How to Adjust Your Water Softener Hardness Setting

Installing a water softener can help reduce water hardness that many people have issues with. Softening your water prevents scale buildup and eliminates problems with soap scum, spots on dishes, dry skin and hair, poorly performing appliances, and much more.

In order to soften your water successfully, you’ll want to make sure that the hardness setting on your water softener is accurate. Learn what causes hardness in your tap water, and what the ideal water hardness setting should be.

What Factors Affect a Water Softener Hardness Setting?

There are three factors that determine how to set your water softener’s hardness setting: the hardness in your water, the presence of iron, and the age of your water softener.

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Clean out the holes in the injection valve as much as possible. They’re quite sensitive, so take care when you’re clearing them out. Using a wooden toothpick or a toothbrush, and avoiding metal objects that could make the holes bigger. If you’re having trouble removing that blockage, you should change the entire valve.

Water Hardness

It’s important to know your water hardness before programming a water softener. Hard water makes your softener work harder. You need to make sure that your system is designed to handle the hardness your water supply contains.

This can remove all the calcium and magnesium from your water. Your water hardness will affect how well your water softener will work, so if your water hardness is higher or lower than your water softener is set to, it may be unable to properly do its job.

Hardness Grains per Gallon (GPG) Parts per Million (PPM) & mg/L
Soft <1 0 – 17
Slightly Hard 1.5 – 5 17 – 60
Moderately Hard 3.5 – 7 60 – 120
Hard 7 – 10 120 – 180
Very Hard >10 >180


If Iron is Present

Most water softeners are also capable of removing dissolved iron from your water – but you need to program them properly. You should test your water for calcium and magnesium. Iron test kits are cheap, easy to use, and deliver a result quickly.

If you want to check the amount of iron in your water, you can use a water testing kit. For every 1 part per million of iron in your water, add four to your overall hardness number. If your results show that your water contains 1 part per million of iron, add four to your overall hardness number.

2 parts per million (PPM) of iron makes your iron go up to 11; add 8 to it to make it 12, and so on. This book has helped thousands of people to understand their water problems. For more information, see the books “What Does My Water Filter Do?”, “How to Know If Your Water Softener Needs To Be Serviced or Repaired”, and “How to Choose Your Water Softener”.Cerebellar vermis lesions affect gait variability.

You should make sure that your water is as soft as it gets, and not just because you want to use it for your hair. Excessively high levels of iron could damage a standard water softener, which means it’s very important to monitor the iron level in your water regularly. If you’ve got a big iron problem, I suggest you purchase an additional iron removal system.

Age of the Softener

If you have an older water softener, you will need to set it higher than if you had a new one. Soft water has a very low calcium level, which is why most people need to use a water softener to remove the calcium from their water.

This resin then exchanges the sodium ions for hardness minerals, effectively softening the water. An important milestone was reached in the advancement of this new water resin. The resin holds on to hardness ions, so when it gets to its maximum capacity, it will not be able to soften your water anymore.

If your efficiency starts to drop, you will need to increase the hardness setting of your water softener to account for the decrease in efficiency. New resin should be installed when the water softener is new, otherwise, it can cause premature failure of the resin.

How Can I Find Out My Water Hardness Level?

There are several ways to test the hardness of your water. Soap testing works by taking a small amount of liquid dish soap and adding it to a plastic water bottle. It then fills the bottle up with water until it is almost to the top.

Close the lid and shake the bottle. Shake the bottle vigorously until the water froths or bubbles up. If, after shaking the bottle vigorously, you don’t see any bubbles in the water, then your water is relatively hard.

If you don’t add air to your water, and the surface is covered by a layer of sediment, then your water is hard. For a better understanding of your water hardness level, you can purchase a home hardness test kit, which measures the amount of calcium and magnesium ions in the water, expressed as GPG.

A water sample tests will use test strips that are dipped in the water. Your hardness level will change as the strips turn from red to orange to yellow to green to blue to purple. If you want to have a more accurate way to measure your skin’s effectiveness, you’ll need to use a certified lab.

A certified water testing lab will run your water and tell you the details about its mineral content. They will also give you a detailed analysis of your water hardness in grains per gallon and parts per million or milligrams per liter.

What Level Should My Water Softener Hardness Setting Be Set To?

