Are you wondering what size water softener for family of 4 is ideal?
There are many benefits to having a water softener installed in your home, and you’ll want to make sure every member of the household can use it.
With the help of this buying guide, you’ll know precisely how to choose the perfect size for your home.
Table of Contents
What Size Water Softener for Family of 4?
There are many easy ways to tell what size water softener is best for your home.
1. Think About Consumption
In your household, it’s highly likely everyone uses a lot of water daily. From brushing your teeth to cooking meals, each of your four family members will need plenty of water.
Obviously, the amount consumed will have a significant bearing on the size of the water softener you choose.
Fortunately, calculating consumption is as easy as looking at your water bill.
Your bill will show you the total amount of water your household uses monthly. With this, you can compute your daily usage.
If you are unable to determine consumption from your water bill, you can use this simple formula:
(Number of People in Household) x 75 Gallons = Daily Consumption
For example, four household members x 75 gallons = 300 gallons of water used daily.
You can then use this amount to help calculate the daily softening requirement of your home.
2. Consider Water Hardness
In addition to consumption, you must think about the hardness of your water, too, as this will determine the volume of softening your unit will need to do.
Hardness is loosely defined as the number of magnesium and calcium dissolved in your home’s water.
Typically, this value will be expressed in grams per gallon (GPG) or milligrams per liter (MPL).
Most importantly, if you’re choosing a digital water softener with a built-in programmer, you’ll need to know your hardness level.
The values you receive will need to be programmed into the unit before it can be turned on.
It’s highly recommended you consider purchasing a water hardness testing kit to get accurate values.
Alternatively, the company you’re buying the softener from might do an on-site analysis for you.
You might also be able to find the hardness through your local water utility if you use municipal water.
Another important aspect of water hardness is understanding the amount of daily softening your unit will have to do (regeneration).
The capacity of certain units will typically be organized by capacity or salt efficiency. This is explained in grain capacity and will differ depending on the size of the unit you own.
By taking your total daily water consumption and multiplying it by 10, you’ll know the grain capacity to look for.
For example, 300 gallons of daily water consumption x 10 GPG = 3000 grains of hardness needed daily.
3. Know the Rates of Regeneration
On a larger scale, you will have to calculate far beyond your daily usage when searching for a water softener.
Knowing the value of your home’s regeneration requirements per day helps you identify the weekly amount.
The formula for this process is incredibly simple, as well; you simply multiply your grains of hardness by seven days.
Often, when you shop for water softeners, you’ll find manufacturers and resellers sell units based on tens of thousands of grains.
In terms of our earlier calculations, you would simply need to do the following:
3000 GPG x Seven Days = 21,000 GPG
It is a great idea to consider purchasing a unit that is slightly larger than what your calculations are providing.
This choice helps make sure your unit has plenty of time to recharge without running out of softened water unexpectedly.
If you find your calculated capacity falls between two different available sizes, always opt for the larger model.
4. Using a General Guide
If you’re finding it difficult to calculate the size of your water softener, be sure to use this chart.
Although these values are approximate depending on household usage, you might need a larger or smaller unit.
|Hardness (GPG)||One to Two People||Three to Four People||Five to Six People||Seven to Eight People|
The Benefits of Water Softeners
With a correctly sized water softener, you are bound to experience several incredible benefits.
Some of the most notable include tastier water, healthier skin and nails, and more.
1. Healthier Skin
One of the most significant complaints of being on municipal water is the hardness and the silt that comes out of the tap.
As there are a ton of minerals and trace elements in city water, it’s bound to strip your skin of its natural oils.
Instead of showering and bathing using highly irritating dry water, a softener gives your skin the nourishment it needs.
After using softened water for the first time, you’re bound to find decreased skin irritation. You might even feel like your skin has been moisturized after showering.
Interestingly enough, water softeners could also have a positive effect on acne and problematic skin.
If you’re prone to breakouts, there are many reasons your skin could be acting out, one of which being the water you use.
People with particularly sensitive skin will need soft and nourishing products and water to wash with.
The softness of your new water will promote the growth of healthier skin, assisting with clearing breakouts.
2. Stronger Hair
Like how city water strips your skin of its natural oils, it does the same for your hair.
Most people spend a lot of time and money taking care of their hair with shampoo, conditioners, and treatments.
