Water softener sizing refers to the process of matching a water softener to the kind of water you have and how many gallons you use per day. If your water softener is properly sized you will use less salt per year in your softener.
How to determine water softener sizing
This is the formula recommended for determining water softener sizing by pure-earth.com:
Use the following formula to calculate the proper size:
- Multiply the number of people in your family times 70 (gallons of water used per day, national average).
- Multiply the answer by your water hardness in grains per gallon (to convert mg/l or ppm to grains, divide by 17.1). If iron is present, add 5 grains for every ppm (mg/l) of iron (iron MUST be dissolved iron – it appears clear from the tap but leaves reddish-brown stains).
- This is your “grains per day” number. Divide this number into each of the softener capacities until you find the best size.
Hardness determines water softener sizing
The first step is to determine how hard your water is, otherwise you’ll never get your water softener sizing right and your results won’t be up to your expectations.
Hard water is simply water that has an excessive amount of minerals present. This is a real problem for most American households. Studies show that 85% of all water in the United States is hard water.
How does it become hard? As water naturally runs over rocks and soil on its water to your water source it collects minerals, specifically calcium and magnesium. Sometimes other minerals are collected as well. A high concentration of these minerals causes water to be hard.
Some signs of hard water are:
- Soap doesn’t lather well
- Soap does not rinse off completely
- Laundry becomes dingy
- Clothes wear out faster
- Dishes have a white, chalky film on them
- Glasses have spots
- Appliances wear out faster
- Tubs and sinks have rust and scale
- Pipes become clogged with scale
- Hair and skin look dull
- Skin problems develop
Many people with hard water decide to use some sort of water softener to deal with the problem of hard water. Often they head off to purchase a water softener without doing their homework. Because of this they purchase the wrong type of softener or one that is the wrong size for their needs. This can be very costly since these units run on average from $3,000 – $10,000. An average of 2,000 lbs. of salt is needed per year to operate them. Plus you have to constantly maintain and add chemicals to the unit.
That’s right. 2,000 lbs. of salt. Why salt? As water goes through the water softener the minerals in it are replaced with salt or sometimes potassium. Instead of having a hard water problem you now have a salt water problem. Let’s look at some of these problems:
- Salt is not eco-friendly
- Watering your lawn and garden with salt water can cause damage
- Softened water is not recommended for babies under 2 years
- Softened water can be dangerous for those on a sodium restricted diet
- Softened water tastes like salt
- Softened water leaches lead from pipes and it ends up in water you drink and cook with
Sounds pretty bad doesn’t it? That’s why it is important for you to understand how to properly size a water softener if you are going to buy one.
Is there another solution to water softener sizing that fixes your hard water problem without ruining your water? You bet there is.
Aqua Magnets water conditioning system is simple to use. Just install them on the pipes that bring water into your home and forget about it. No maintenance will ever be needed.
Aqua Magnets is an eco-friendly system that will not harm your lawn, garden, pets, babies, or any family member with special dietary needs. Best of all it costs only a fraction of what a water softener costs and it comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee. The only thing you have to lose is your hard water problem. Forget about water softener sizing and try Aqua Magnets today!
[Image credit: wwarby]