Whether you are looking to replace an existing system or are considering installing a water softener, it is vital that you choose a correctly sized unit. Smaller units will be unable to meet the water demands of your family and need to regenerate too frequently, while larger units will cost you more initially and may not regenerate enough to avoid water quality issues.
Choosing the Right Water Softener for YOU:
There are a number of factors that should be considered when choosing a water softener. You will need to determine what water issues you are looking to correct. Common water contaminants such as excess iron are likely to affect the performance of the unit. Therefore, you will need to choose a unit designed to suit your water quality.
You should also consider the manufacturer brand. A water softener can be a significant investment in your home, so you should look for a brand with a solid reputation for both customer care and quality. Established reputable manufacturers use quality components, which will prolong the lifespan of your system. While you may be looking to save a few dollars, buying a generic box store system may not offer the after sales care and quality offered with the specialist water professional systems. A tailored system is likely to feature the latest technology innovations, which will save you money in the long term.
Demand vs. Timer Units:
If you are upgrading your water softener, you may find that many systems on the market are demand units. This differs from the older timer technology and is far more efficient. A demand unit regenerates as and when needed rather than on a timer cycle basis. The most efficient demand units only regenerate to recover the amount used. For example, if you used 35%, the unit will only regenerate this 35%. This saves water, salt and energy.
Sizing Your Water Softener:
Calculating the size of water softener requires several factors to be considered. The primary consideration is the level of hardness in your water supply. If your water supply is classified as moderately hard, you will require less water softener capacity than if your home is supplied with very hard water. You will also need to factor in any iron, manganese or other contaminants in your water as additional hardness.
Another major consideration, for sizing your unit, is how much water you typically use. This is usually estimated by the size of your family, the appliances in your home and how many bathrooms in your property. For a rough estimate, multiply the number of people in your household by the national average water usage figure of 80 gallons per day. This means that for a family of four the average water use per day is 320 gallons. But again this is only part of the equation you still need to take in consideration other variables to determine the unit that fits for you and your family. You may regret attempting to save a few dollars if your system is not properly sized and your water bills increase or your unit suffers from channeling due to not regenerating properly. A professional water specialist can ensure that your new water softener is tailored to suit the specific requirements of your family and operates at optimum efficiency.
About The Author, Terry Reeh, EcoWater Systems of Nebraska:
With more than 25 years experience in the residential and commercial water treatment space, Terry is a WQA (Water Quality Association) certified water specialist, LEVEL 3, as well as a WQA certified sales representative. EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is one of the biggest water treatment and water delivery businesses in the state and Terry currently sits on EcoWater Systems (a Berkshire Hathaway Company) national Peers committee, as a water treatment expert advising other water professionals with less experience on best trade and technology practices.