Water hardness, caused by calcium as well as magnesium ions, can be removed with a water softener, which substitutes them with salt/sodium through ion exchange. If you plan on buying such a product, choose a water system certified by NSF that has a monitor to show when salt is low to ensure that soft water is maintained at optimal levels.

Water Softener Questions & Answers

What is the meaning of a water softener’s grain capacity?

A water softener’s grain capacity is the greatest quantity of water hardness grains that can be removed by the unit before regeneration.

How can water hardness be measured?

Water hardness is measured in grains per gallon or gpg. A water hardness grain is equivalent to 1 / 7,000 pounds of rock. Water supply in the municipality usually measures water hardness in litres (L), milligrams (mg) or parts per million (ppm). One gpg is equivalent to 17.1 mg/L or 17.1 ppm.

How can water hardness be determined?

People who use city water can contact their municipality or buy a water test kit.

How does this figure affect the purchase of a water softener?

To know the right size of water softener for a home, multiply the quantity of people who live in it by the gallons of water used per day (average is 80 gallons per person). This number multiplied by the grains of hardness in water results to the amount of grains that need to be removed per day. So, it is important to choose a water softener made to handle the load. Households with four occupants often use a 33,000-grain unit.

What does regeneration mean?

Hardness particles gradually coat the resin bed inside the water softener. Once this takes place, the softener enters its regeneration cycle. During this process, the salt in the tank combines with incoming water to free the resin bed of the hardness particles. When regeneration is completed, the unit is now able to supply a continuous stream of soft water to the home.

What type of salt should be used?

As a recommendation, nugget-style salt or clean pellet can be used. There are other salt types that can be used for specialized applications.

Will the recharge water coming from the softener harm a septic system?

No, this will neither have an effect on the septic system operation nor drain field soil percolation.

How much water is used in every recharge?

It uses as much water needed in washing a load of laundry.

How much electricity is consumed by a water softener?

It uses as much electricity needed by a digital alarm clock.

Helpful Tips

Every household should soften their hot water. To minimize salt intake in cooking and drinking water, many people let their cold taps remain hard. Individuals on a controlled sodium diet should consult their physician before deciding on water softener installation in their home.

Requirements for Installing a Water Softener

This requires 2 pieces of 1-inch pipe thread taper (NPT) female connectors, plus sufficient tubing to be used as a connection from the water softener to the present plumbing. Your plumbing may be made of copper, steel, chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC), cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). These types of plumbing may need different tools and materials to install them.

The regeneration/recharge process requires a drain. There is a supply of 10 ft. drain tubing. But if the drain is beyond 10 feet, this requires a sufficient supply of 1/2 inch tubing to reach the drain. However, it should not go farther than 30 ft. away from the softener. Also, the drain line should only be elevated up to a maximum of 8 feet.

The power cord or transformer has to be plugged to a 110V continuous live outlet. This includes a 10-ft. power cord.

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