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What Hardness Level Should My Water Softener Be Set To?

What Hardness Level Should My Water Softener Be Set To?

Does your water softener come pre-programmed? We’re afraid not.


There really is no pre-programing a water softener’s levels, because not everyone has the same hardness level.


Well water will have a different level than municipal water, and not every municipality will have the same level.

What Happens if I Don’t Operate on the Correct Settings?

Ensuring your unit is operating on the right level is essential. Otherwise, you run the risk of flushing money down the drain.


Your softener won’t be running as efficiently as it should be, while wasting both water and salt. You also run the risk of your softener not working properly, which means you will have hard water, even though you have a water softener.


While there is no immediate health concern there, hard water can clog up your shower heads, reduce your water flow, leave mineral deposits behind on your clothes, or even shorten your appliances’ life span.

How Do I Learn My Water’s Hardness Level

First and foremost, if you're on a municipal water system, you can just call up the local waterworks and ask them how hard your water is.


Now, if they give it to you in grains per gallon, that's the number you're going to be using. But if they give it to you in parts per million, all you need to do is divide that number by 17, and that will convert it into grains per gallon for you.


If for some reason, you can't get that information from your municipality or your waterworks, good news! You can click on this video to see how to do it.


Failing that, you can always mail us a sample and we will test it free of charge.


Mail your water sample to:


Water Store

1004 King Street

Midland, Ontario L4R 0B8


Now let’s get your numbers.

The Math is Easy!

There’s a bit of math involved here. If you’re more of a visual learner, click on this video to watch how we break it down.


You’ll need to know your water’s:


· Iron in ppm. For example, 1.5

· Manganese in ppm. For example, .5


Now, all you need to do is:


1) Take the hardness in gpg (grains per gallon). For example 12

2) Multiply the Iron in ppm (parts per million) by 4. For example 1.5 x 4 = 6

3) Multiply the Manganese in ppm by 6. For example .5 x 6 = 3

4) Total up 1-3 to get Compensated Hardness. For example 12 + 6 + 3 = 21


In this example, 21 is the key number needed. The compensated hardness.


Now it’s time to plug that number into your softener.

Program Your Water Softener’s Hardness Level

If you have a modern electronic water softener (i.e. HUM water softeners we sell), it’s super easy to program them.


Go to your unit’s front panel and press the Next and the Up buttons at the same time until the screen changes. Now you’re at the hardness settings. Simply use the Up/Down arrows until you land on the number we determined earlier (21) and you're done. Simply press the Next button until you return to the home screen where you should see the current time.

Is it Time For a New Water Softener?

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