Need advice about water softener usage

I am moving into a new house that is 8 years old, it is equipped with water softener, I never had a water softener so I have few questions.
I called the water department lab in our town and asked them about the hardness of the water in the subdivision that I am moving into, they said that the water is treaded and the hardness is in the low end, but during the summer when the demand for water increase they have to supplement the water supply with well water, at that time the water hardness level is medium high. How can I operate the water softener, should I use it only during the summer and bypass it at other times, should I just unplug it when not in use leaving the valve in the service position, or should I operate the water softener all year round but set the regenerate cycle to the minimum setting.
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Try the existing setting first. The high - low- medium nonsense they are giving you is meaningless. You really must know the grains of hardness (easily tested at home) to know what to do. OTOH, if it regenerates sooner than needed, it may add a bag of salt a year to your use.
Some people don't like the feel of soft water so let your shower be your guide. At least try it for a couple of weeks before turning it off. You need less soap when soft and your hair feels really clean. If you have hair.
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I'd suggest you use current setting as a baseline.
Some people don't like softened water, you feel kinda slimy when you're really "clean" from a shower.
Once I had a softener, I've always had to have one since. This whole house is plumbed in, toilets and all. I bypass it to put water in the pool or water the yard, but not to wash the cars. -----
- gpsman
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In article

It is an acquired "taste".

Same here.
I first began softening our water when our town was supplied from wells. It was good water but it was so hard that you didn't have to be even slightly religious to "walk" on it. <grin>
We are now supplied by Omaha's system, a combination of surface and ground water. After it is treated (including Sioux City, Iowa, diluted effluent), it is somewhat softer than what was pumped out of the aquifer under the old system.
Still, I operate the softener.

Due to a sheet-rocked, finished ceiling in the way, the kitchen cold supply was bypassed to ensure that the outdoor water stop beyond was supplied with hard water.
One of these days I intend to UN-bypass it so the refrigerator's ice maker and cold water at the kitchen sink is soft. On those VERY rare occasions that I use the outdoor faucet - and I remember - I'll simply engage the bypass at the softener.

It makes a noticeable difference for car washing. If I had a pool, I'd be tempted to fill it at least once with soft water to see if it made a difference.
--
:)
JR

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As Ed said, you need to know the actual gpg (grains per gallon) of hardness. So call them back and ask for the highest hardness in mg/l or ppm or gpg, and to convert mg/l or ppm to gpg, divide them by 17.7 to get gpg.Then use the highest gpg to program your softener. The difference from "low" to "high" usually isn't much and makes little difference to the softener's efficiency but, if you get harder water than what you have programmed the salt dose and capacity for, the softener will start giving you hard water before it regenerates. Then you must do two manual regenerations back to back with as little water use if any between them at the maximum salt dose of the volume and type of resin in the softener (15lbs per cuft), or it will never work right again unless you regenerate it much more often.
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