or have on for some time) is not simple, either.

Having an idea what size of water softener you should install is among the most complicated things that people face, and if you master math, it will come in handy now.

Basically, there are two things you need to get clear to size your water softener properly:

  • The tested hardness level of your water
  • How much water your family uses.

Measuring Water Hardness

Water Softener size

The reason for hard water doesn’t have anything to do with your housekeeping; it is due to your plumbing.

In case you've got a particularly old water system that hasn't been assessed in a little while the build-up inside might have reached the extent that it now reaches your tap.

Many methods can help you evaluate the amount of hardness in your water. You can hire a local water testing lab that will sample your water and examine it for you. However, the results can take some time, and it can be costly.

Among the easiest ways to go about this (your initial task) is to acquire a water hardness testing kit.

More details can be found on this here.

You should know the amount of water hardness is calculated in grains. So once you find the abbreviation "GPG," this implies grains per gallon.

The more grains, the higher the level of hardness.

Knowing How Much Water You Use

This is not an exact science, and the chances are you may always need to work.

In the real world, there are instances when you utilize more gallons of water than others.

Just to give you an idea, the average person uses about 70 to 90 gallons of water every day.

So for a quick estimate, multiply this by the number of individuals in your household.

For example, five people = 350 gallons every day.

The Size of Water Softener Required

Once you understand the degree of hardness in your water and have an idea of how much water you are using, it is time to compute the size of water softener you'll need to install.

To make it easy to understand, suppose you use 350 gallons of water every day, and your tested GPG is 7.

Therefore, you need a water softener that can remove 7 x 350 = 1,500 grains per day from your home water to ensure it makes a difference.

System Capacity

Water softeners are filled with little plastic beads known as ion exchange resin. These plastic resin beads remove hard water minerals by yanking them from the water greatly like a magnet.

The capacity of a water softener is based on the amount of resin inside the unit. One cubic foot of resin can eliminate 32,310 grains of hard water minerals (calcium, magnesium, iron, and manganese).

Tip: Frequent home sizes include 0.75, 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 cubic foot systems

After a system has reached capacity, the resin beads will be coated with minerals, and be incapable of turning off the water. At this time the machine will have to wash itself out with salt (also referred to as regeneration) to restart softening.

Tip 2: To make sure you do not run out of water between regenerations, add 30% additional capacity for a backup or safety purposes.

Regeneration Frequency

Would your automobile need more support if you drove 40,000 or 10,000 miles annually?

Water softeners are the same. The mechanical components in a Water Softener only need to work through the regeneration procedure. While servicing, water flows through the system.

Metered water softeners quantify the amount of water you use and attempt to regenerate often enough to when needed.

An undersized softener will need to restore too frequently, and its mechanical components will work overtime. This excess load lowers the lifespan of mechanical parts.

Flow Rate Requirements

Flow Rates

In how many rooms does your family use water concurrently?

Could you have two sinks running, a toilet flushes, and tub fill in precisely the same time?  

Note: Add the maximum number of fixtures you can use at once (2 baths + 1 bathroom + 1 shower).

The water flow rate is measured in gallons per minute (GPM).

If your softener’s GPM is too low and you attempt to use too many fixtures concurrently, you will feel a drop in water pressure followed by hard iron and water bleed through.

A well-built water softening system integrates all aspects - the inner diameter of the control valve, mineral tank, bypass valve, supply system, in addition to the volume and variety of ion replacement softening resin – match your GPM requirement.


What Size Water Softener Should I Choose?

There are different kinds of water softener on the market, so you must have enough knowledge about them.

Say for instance you need to remove the number of grains detailed above and you opt for a 30,000-grain ability softener. This will easily handle the 1500 grains you want to remove every day, but you must remember how often you'll have to regenerate your system with salt.

Hopefully, by now, you've got an idea of what size Water Softener to buy.

It is vitally important you get the right size, or you could be spending an inordinate sum of money on salt.

Additional Resources:

Ed Carmichael

About the Author Ed Carmichael

Ed is a water specialist in Tampa, FL. He built to help his friends and family learn about DIY solutions to common water quality issues in the home.

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