Water Softeners FAQ
Can I use softened water to fill my swimming pool?
Swimming pools should be filled with water that contains between 200 and 250ppm (12 to 15GPG) of hardness. If iron is present in the water supply it should be filtered out prior to swimming pool supply.
When does a water softener resin need to be replaced?
When the water does not become soft enough, one should first consider some adjustment. Resin manufacturers say that resin loss of 2.5 to 5% due to attrition can be expected. This means that a water softener that is 10 years old will be about 25 to 50% less efficient. Your water softener should be adjusted “down” by about 4% every year after the first 2 years. It should be considered that water softener resin be completely replaced after 12 to 15 years for optimum efficiency.
Where should a water softener be installed?
The ideal location for a water softener to be installed is close the where the water supply enters the home. All outside water should remain un-softened.
Can I filter iron out of my water with a separate filter inside my water softener?
No. Iron removal with a water softener can only be performed properly by ion exchange up to about 5ppm with special fine mesh resin as a general rule. Some companies install a separate cheap filter section inside their water softeners and claim that their system is a softener/filter. We have found that to be ineffective for long term use beyond 1 year or so. The internal filter put in a water softener or anywhere for that matter requires about double the backwash rate that a water softener does. So for example, if you put an iron or hydrogen sulfide filtration media inside of a water softener you will need to set the backwash rate at say 2.4gpm for the water softener resin and 5gpm for the filtration media. This cannot be done with one single control head. Either the filtration media will get clogged in a very short period of time or the life of the water softener resin will be significantly be shortened.
How much does a water softener cost? How much does a water softener cost to operate?
Some softeners are more efficient than others and as a result the costs do differ. There are timered softeners and on demand (metered) softeners available. The on demand systems produces soft water up to 40% more efficiently over timered systems per pound of salt. Generally water softener costs can vary between $400 and $2,500 per system depending on your homes needs. Wanter softeners for almost all homes should never cost over $2500 installed unless there are some extreme circumstances that are present
Generally the overall costs of operation of a water softener can vary between 25 and 50 cents per day. The costs of water softeners are usually far outweighed by the benefits and cost savings obtained, through using softened water.
So what water softener size is right for me?
We have done all of the calculations for the proper size water softener for your home on our water softener sizing chart located on our home page. Once you have determined your water hardness and any iron content (if present) you can simply refer to the chart and size your system accordingly based on the number of people in your home. If you have a home over 3500 square feet or have higher flow fixtures like multiple sprayer showers, please contact us directly so that we can insure you choose a system with an adequate flow rate.
Can I get a water softener that is too small or too large?
Yes, a water softener needs very regular regeneration of about at least once a week. The manufacturer recommends proper operation your home water softener should average regenerations of about once every 5 to 7 days. If gone too long you can experience something called channeling, bacterial growth or even the inability to soften after about 12 to 14 days. If your softener is too small excessive regenerations will lead to a shortened life of the mechanical portion, resin and decreased flow rates for your home.
Which is the best water softener?
We only sell top of the line independent dealer brand water softeners from Genesis, Fleck, and Logix (formerly Autotrol). Each system is unique in it's own design. All 3 designs have proven reliable over the years. Our Genesis line are the most efficient water softeners available on the market today. Our Fleck 5600 timered as well a on demand SXT single piston designs have remained unchanged for over 30 years. The Logix 255 systems are the updated version of the older and well proven Autotrol 1550 TC and 155 controls that were very popular as well as reliable for over 30 years.