Water softener hardness setting – Ultimate Guide.

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Written By John Roe Stephen

Don’t wonder if you see the nasty outcome of water hardness here & there of your home! You only need to set the Water softener hardness appropriately to stop this issue.

In this write-up, we will explain to you the Water softener hardness setting with an ultimate guide.

Water hardness results in terrible effects on all of your furniture, clothes, appliance, or even on your skin. Hence, it is crucial for most US people to set a water softener perfectly, or the hard water will carry on its offensive performance.

Under the absolute situation, any brand’s latest water softener requires fixing depending on the genuine hardness of water, and then the water softener will complete the let-up. So continue reading to have more ideas regarding this concern.

What does water hardness mean?

Actually, when water carries a large number of minerals, particularly Magnesium & calcium, we can refer to hard water.

Bicarbonate, Magnesium, and calcium ions grant the water “short-term hardness” you can only eliminate this type of hardness through boiling.

Besides, the Sulfate anions allow enduring hardness; you can’t eliminate this type of hardness only through boiling. If all of these ingredients participate in a scaling way, your water will turn very hard to use without a water softener. 

Water softener hardness setting- step by step guide:

Step-1: Find out why Water softener hardness setting is essential?

Typically, the hardness setting of a water softener must be set considering the water hardness. Hence, an aged water softener should be set mild lofty hardness setting than genuine water hardness.

A water softener resin can only eliminate too much water hardness prior to it is essential to be regenerated. The water softener hardness setting indicates how much water (counting on gallons) can be used to restore the softener resin.

In the case of electric water softeners, the hardness number is fixed out to figure out how many times your water softener will be regenerated. Another advantage of electric water softeners is controlling the number of salt dosages required to regenerate the softener resin quantity inner of its tank.

Please lookout for the user manual to understand the Salt dosage setting, as most common water softeners demand manual salt dosage settings. Though this term goes in specific water situations, don’t worry, the Salt dosage setting is so simple to complete.

Step-2: Consider when is it requiring setting out the softener hardness?

While you will set the latest softener by yourself, firstly examine the water hardness by applying a test kit in your water. Then schedule the hardness unit into the water softener.

Even if in latest electronic water softeners come with a battery configured to continue the softener programmer settings. Sometimes, this battery may face a power losing problem & you need to re-enter the hardness setting again.

Setting the water hardness is easy if your softener is the electric one, though the system may differ depending on the model. Firstly make the water softener unplug, then look & follow the owner’s manual to get the proper instructions.

 Remind that your softener may need to be re-set if the water hardness swaps

Step-3: Noticeable factors for a Water Softener Hardness Setting:

As water hardness may vary in different situations, hence your water softener hardness setting should follow water hardness. Mainly, three factors greatly impact on Water Softener Hardness Setting concern.

  • The amount of hardness grist in water.

  • The existing level of iron.

  • Your water softener age.

Let’s discuss in detail below-

A. The amount of hardness grist in water:

While you are going to program your water softener, it is crucial to determine water hardness in advance. If your water carries much grist of hardness, the water softener needs to operate harder.

Be confirming first that your programming system can handle the amount of hardness grist.

This step will secure the resin to eliminate all the Magnesium & calcium attend in water. Hence, set the water softener harness considering this factor to allow it to work properly.

Here, we present a water hardness scale to make you understand better.

Hardness.Parts per Million (PPM) & mg/LGrains per Gallon (GPG).
Little hard17-601-3.5
Quite hard60-1203.5-7
Much hard>180>10

B. The existing level of iron:

Your water softeners will be capable of demolishing ferrous iron from water if you can program it perfectly.

If you have already determined the amount of hardness grist in water, test the existence level of iron. In this regard, you can apply a kit for the iron test; it’s quite simple & gives immediate results.

After setting on your water iron level, you must plus 4 to the number of hardness for each 1 Part per Million of iron in the water. For example, if the iron test tools indicate 1 PPM of iron in water, you should plus 4 to hardness & plus 6 to hardness if the iron level is 1.5 PPM.

Fixing the maximum hardness digit number into a water softener indicates the appropriate equipment to handle the dissolved iron also refers to its ability to place first.


Here is a short tip for you; we recommend picking an iron removal system extra. As a water softener has to work hard to eliminate iron content, it may quickly damage the water softener. This iron removal system will go best with your water softener.

C. Your water softener age:

If your water softener is old in the system, you should set the hardness setting higher comparing the latest softener system.

“Water softener resin” exits in tanks inside; it is capable of the water softener to eliminate tough ions from water.

If this resin doesn’t perform swiftly, a water softener turns nothing, just a water-flowing big tank.

You will find the latest water softener resin, same as a little soft bead to the empty eye, but if you see it on a microscopic stage, it seems much the same as a ball of yarn which includes a lot of crevasses around it to hold the irritating ions from water.

