Common Types of Home Water Softeners (And How to Choose the Right Size)

choosingtherightsizewatersoftenerAs one of the most basic rules of overall health, everybody knows that staying hydrated is essential. In fact, studies show that even mild dehydration (1% to 3% of body weight) can impair many aspects of brain function. Fortunately, most of us don't have to give our water supply a second thought, which could be a major mistake if you have a hard water problem. But while there are many different types of water softeners, choosing the right size water softener is often one of the most difficult challenges. But before you can even think about that, you need to choose the right type of whole house water softener to keep your home's water pure. Here are just a few of the most common types of water softeners.

Salt-Based Ion Exchange
This type of softener uses two different tanks -- one with brine and one with special resin beads. It works by exchanging sodium for hard minerals like calcium, iron, and magnesium.

Since water softeners need recharging, getting one with two tanks for softened water is ideal. That way, when it's charging overnight, you can still access the filtered water. While one is in use, the other regenerates, making for maximum efficiency and access.

Salt-Free Softener
A salt-free substitute uses potassium-chloride salt instead of regular sodium, which sometimes makes it a better option for those who are watching their sodium intake. Though it doesn't actually reduce the minerals in the hard water, it serves as a descaler, preventing the minerals from being deposited onto your home's pipes and surfaces and causing damage.

Choosing the Right Size Water Softener
Once you know the type of water softener you want, you can select the appropriate size. You want to make sure the size you choose is able to hand the full water demands of your family. Ideally, your water softener should last at least three days before needing recharged. If you're having trouble determining the size of the water softener that best meets your needs, HomeTips has a handy formula you can use to estimate:

"You can calculate the size of water softener your family needs by multiplying the number of people in your household by 75 -- the average number of gallons used per person per day -- to figure out the total amount of water your household uses daily. Then multiply this number by the number of grains per gallon (GPG) of hardness minerals in your water to figure out the capacity of whole-house water softener you need," writes Don Vandervort.

Now that you know the basic types of residential water softener systems, you'll have no problem choosing the right size water softener and purifying your home's water supply. If you want to learn more about the benefits of water softeners, contact ABCwaters.