When you shower with city water, all of the products you use could be wasted, as the water strips your hair.
Fortunately, installing a water softener will allow you to feel the actual texture of your hair without frizziness. You’ll find it’s particularly beneficial for people with naturally dry hair.
3. Protecting Clothing
When you continually wash your clothes in hard water, there will be mineral deposits that bury themselves into the fibers.
By using softened water, the minerals have been removed, helping to soften the fabrics of your favorite pieces.
It can be far more beneficial, as you’ll be able to protect your clothes’ integrity from mineral buildup.
4. Better Tasting Water
One of the most popular reasons people start looking into water softeners is to improve their drinking water.
If you aren’t able to install a water purifier, opting for a softener is ideal. You will have a more enjoyable time showering, and you’ll also love drinking out of your tap.
City water has an unappealing earthy taste, which is a combination of hardened minerals and metallics.
With that said, everyone’s tastebuds are different, and you might not be prone to noticing the fluoride, chloramine, or other additives.
Using a water softener helps remove the distasteful natural and artificial additives in water so that it tastes better.
Whether you get water from your bathroom or kitchen sink, it will taste more like professionally bottled water.
5. Reduced Energy Bills
If you’ve been noticing your hot water tank is consuming more electricity, it could be remedied with a water softener.
Over time, the tank can get filled with calcium buildup, which occurs when water is heated.
Unfortunately, the scale on the inside of the tank causes it to work harder and consume more energy.
Considering water softeners help make sure your water doesn’t leave any residue behind, it will work more efficiently.
Also, water softeners have far more modernized features to support the efficiency of your hot water tank.
6. Cleaner Dishes
Gone are the days where you’ll spend far too much time trying to wash away dirt and grime from your dishes.
Even families who use dishwashers will begin to notice a buildup of minerals on their cutlery from hard water.
By combining a water softener with your typical detergent, you’ll be able to remove the minerals before they build up.
Also, using softened water helps produce a more significant lather, making your soap more effective.
Water Softener FAQs
Water softeners are still a relatively new technology, and there are plenty of questions about the industry waiting to be answered.
In this section, we’ll explore some of the most commonly asked questions.
1. What does regeneration mean?
Regeneration is a significant value to consider when you’re choosing a water softener.
Over time, hardness particles will begin to form on the resin bed inside of your softener. When it reaches a particular level, the unit will begin to regenerate.
During this process, the salt inside your tank will mix with water to rinse away the resin and hardness particles.
Once the regeneration cycle has finished, the softener will continue providing soft water to your home.
This point is why it is crucial to know your regeneration needs. Without this value, you could be stuck without softened water if it gets consumed too quickly.
2. What type of salt do you use in water softeners?
There are three main types of salt to consider: water softener pellets, crystal, and block salt.
Pellet salt is the most common and the easiest to get your hands on, though it comes in a couple of different forms.
Evaporated salt pellets are cheaper than alternative softeners, but they are also the most expensive type of salt.
These pellets typically have 99.9% purity, which makes them more expensive and higher quality.
The higher your pellet’s purity, the less likely it will bridge or mush in the bottom of your tank.
If bridging or mushing occurs, you will have to manually clean the bottom of your tank, rather than it cleaning itself during regeneration.
You’ll be able to find solar salt pellets as either pellets or crystals. It’s not ideal for homes with high hardness levels, as it won’t work as well as evaporated salt.
These pellets are created from seawater, making them more soluble than rock salt.
Arguably one of the cheapest options, rock salt might not be the best option for your tank.
Its size resembles small pellets or rocks, making them more economical to manufacture; thus, sale prices are lower.
The most substantial concern with rock salt is that it has high calcium sulfate levels, making it incredibly hard to dissolve.
3. Do water softeners harm septic systems?
It’s essential to confirm your specific septic system, but it is highly unlikely your water softener will affect septic.
During the recharge process, it’s also unlikely it will damage drain field soil percolation.
4. Do water softeners use a lot of electricity?
One of the best features of water softeners is that they consume a small amount of energy.
On average, a moderate-sized unit uses as little power as an alarm clock, making it ideal for any household.
When you’re figuring out what size water softener for family of 4 is ideal, there are a few things to consider.
Once you have calculated the approximate figures for your home, you can then find the perfect size.
There are many benefits of these appliances that you’ll love having in your home for your family to enjoy.