How Much Salt Does a Softener Use?


I've got a fairly new softener from Eco-Lindsay, and it hardly uses any salt at all. I've asked the folks how much it SHOULD use, and, since there're variables involved, they will never give me any sort of answer. I have the "hardness" set to 40 (I'm told that the "hardness" digital indicator between 0 and 100 actually is positively correlated with the softness... go figure), and we have three adults in the house. I recall filling the old softener with about 40 pounds of salt in two weeks when we had four adults in the house.
In a month, the salt in the new softener hasn't budged more than a couple inches. There's GOT to be somebody with some gross, order-of-magnitude idea of whether this is normal. (Our water quality has been declining for quite awhile since we moved into the neighborhood -- the Eco-Lindsay folks say there's just a lot more people using water now -- in taste, iron deposits, etc.) This is supposed to be a "high efficiency" unit, but, hey.... cycling every three days should use at least a few pounds, right?
Any even anecdotal data?
Mark
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This sounds normal, based on how much salt my 10-year old Sears water softener uses. I fill it with two bags about once every six months. We have 4 people in the house. Your old one used a huge amount of salt, at least compared with mine.

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Inputs --
Three people, each using 60 gallons per day with water at 40 grains per gallon (that's really hard water!).
This equates to 7200 grains of hardness to be removed every day and a frequency of recharge of about 3 days (for a 24,000 grain unit).
This requires about 8 pounds of salt per recharge since 1 pound provides 3000 grains of hardness removal.
Eight pounds of salt at a recharge should drop the salt about 2/3 of an inch in an ordinary brine tank. Ten times a month would give a total drop of 8 inches in a month since the bulk density of salt pellets is about 12 pounds per gallon.
Questions -- Is your water hardness that high? Is your per person use that high? What is connected to the softener. In my case it's the whole house interior. Some people do not connect the softener only to the water heater.
I strongly recommend that you get a softness test done on the softened water or buy a hardness test kit at a swimming pool service or an aquarium supply store. That will give you more certainty about the settings and performance of your softener..
SJF
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Correction --
Some people DO connect the softener only to the water heater.
SJF
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gmark wrote:

Wrong question. The only valid question is "How is the water?" If the water is fine, you sure don't need more, if you are experiencing problems with hard water, then there is some sort of problem, so address that.
Why do you have a water softener? If it is only because someone (likely a salesman) told you that you needed it, and you never noticed a problem, I would say maybe you don't need any softener.
A test by an independent (someone with no possible benefit from the results) tech would be a good idea.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
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I've got a GE demand driven unit on the main supply (hot & cold). With a family of 5 and a hardness setting of 25 it's regenerating every 4-5 days and uses about 100lb of salt per year. I never had the water tested. I simply set the hardness based on feel and scale deposits which has worked out fine..
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My water is from a 100 foot well drilled 40 years ago. A multitude of tests over that time is 36 to 60 grains hardness. Presently with 2 in the house and the whole house connected through both an iron filter and water softener I use 50 pounds of salt in 2 weeks and regen every 3rd day. I can smell, taste, feel, and also see a lack of soapsuds, all of which proclaim that the water needs regeneration.
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Sudy Nim wrote:

Well, thanks, everybody! It looks like my old softener was the aberration, and this one is operating within a normal range. And I will get a water test done.
Mark
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Please, don't "get" a water test done. Buy the chemical and do it yourself. It is less than $10 and all you do is put five drops of solution in the water and see if it changes color. You can test it every few weeks that way at your convenience.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

That'd be my preference. But where? I assume it's similar, but not the same, as a pool water test kit. I guess I'll check Ace, then maybe some water service supply places, or just order it from the net.
Mark
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wrote in message

Ever hear...Hey Culligan Man!!! They have test kits.>
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gmark wrote:

I just use test strips made by Hach, (Sofchek), they will give you a general idea if your water softner is working OK and will indicate up to as high as 25 grains per gallon. Google it and you will find someone who sells these strips. Your salt usage looks about normal, I use about 300-375 pounds of salt per year, but my water is also 70 grains per gallon.
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gmark wrote:

If your water is soft, your softener is working, regardless how little or much salt it uses. High efficiency means less salt used than a softener with a less efficient salt dose so you can't go by another softener's use. And unless you know for sure, your softener might be regenerating less frequently than every three days.
To learn more see; http://www.qualitywaterassociates.com/softeners/sizingchart.htm
Gary Quality Water Associates
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