Many people would like to make a switch from hard water to soft water, but it can be confusing to make a decision. There is a lot of conflicting information available, and it’s essential to have all the relevant facts. In this article, we will look at four common water softener questions and answer them.
- What is a Hardness Grain?
When you start to research hard water, you will often come across the term “grain,” and this can cause confusion. A grain is a measurement term related to the level of hardness present in a gallon of water. This is usually expressed as grains per gallon (gpg), and it shows the amount of water hardness causing ions that are in the water. These mineral ions are usually calcium, magnesium, and iron, but there are others. The higher the gpg number, the higher the mineral concentration and the harder the water will be.
- Will a Water Softener Make My Water Safe to Drink?
The short answer is no. When you condition your water supply with a water softener, it will not be disinfected or cleaned in any way. An ion exchange process will exchange ions in the water hardening minerals for softer sodium ions to make the water soft. If you have concerns about your water quality, it’s a good idea to get your water tested. If there are any problems, you can install other water treatment systems to clean your water further. Some of these filtration systems can even be added to your water softener, or you could opt for treatment after the water has passed through the water softener.
- What Salt Should I Put in My Water Softener?
There are specific water softener salt products on the market to refill your water softener. These typically have a 95.5% salt content, and this means that they will be clean and pure to use. If you cannot source water softener salt, you could use Potassium Chloride instead as a short term solution. It may be tempting to save some money and use a table salt instead, but this is a bad idea. An impure salt can easily clog the control valve injectors, and then they will need to be fixed. Hiring a technician to unblock your injectors and get your water softener working again would be far more expensive than using water softener salt.
- How Often Should I Fill My Brine Tank?
Water softener salt should be added to the brine tank approximately every eight weeks for the best results. The frequency can vary a little depending on how often your water softener system regenerates. If the regeneration is faster, you will need to add salt more often, and this is why it’s important to carefully set the regeneration cycle. It’s only necessary to add salt to the brine tank when you notice that the water level has risen just above the salt.
If you have more questions about water softeners, get in touch with your local water treatment professional for expert help and advice.