If your water doesn’t have any dissolved iron, you’ll need your water’s hardness rating to figure out what to set the water softener hardness to.

The table below shows how much salt to add to your water for each setting.

Water Hardness (GPG) Iron (PPM) Buffer for Iron System Age Buffer for Age Hardness Setting
5 .5 2 < 10 years 0 7
5 1.0 4 > 10 years 1 10
5 1.5 6 < 10 years 0 11
5 2 8 > 10 years 1 14
10 1.0 4 < 10 years 0 14
10 1.5 6 > 10 years 2 18
10 2 8 < 10 years 0 18
10 2.5 10 > 10 years 2 22
20 .5 2 < 10 years 0 22
20 1.5 6 < 10 years 0 26
20 2.0 8 > 10 years 4 32
20 2.5 10 > 10 years 4 34


Frequently Asked Questions

What Can Happen If My Water Softener Is Not Set Correctly?

If your water softener isn’t set properly, you may experience one of two issues.Q: Cannot get this SQL query to work. It’s really important to know the right water hardness for your tap water. The higher the water hardness, the more frequent it needs to be regenerated, and that can end up being more than you want to pay for.

You’ll need to drink lots of water every day. Because of this, you’ll go through salt at a faster rate and you’ll end up spending more money on maintenance than you need to. A water hardness of less than 140 PPM means that your water hardness is low enough for your softener to work. Set your softener to 140 PPM, and your water hardness will be eliminated.

You’ll end up spending more money than you need to on things like shampoo and cleaning items.

Can water hardness change?

It depends on the area where you live. If you’re in an area that gets a lot of rain (like Seattle), it may have higher-than-average hardness. If you live in a part of the country that gets very little rainfall (like the desert Southwest), it’ll probably be lower-than-average hardness.

How much your water hardness changes, and to what level, depends on where you live, and what’s going on in your area. The location of your home, and the construction work in your area could cause a change in water hardness. So, test your water every year or so, and adjust your softener, based on any changes you find.

Is hardness measured in grains per gallon or parts per million?

Both. Grains per gallon is a measurement of hard water, while parts per million or milgrams per liter measures the exact quantity of calcium and magnesium minerals in hard or soft water.

A measure of hardness is called a part per million. One ppm equals one part per million. PPM and mg/L are equal measurements, so 5 PPM is equal to 5 mg/L.

How do I know if my water softener setting is right?

If you have concerns about your soft water, you should test it after the softening process. Find the best water filter and use it. Hard water may discolour your shower or tub and can leave soap scum deposits.

The water quality is a key factor in your softener. If it is tested and shows hard water, check your softener settings to see if the water is properly flowing through the system. Water Softeners are complicated systems, and they often do not function properly. You can use your softener to check that it’s functioning correctly, and diagnose potential issues if they come up.

Is it possible for water softeners to lose their programmed hardness setting?+

A power outage or multiple power surges could cause your water softener to lose its settings and revert back to the basic settings that were already programmed in when you bought the system. If the power shuts off for even a moment, your unit will lose all its settings.

To make sure your hardness level is up to par, check to see if you have it set at the appropriate level. This invention relates to a magnetic recording medium of high performance having high reliability. It is always a good idea to be ready when the time change happens. If the time is adjusted for daylight savings twice per year, you need to know how to adjust the clock.

This may sound strange, but if you let your system run for too long without monitoring it, you may find that it regenerates far more frequently than it should, or it won’t regenerate enough to produce softened water for your household.

Why is it so important to make sure my water softener is programmed correctly?

Water hardness isn’t dangerous. If your water softener’s settings are off, nothing bad will happen. I’ve invested in this type of water treatment, so it makes sense that I should want it to work.

Don’t buy an expensive new water filter or a water softener if it’s still delivering hard water to your home. Knowing how to program your water softener will ensure that you use less salt per regeneration, and you will have constant access to soft water.

What if my water softener is using an excessive amount of salt?

Because of the low water hardness in your area, you’re using too much salt. Brine tanks may not always be set up properly. Sometimes there are other issues, such as the float being set at an incorrect height. When the float is placed in the brine tank and it’s not too far up so that excess water and salt is being wasted, it will keep the brine at the

Water softener may require too much salt because you use a lot of water in your house. Check that there are no appliances like toilets or microwaves that keep running, or that you have a humidifier running all the time, to help prevent this from happening.

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