Hard water can be an issue for many households. While the accumulation of hardness minerals in the water is mostly harmless to the health, it can affect your everyday comforts, from the taste of your drinking water to the way your laundry feels. Hard water can even leave your skin and hair feeling unpleasant out of the shower. However, in its worst cases, hard water can contribute to mineral deposits and scaling in your pipes and plumbing. This can contribute to corrosion, clogs, and damage, all of which can lead to costly repairs.
Many homeowners invest in a water system such as a water softener to improve their incoming water hardness quality. As effective as a water softening system is, figuring out how to pick a water softener can seem daunting and confusing. There is a lot to consider. Read on to learn more about choosing a water softener for your home.
The size of your water softener and the type of water softener that you get is determined by your daily water consumption and needs along with the hardness level of your water. At the same time, a single person living on their own, likely will not have the same water consumption as a family of five.
To determine the hardness level of your water, talk to your local utility company or contact your local Rayne representative.. They should have that information on hand. You can sometimes find this information online through official annual reports, but it’s a good idea to call your water provider directly to get the most up to date information.
If they don’t have that information or if you get your water from a well, you will have to test your water yourself. Most home improvement stores have easy-to-use testing kits that can accurately tell you the water hardness in grains per gallon (GPG). Comprehensive well analysis reports can also be conducted by your local Rayne representative.
Similarly, you can check your utility bill to determine your average water usage. There generally shouldn’t be too much fluctuation from month to month. If you don’t have that information available, simply multiply the number of people in your home by 75 gallons per day.
Multiply your daily household water usage in gallons by the grains per gallon, and you get a pretty good idea of the grains of hardness that your water softener needs to remove in a day. You can then choose the right water softener that can handle that capacity.
Ion exchange water softener systems are the most common type of water softener system. They are efficient and use special resins to pull calcium and magnesium from hard water. The process of an ion exchange water softener also requires a “recharge” or regeneration cycle using a concentration of saltwater, which recoats the resin bead in sodium ions. Generally, the more water that you use, the more time spent softening water and the more regeneration cycles that you need. When you ask yourself, “how much is a water softener system”, you also need to factor in the regular salt refills.
A good salt based water softener will effectively soften the water while maintaining proper salt efficiency usage. The two types of regeneration cycles available are timer and on-demand. On-demand softeners allow you to run a regeneration cycle whenever a certain amount of water has been processed, counting the gallons used. A timer softener runs a regeneration cycle (as you can guess) on a timer, usually once a night or once per week which can result in unnecessary regeneration.
On-demand softeners are significantly more efficient. Your water usage and needs can fluctuate, meaning that sometimes you may not need a regeneration cycle every night. That can ultimately save you in salt and water costs.
It’s also a good idea to mark your calendar to check the brine tank regularly to determine when to refill the salt softener tank. It is also a good idea to learn how to clean your water softener system to increase overall efficiency.
It’s important to weigh out the pros and cons of water softeners as you make your decision on which water treatment system is right for you. If you still aren’t sure which model to go with or need help measuring your water softening needs, consult the Rayne Water team for more in-depth information.