What Does Grain Mean on Water Softeners?
If you’ve been wondering what grains mean on water softeners, you’re not alone. The term “grains” is shorthand for 1/7000th of a pound of dissolved hard minerals. The term also refers to the amount of magnesium and calcium present in the water.
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Water softeners come in different sizes, with the most common units able to remove up to 32,000 grains. This is enough for most families, though larger ones may need a larger unit. To determine the size of your unit, you will need to determine the number of people in your home and their average water consumption. Then, you will need to multiply these numbers by seven to find out how much grain capacity you need.
For example, if you are the head of a family of three, you will need about 225 gallons of water per day. You will need a system that can remove about 2,250 grains per day. If you are the head of a large household, you might need to install a unit with 64,000 grains of capacity. You can use a water bill to determine the daily water usage of your household. This will help you figure out how many gallons your water softener needs to regenerate.
Another way to calculate how much grain capacity you need is to figure out the number of gallons your family uses on a regular basis. For example, if you use 100 gallons per person on a daily basis, you will need a system that can remove about 2,500 grains of hardness. If you have a lot of laundry, you could use even more, up to 100 gallons. You can also get a free water test kit at a home improvement store to check the hardness level of your water.
If your water is very hard, you might need to purchase a more expensive water softener that can handle larger amounts of grain capacity. This type of water softener uses large amounts of salt to flush out hard minerals trapped in the resin beads. The water softener then regenerates with salt and other ingredients to restore its full capacity.
If your water is moderately hard, you might be able to buy a smaller system. For example, a family of four can expect to use about 300 gallons of water a day. This will require a water softener that can remove about 2,250 grains a day. You can check the grain count of your water at a home improvement store to see how it compares to other homes’ hardness levels.
If your water is very hard, your water softener will need to regenerate more often. For example, you might need to regenerate your water softener once a week, but it might take you a little longer if you live in a very dry area. If your water is so hard that your water softener needs to regenerate more than once a month, you should consider installing a reverse osmosis system.