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Water Softener Setting? And Water Hardness

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 10th, 2019 6:05 pm
[OP]
Sr. Member
Aug 18, 2014
602 posts
374 upvotes
Markham, ON

Water Softener Setting? And Water Hardness

For those who have a water softener at home, what water hardness setting do you guys use and how much salt your unit uses up?
I have a whirlpool water softener, and I set the water hardness to 17 (I am in richmond hill)

If i want to make the water comes out more "soft", should I increase the hardness setting on the machine? I am still getting some lime scale build up in the shower head etc.

Also...my dad has a water softener as well and he said he add a 18kg bag every 1-2 months.
Where else I think my machine only use up one 18kg bag of salt in 4-5 months.

We both have 2 people in our household and I think the water usage is very similar.
9 replies
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
10462 posts
4666 upvotes
Brampton
17 what?

You gotta be sure of the measurement.
I know it's common to think it's Grains but some actually can be configured to show PPM or Grains (like my Kenmore)
You set it to 17 PPM and it might as well be off.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Aug 18, 2014
602 posts
374 upvotes
Markham, ON
tebore wrote:
Jul 9th, 2019 3:06 pm
17 what?

You gotta be sure of the measurement.
I know it's common to think it's Grains but some actually can be configured to show PPM or Grains (like my Kenmore)
You set it to 17 PPM and it might as well be off.
There is actually no unit measurement on the setting. It just say "Hardness", and you can adjust from range 2-40.
So I'd safely assume that's the common grain measurement...(otherwise I dont' think the setting would max out at 40)

So I assume if I want the water more soft I should increase the hardness setting on the machine?
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
10462 posts
4666 upvotes
Brampton
pinkdonut wrote:
Jul 9th, 2019 3:22 pm
There is actually no unit measurement on the setting. It just say "Hardness", and you can adjust from range 2-40.
So I'd safely assume that's the common grain measurement...(otherwise I dont' think the setting would max out at 40)

So I assume if I want the water more soft I should increase the hardness setting on the machine?
Not exactly.
I would run a couple recharges in a row to make sure your resin is actually recharged correctly.
The way a softener works isn't like
You set a hardness and on demand the softener goes oh the water is 17 grains hard I'll use just enough salt to remove 17 grains.

The 17 grains setting is used to calculate how often a recharge is needed as resin (work working right )basically removes all the "hard water" ions all the time when water flows thru and holds it in the resin bed (until it reaches capacity) and is recharged by back washing with salt water.

The fact that you set to 17 grains and it's not softening enough (for RH) makes me think your softener or resin isn't working right.
Deal Addict
Nov 2, 2005
3658 posts
979 upvotes
Ottawa
How old is the softener, how long have you owned it and have you always had this issue with it?
[OP]
Sr. Member
Aug 18, 2014
602 posts
374 upvotes
Markham, ON
dirtmover wrote:
Jul 9th, 2019 7:18 pm
How old is the softener, how long have you owned it and have you always had this issue with it?
The softener was installed new about 1.5 years ago

Never really have "issue" with it...
Just felt recently the water doesn't feel as "soft" as before...
We remember when the softener was first installed, the water felt very "slippery" when showering and washing dishes/hands, etc

Not sure if it is just because we got used to that feeling..but the water doesn't feel as slippery anymore....
It is still "slippery"...but less slippery if you get what I mean?

Also...the shower head is showing calcium/brown mineral build up.


Honestly I don't know how water softener work....so I can't just increase the "softness" (e.g. make the water less hard) simply by changing the setting on the machine?
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jun 12, 2007
14184 posts
3528 upvotes
London
pinkdonut wrote:
Jul 10th, 2019 2:22 pm
The softener was installed new about 1.5 years ago
..
Is it possible you have a salt bridge formed?
Image

Last edited by l69norm on Jul 10th, 2019 9:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Deal Addict
Nov 2, 2005
3658 posts
979 upvotes
Ottawa
pinkdonut wrote:
Jul 10th, 2019 2:22 pm
The softener was installed new about 1.5 years ago

Never really have "issue" with it...
Just felt recently the water doesn't feel as "soft" as before...
We remember when the softener was first installed, the water felt very "slippery" when showering and washing dishes/hands, etc

Not sure if it is just because we got used to that feeling..but the water doesn't feel as slippery anymore....
It is still "slippery"...but less slippery if you get what I mean?

Also...the shower head is showing calcium/brown mineral build up.


Honestly I don't know how water softener work....so I can't just increase the "softness" (e.g. make the water less hard) simply by changing the setting on the machine?
I'm assuming you haven't tried cleaning it? Get a jug of pro res care from home hardware and use as directed.

If your harness setting is too low you'll run out of soft water before it regenerates. If this is the case you'll notice it starts soft after a regeneration and goes hard maybe a day or two prior to the next regeneration. If this is happening increase the setting to 20.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 25, 2007
6728 posts
3027 upvotes
Paris
pinkdonut wrote:
Jul 9th, 2019 3:22 pm
It just say "Hardness", and you can adjust from range 2-40.
40 is the max? I know in the winter around Feb when they switch wells in Paris we hit 47-50. You can fell the difference when you shower and I know to turn her up! I have the water tested once in a while both treated and untreated. Usually free at a water place.
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