Salt water softeners are the time proven method for protecting the plumbing in your home from the destructive effects of hard mineral and scale utilizing an ion exchange technology. In English that is simply explained as a salt based water softener replaces a hard mineral (Calcium and Magnesium) with a softer one (Salt).
The most common way for measuring water hardness is in grains per gallon. The closer your water supply is to a mountain the harder your water will tend to be. Water in the Phoenix valley seems to consistently test around 13-20 grains. In rural areas outside of the Phoenix metro area, there are wells and some city water that tests between 30-135 grains. I have coined the phrase “liquid rock” for this water, which requires specialized softening and filtration equipment to bring the mineral levels down to an acceptable level without causing the water to taste and feel “salty”. The typical “off the shelf” water softener is capable of a maximum of 20 to 30 grains and not designed for these areas. Even 15 grains is stretching for homes with higher water usage since we have found many of the local companies sell off the shelf undersized water softener systems.
How much salt does a water softener add to the water?
Grains Hardness = Sodium Added
- 1.0 grains per gallon = 30 milligrams/gallon
- 5.0 grains per gallon = 150 milligrams/gallon
- 10.0 grains per gallon = 300 milligrams/gallon
- 20.0 grains per gallon = 600 milligrams/gallon
- 40.0 grains per gallon = 1200 milligrams/gallon
As a comparison,
- 1 Tsp of ordinary table salt = 2325 milligrams of sodium
- 2 slices of white bread has = 294 milligrams of sodium
- 3/4 cup of canned baked beans = 1068 milligrams
- 1 Cup of whole milk = 105 milligrams
Water Softener Controls:
Clack’s WS1 valve has an electronic control head designed for residential or commercial applications with flow rates up to 27 GPM. It has a backwash capability for servicing up to 22″ diameter tanks.
The valve options include water softening or filtration. It can be set to perform downflow/upflow regeneration or simply backwash and rinse.
The valve comes with a solid state microprocessor with front panel setting and screen display.
The WS1 has 6 injector sizes to choose from for different draw rates.
Autotrol Water Softener, 268 Logix
Fleck Water Softener, 5000 SXT
Fleck Water Softener, 5600 Metered