Selecting the right size of water softener is an important thing to do. Choosing the wrong size of water softeners can lead to waste of time and money. Water softeners that are too small regenerate more frequently than the way it should. This results in a shortened life span of the water softener thus requiring frequent replacement. Water softeners that are too large pose the danger of regenerating at irregular intervals. This can result in hard water short circuiting the resin bed, therefore breaking through and entering the house. When choosing a water softener, the following factors should be considered.
The daily Water Use of the Household
It is vital to calculate the daily water consumption of the household and obtain actual figures. To calculate the average daily consumption of water in the household, the number of individuals in a household is calculated by the average community water consumption per person. However, that method does not produce accurate results. To obtain more reliable results, the best way is using winter and fall water bills. These can be used to calculate the water used indoors for the household. The water bill is then divided by the total number of billing days and the average household consumption is obtained. The cubic meters are then converted into gallons.
Calculating the Water Hardness for the Household
Water hardness is measured in grains per every gallon. There are water hardness maps provided by local authorities for those who use public water. However, residents who use private wells have to hire specialists who measure the iron and hardness levels separately.
Flow Rate Requirements
In choosing a suitable size of a water softener, it is good to establish the number of places that the family can draw water from simultaneously. When it comes to flow rate requirements, it is advisable not to choose a small size water filter. If the chosen water filter is too small and there are many water fixtures running simultaneously, then the water pressure will drop rapidly. This will later be followed by large volumes of hard water in the fixtures and iron bleed.
For systems that are well engineered, they integrate the distribution system, mineral tank, internal diameter of the bypass valve, control valve and the type and volume of the ion exchange resin. The flow rate the water softener can support is then determined by the combination of these components.
Water softeners come in the form of small plastic beads which are referred as ion exchange resins. The main purpose of these resins is removing hard water minerals such as calcium and magnesium, and pulling them out. The capacity of a water softener is measured by the amount of resin which is inside the unit. A single cubic foot of resin has the capacity to remove more than 30,000 grains of hard water minerals. The common sizes available for residential houses are 0.75, 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0. The resin beads will be covered with minerals when a system reaches full capacity and thus unable to soften water.
The mechanical water softening process only works when there is a regeneration process. The water softeners which are metered measure the daily water consumption. They then try to regenerate as often as possible in line with the usage. As stated earlier, an undersize water softener will be forced to undergo regeneration too often thus overworking the mechanical component. In order to ensure that there is no shortage of soft water in between regenerations, an extra 30% capacity should be added for safety or reserve purposes. An ideal size of a water softener has the capacity to last of four full days in between the regenerations.
Types of Water Softeners Available
The regeneration process of these systems revolves around a certain time schedule. If the regeneration is set to take place once in every five days, then regardless of the amount of water used, the system will regenerate. It will consume a certain amount of salt during the process.
These systems rely on the amount of water consumed in order to regenerate. When the system is being set up, it is fed with information such as the number of grains in the water softener, the level of water hardness, and the daily water consumption. They only regenerate when there is need and they are very popular.
These systems are manually set and operated since they do not have timers or meters installed on them.
Choosing the right water softener size is important in order to save time and money. Water softener size is determined by different factors such as daily water consumption and the water hardness.