What Size Water Softener Do I Need?

Are you looking for the right water softener size for your home?

Knowing your water usage and the hardness level is vital to purchase a water softener.

If you end up buying a small size, it would be unable to work effectively. Alternatively, an oversized one will give you the excess capacity and will be unnecessarily expensive.

In this blog, we will help you find out the water softener size that’s just right for your home.

What Factors Do You Need to Consider Before Choosing a Water Softener Size?

Hard water can cause many problems around your home, from spots on glassware and a film on shower doors to plumbing problems and suboptimal performance of water-using appliances such as under sink water filter.

Installing a water softener can help resolve these challenges. Learn more about water softeners to get the best one for your home.

Not having a water softener unit can cause a lot of issues in your home such as glassware spots or plumbing issues. The absence of a water softening unit can also risk expensive breakdowns for your water-using appliances.  Installing a correct water softener size can help you avoid these issues.

Before you zero in on a water softener, check the water consumption of your household and the water hardness level. It is vital to identify your water softener requirements to get maximum soft water with minimum salt usage.

Find out your daily soft water consumption. The water softener size also depends upon the hardness of the water. Other factors that affect the sizing include flow rates of water and daily water needs.

Hardness Level of Water

what size water softener do i need

Water hardness refers to the level of minerals present in the water. Water has many minerals in it, such as magnesium, calcium, and many more. It is reported in grams per gallon (GPG) or milligrams per liter (MPL).

Wondering what water softener size is right for you?

Once you find out the water hardness in your home, choosing a water softener is easy.

Here’s how you can find the water hardness:

  • If water is coming from a well, test the water to check its hardness levels
  • For municipal utility water, get in touch with them to find out

Daily Water Consumption of Household

Now, you will need to find out the water consumption in your home on a daily and weekly basis.

To determine the daily water consumption, just take a look at your previous month’s water bill and divide it by 30.

Another way is to multiply the number of people in the house with 80 gallons.

So, for a 2-member family – the water consumption will be 80 x 2 = 160 gallons.

Check out this video that talks about sizing a water softener for a household:

YouTube video


Regeneration Cycle of a Water Softener

A water softener’s capacity can also be noticed in a regeneration cycle by the salt efficiency and water hardness grains. At this time, you should remember that different resin quantities will have varying capacity. The resin quantities affect the water softener size.

The majority of the water softeners are scheduled for regeneration once a week. Regenerating in a period of every 7 days is also suitable for a water softener. A 7 day regeneration period helps to minimize valve’s wear and tear, reduces salt usage, and also keeps resin beads fresh for longer. Regenerating once a week also helps reduce water consumption as the regeneration process itself consumes nearly 50 gallons of water.

Regeneration is a vital process that needs to be done regularly to keep a water softening unit operate at an optimal level.

The resin bed is prone to wear and tear over time as hardness particles may cover it. The water softener unit automatically starts its regeneration process. In this process, incoming water combines with salt in the tank and gets rid of the hardness particles. Once the regeneration process completes, the water softening unit is ready to give you soft water once more.

If you are wondering what kind of salt to use, here are some useful recommendations.

You can choose nugget-style or clean pellet salt. Other manufacturer-recommended salt variants can also be used for specific water softening models.

How to Calculate the Correct Water Softener for My House?

water softener calculation

Once you have found the water hardness levels and daily water consumption, finding the appx water softening requirement would become easy. You just need to multiply the water hardness number with everyday water consumption.

Here’s a simple guide to resin vs. the grain capacity produced:

  • 1 cubic foot of resin – produces 20,000 grains
  • 5 cubic feet of resin – produces 30,000 grains

For example, if the water hardness level is 20 grams per gallon, here’s how to calculate the daily water softening requirement:

Daily water softening requirement = 20 (water hardness level) x 160 (gallons per day water consumption) = 3200 grains of hardness per day.

For daily water softening needs of 3200 grains, you will require a water softener with a capacity of 22,400 grains (3200 x 7days).

Now it’s time to start matching this figure with the water softener dimensions available in the market.

Here you will notice that majority of the water softener models offer 24,000/32,000/ 48,000 and 64,000 grains.

A 24,000 grains model would be quite small and would not serve the purpose. Choosing a 32,000 water softener model would be better as it offers a better choice and adequately meets the household water softening requirement. It will also use less salt to work effectively.

Here’s a video that shows you how to choose the water softener size for your home:

YouTube video


Choose Best Water Softener of the Right Size

If you are ready to get the correct water softener size for your home, consider the below factors that affect your purchase:

  • Water hardness levels
  • Salt efficiency of the water softener unit
  • Daily water consumption of the household based on the number of family members

Always choose one size bigger as that will help in maintaining salt efficiency and ensure optimum productivity of the water softening unit.

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