This blog post is specifically for questions regarding water softeners. Installation, maintenance, sizing, troubleshooting, etc.
Comment below with any questions you may have.
What size of softener do I need?
Water softeners are sized according to the grain capacity they are capable of removing between regenerations. A 48k or 48,000 grain system is capable of removing 48,000 grains of hardness between regenerations based on standard regeneration settings. To properly size a softener you will at minimum need to know your hardness level. If you are using an all-in-one system to treat iron and manganese you will need to know those levels as well. Knowing your typical water usage in gallons per month/week/day will also help get the most accurate recommendation, but averages can be used for that. Once you have that information follow the steps below to help determine what size of system you need. If you print this page off you can use the space to fill it out as you go.
Determine water hardness level.
Start with your water hardness (may be listed as CaCO3 on your water report). You will need the grains per gallon (GPG) level for these calculations. If your test shows parts per million (ppm) or milligrams per liter (mg/L) divide that by 17.1 to get the grains per gallon. (Round up to the nearest whole number for best results.)
Compensate for iron/manganese (if applicable).
If you have any iron or manganese (not to be confused with magnesium) in the water, add both of those together (in ppm or mg/l) and multiply by 4. Add that to the hardness from above to get your total compensated hardness. (Round up to the nearest whole number for best results.) If you do not have any iron or manganese enter 0 in that field, and your compensated hardness will be the same as your hardness above.
Determine water usage (in gallons).
Determine how much water you use on average every day. You can either estimate your usage based on the number of people in the house, or you can take and divide the number of gallons used in a month as shown on a water bill or water meter. If you are unsure it is best to assume average water use for the number of people there the majority of the time. Our on demand softeners will adjust as necessary if there are more or less people than normal, but sizing should be made for normal circumstances to ensure the best results.
Calculate daily and system grain requirements.
Using the information calculated above, multiply your water usage (estimated or average) by your total compensated hardness. This will provide the average daily grains of hardness that you need to treat. Multiply that number by the number of days between regenereation desired to get your ideal grain capacity. With iron or manganese in the water 3-7 days is common (minimum of every 7 is recommended to prevent resin fouling). Water without iron or manganese are typically sized to go 7-14 days. Once you have your ideal grain capacity you can use it to find the system that most closely matches it.
In most cases the system sizing recommended in this link will be adequate for most homes. If you have low hardness and/or a high flow rate (in gallons per minute) you may need to get a larger than recomended system to keep up with higher flow rate demand. Be sure to look at system service flow rates to ensure they meet your needs. If your ideal grain capacity is larger than our standard systems even using 3 days between regenerations you will want to use a dual tank system. You can also use a dual tank system if you want higher efficiency.
Most water supplies contain a wide range of contaminants that are not good for you. A lot of people solve this problem by buying bottled water, but bottled water can get expensive, not to mention the hassle of carrying it around and the problem of running out.
Reverse osmosis systems solve this problem, giving you bottled quality water at your finger tips! High quality RO systems will ensure that your families drinking water is safe, and you never have to worry about going out to buy water again!
Having clean, safe water is beneficial to your health and will help increase your desire to drink more water. RO water is great for cooking and cleaning also.
There are many different filter upgrades you can choose from. Know the benefits of each will help in the decision making on which system would be best for your family.
Typical filter cartridges that are in an RO unit:
5-micron polyspun sediment filter traps dirt and particulates.
Granular Activated Carbon reduces chlorine, chloramine, and a wide range of tastes, odors, and chemicals.
5-micron carbon block provides additional taste, odor, and chemical treatment.
Final polishing filter ensures fresh, great tasting water every time.
Additional Filters (UPGRADES):
UV Light- Ultra violet light kills bacteria and viruses. Recommended for well water, homes with known bacteria problems, or homes with frequent water quality warnings.
pH Filter- Calcite based filter neutralizes acid and helps provide a pH as neutral as possible. Also adds some beneficial minerals (mainly calcium and magnesium) that RO removes.
Alkaline Filter- Specialty filter uses multilpe stages to raise pH, increase alkalinity, add minerals, and lowers ORP for healthier water. For best results use in conjunction with the pH filter.
DI Filter- Deionization resin for removal of up to 99.9% of contaminants that may have been missed by the RO membrane.