Also, the latest resin gives the best performance & efficiency than the older one. An old one loses its ability to curb hard iron also affects water softening performance.

And that’s why the Water softener hardness setting should be increased in case of resin efficiency demolish. This stage will confirm your water softener working system is quite good, like a new one.

Step-4: Ways of discovering Water Hardness Level?

You can apply different ways to discover the water hardness level. Below we are enlisting a few easiest ways-

  • Soap test:

Probably, this is the simplest way ever. Take a plastic water bottle, pour it with your tap water, also put on fluid dish soap in it, and then shake to mix them well, closing the bottle lid.

If you see bubbles in the water, consider the water is soft enough. Or if there formed a milky layer instead of bubbles, then the water is hard.

  • Hardness test kit:

To immediately get the water hardness level, you can apply a Hardness test kit. It will help to calculate the hardness in (GPG), basically the same as a test strip; you need to dunk it into a water sample. The color of strips will change to determine the hardness level.

  • Certified laboratory:

Of course, a certified laboratory is a perfect method to discover your hardness level. You need to give your water sample to the laboratory to test. They will give you results regarding water hardness in-depth, counting grist rate per gallon and PPM or mg/l.

Step-5: Some examples for set you’re Water Softener Hardness Setting Level:

Hence, in case of no finished iron in water, you only apply water hardness and the hardness rating twenty percent of the water hardness considering your water softener age.

Remember not to apply the same higher hardness level for all water softeners. But the resin may lose its performance efficiency when it becomes older; in this situation, little buffer adjustment is essential.

As stated above, we are joining an extra 4 to the hardness setting considering each one ppm of iron in the water.

Here is a table to decide how to fix a water softener relying on water hardness, iron concerns, and the water softener age.

The hardness of water (GPG)Iron (PPM)Plus hardness for ironWater softener age (years)Plus hardness depending on ageFix the hardness setting
5.52Slighter than 1007
514Greater than 10110
51.56Slighter than 10011
528Greater than 10114
101.04Slighter than 10014
101.56Greater than 10218
1028Slighter than 10018
102.510Greater than 10222
20.52Slighter than 10022
2016Slighter than 10026
202.08Greater than 10432
202.510Greater than 10434

Step-6: The possible effects of incorrect water softener setting:

Perhaps, two feasible effects may occur if the water softener is set incorrectly.

  • Effects for the higher setting than hardness level:

If you fix it higher, the water softener will regenerate much you require; this may cause quick salt consumption. Also leading more expense of money; wasting more water & need more maintenance cost.

  • Effects for the lower setting than hardness level:

In case of lower setting also make your expense more on other concern such as shampoo, soap, faucets, pipelines or all type of cleaning supplies; also the above stated expensive repairs. So adjust the water softener to an acceptable level instead of low.

  • Health impact of softened water:

You will enjoy both better hair & skin context using softened water. The most stunning facts are that the softened water includes no harmful elements. Or, if you install RO or any filter with the water softener, you will get pure water also.

In terms of applying a salt-based softener, there lies high chance mixing sodium ions with water. A hyper tensed person can’t take that water.

Step-7: Hardness setting on a non-electric softener:

It is a little tough to set the hardness on a non-electric softener, as it lacks an electric computer & can’t track the regenerating time. This type of water softener totally depends on a mechanical disc for maintaining regeneration.

However, both the water from well municipal may swap over time, but sometimes your non-electric water softener meter disc can’t regenerate properly to offer you soft water. This situation may lead to more wasting of water & salt.

Thus, a professional swap on the meter disc will require in this situation. Though it is not a usual concern, you should swap the hardness setting if the source of water changes.


How frequently does the water hardness change?

Water hardness change doesn’t happen of a sudden; it gradually.

Depending on your living area, the hardness may affect.

Besides, the construction concern is also responsible for water hardness. We suggest you take a laboratory test once every year to get the perfect hardness level, and then set the softener appropriately.

Which one is best for calculating hardness, GPG or PPM?

Yes! Both GPG & PPM system is used to calculate the water hardness. They measure the perfect quantity of Magnesium, calcium, and minerals exit in water.


How to determine the water softener is consuming over the amount of salt?

If you set the softener’s hardness volume much higher, there is a chance to consume more salt. Another issue is incorrect brine tank floatation. Or, if your household uses much water for everyday use, much salt is needed to soften more water.

Look out & stop any constant running appliances; if you’ve like toilets, it is also another cause for consuming over salt.

Final verdict:

We hope this guide will give you A-Z ideas regardingWater softener hardness settings. While setting the water hardness, be attentive to thecapacity, flow rate, and level of water hardness, iron stage, age of your softener & all things that we stated above.

Also, consider your required amount of water per day additionally the technology & maintenance factors.

Best regard, enjoy softened water.

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