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.
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.
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.
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
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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