Here are some benefits to drinking water:
-Helps prevent cardiovascular disorders
-Prevents constipation, migraines, and heartburn
-Reduces the risk of osteoporosis
-Helps maintain a neutral pH balance
-Helps regulate body temperature
-Reduces risk of kidney infection, kidney stones, and ulcers
-Can help with weight loss and energy
Plus many more!
Having the convenience of a drinking water RO in your home will help increase your water consumption. Most people purchase bottled water to have safe drinking water on hand. That can be inconvenient and get costly. Using either a drinking water reverse osmosis system or even a drinking water filter without reverse osmosis is highly recommended to have the cleanest, best tasting water possible for you and your family. There are many different filter set ups for these systems and can be personalized to your family’s needs.
What are some of the benefits to drinking alkaline water?
-It can help soothe acid reflux.
-Increases oxygen levels, improves energy and metabolism
-Cleanses the colon
-Plus many other benefits according to a variety of different studies.
Why should we be concerned about pH levels?
Since most of the body is water-based (50-60%), the pH level has profound effects on all body chemistry, health and disease. All regulatory mechanisms (including breathing, circulation, digestion, hormonal production) serve the purpose of balancing pH, by removing caustic metabolized acid residues from body tissues without damaging living cells.
If the pH deviates too far to the acid side or too far to the alkaline side, cells become poisoned by their own toxic waste and die. Just as acid rain can destroy a forest and alkaline wastes can pollute a lake; an imbalanced pH corrodes all body tissue, slowly eating into the 60,000 miles of veins and arteries like corrosives eating into marble. If left unchecked, an imbalanced pH will interrupt all cellular activities and functions, from the beating of your heart to the neural firing of your brain. Thus, alkaline water serves as a great way to keep your blood pH alkaline and you more healthy.
How to achieve the best results for the effectiveness of alkaline water:
An alkaline water filter is most effective when used after a pH filter and recommended that water is treated via reverse osmosis for best results.
What is UV treatment?
The UV treatment process uses ultraviolet (UV) light to degrade the DNA of organisms in your water. DNA is the instruction manual for the organism that tells it how to function and reproduce. With those instructions damaged the organism is rendered harmless, preventing infection and disease normally caused by the organism.
Do I need UV treatment?
Any homes that have tested positive for bacteriological contamination (including E. coli or other coliform bacteria) should implement UV treatment as soon as possible to prevent sickness and infection that can result from using untreated water. Any home on well water can benefit from a UV treatment system, as a negative bacteria test just means there is currently no bacteria but is no guarantee that bacteria will not be present in the future. Most homes on city water will not benefit from UV treatment since city water is typically treated for bacteria with chlorine or similar treatment, but for those who like to be overly cautious or those who live in cities that have frequent contamination warnings it would not hurt to have one.
**Please note: If you have iron bacteria, UV systems will not effectively treat it.
What size of UV system do I need?
UV systems are sized according to the number of gallons per minute (GPM) they can treat. If a system shows a range flow rates or multiple flow rates, those are for the different dosing standards. To ensure full treatment it is recommended to use the lower number for sizing, as this will meet the NSF dosing standard to ensure the highest quality treatment.
A simple way to test your flow rate is to fill a bucket (5 gallon is a common size) at the install point (typically where water enters the home, and right after the pressure tank on well systems), and time how long it takes to fill up. If a direct reading from the install point is not possible, measure the largest spigot (such as a garden spigot) as close to the install point as possible. Divide 60 by the time it takes to fill the bucket (in seconds), then multiply by the size of the bucket (in gallons) to get your GPM. Example: If it takes 37.5 seconds to fill a 5 gallon bucket –
Your flow rate would be 8 GPM.
Once you have your flow rate, you will want to find a system that will treat it OR HIGHER. Remember to use the lower number for sizing to ensure the best treatment. For example, looking at the Sterilight VH410 system, it is rated for 14-18 GPM so you would only want to use it if your maximum flow rate was 14 GPM or less.
In some cases your available flow rate may far outweigh your actual usage capacity. If you have a GPM flow rate but are only a single person in 1 bathroom home it is highly unlikely that you will ever actually use 20 GPM. In these cases you can use a smaller system, though it is recommended to use it in conjunction with a flow restrictor to ensure you don’t accidentally pull more than the system can handle.