How To Size A Water Softener?- Effective Calcination

For most homeowners, one of the biggest challenges is knowing how to size a water softener for optimal performance properly. Without the right size, you could face hard water problems for years. Fortunately, this comprehensive guide to water softener sizing can help you get the right model for your home and needs.

The 32,000-grain unit (equivalent to 1 cubic foot of resin) is sufficient for most households. Still, certain circumstances such as having a larger family (6 or more), a bigger house (over 4000sq ft), or dealing with very hard water (over 15 grains) may require a larger unit. However, the number varies depending on many factors, so we must determine the right calculation for the perfect size water softener. In this article, we wanna go bottom of this matter. So, keep on reading.

Things That Influence Water Softer Size

Knowing how big of a water softener do I need is a struggle; several factors should be considered. The size of the water softener that is best suited for any given application depends on the hardness of the water, the daily water usage, and the material is softened.

Hardness: The hardness of the water determines how much calcium and magnesium need to be removed to soften the water. This is usually measured in grains per gallon (mpg).

Daily Water Usage: On average, the amount of water your family uses determines how much water needs to be softened. Typically, this is calculated by multiplying the number of people in your household by 80 gallons daily, but remember that individual household habits can vary significantly from this estimated value.

Material Being Softened: The type of water being softened also plays an important role in determining the size of the water softener. For example, if you have a well, you may require a larger system to handle higher iron levels and other minerals. On the other hand, if you are on city water with lower amounts of hardness than average, then a smaller system might suffice.

Once you have determined the size of the water softener your household requires, you can begin shopping around. Consider all available options and compare features such as salt capacity, grain capacity, and regeneration frequency.

The Water Softener Calculation:

  1. To estimate your family’s daily water usage based on national averages, multiply the number of people in your household by 70 gallons.
  2. To convert mg/l or ppm to grains, divide by 17.1 and multiply the result by your water hardness in grains per gallon. When iron is detected in the water as dissolved iron, adding 5 grains for every ppm (mg/l) present is recommended. It should be noted that dissolved iron is clear from the tap but can leave reddish-brown stains.
  3. This is the recommended daily intake of grains. Calculate the softener capacities and determine the optimal size by dividing the given number. If you follow this formula correctly, then you can determine what size water softener I need easily.

Sizing A Water Softener Calculation example:

There are five people in the household, and the water has a hardness of 10 grains per gallon.

  1. The daily water usage for 5 individuals is 70 gallons, resulting in 350 gallons per day.
  2. The calculation results in 3500 grains per day, based on a rate of 350 gpd multiplied by 10 grains.

Based on calculations, a 1 cubic ft. water softener with 24,000 grains requires regeneration every 6.8 days, while a 1.5 cubic ft. water softener with 32,000 grains needs regeneration every 9 days, and a 2.0 cubic ft. water softener with 40,000 grains requires regeneration every 11 days. This water softener size calculator is effective and can help you get the right size softener for you.

Water Softener Sizing Chart:

Grains of Hardness per Gallon (GPG)Capacity of Water Softener (in grains)Capacity of Water Softener (in litres)
1-5 GPG16,000 grains295 litres
6-10 GPG24,000 grains443 litres
11-20 GPG32,000 grains591 litres
21-30 GPG40,000 grains739 litres
31-40 GPG48,000 grains886 litres
41-50 GPG64,000 grains1182 litres

Note: The capacity of the water softener may vary depending on the model and manufacturer.

What Happens If You Get Wrong Size Water Softener?

If You Get Undersize:

Determining what size water softener I need is never an easy task. And many people make mistakes by taking undersized. If you’ve recently installed an undersized water softener, it might fail to produce enough soft water for your household. This means hard water will go through your plumbing instead, beyond a certain usage level, or if too many faucets run simultaneously. Doing so negates all the fabulous water-softening benefits you expected – making this problem all the more frustrating.

Moreover, a unit that is too small will require more frequent regeneration to flush out built-up minerals in the resin beads; this should ideally occur as needed. In modern systems, this is done based on demand – whereupon the greater number of particles in the beads triggers the regeneration process. Choosing a system with the right size capacity for your needs is vital.

If You Get Oversized:

Having an oversized can come with its own set of problems. When buying one, it’s important to understand the capacity figures provided by the manufacturer. Otherwise, water softener

This will mean more money spent upfront for the softener. However, you may end up using less salt and water during each regeneration cycle as a result of this.

Another factor to consider when buying an oversized water softener is how much it will cost in terms of energy use and supply costs. Considering this long-term is important so they don’t take a toll on your budget later.

Unfortunately, the benefits of having an oversized system — like reducing salt usage — can often be overshadowed by the cons if not saving on energy is considered before purchase.

Is Giving So Many Efforts On Sizing Water Softeners Worth It?

Having the right-sized water softener for your home is essential for ensuring you get high-quality, softened water at an affordable cost. If you have a system that’s too big for what you need, your system will waste energy and money by running unnecessarily when it doesn’t need to. This means you’ll end up paying more than necessary for something that isn’t providing the full benefit of its expense.

On the other hand, having a water softener that’s too small can be catastrophic. If your system cannot handle all the incoming hard water, it won’t condition and soften it properly. As a result, it can damage pipes and cause staining on any laundry or dishes left in soft water from unfavorable lather formation and spotty deposits causing further cleanup costs. The correct sizing of your water softener is important for maintaining its longevity and getting your money’s worth out of it. Ensuring you get the right size ensures you enjoy tastier drinking water and save on costly repairs due to the wrong sizing of your water-softening system.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

1. Can You Have Too Big Of A Water Softener?

Yes, you can have too big of a water softener for your home. Typically, the size of water softener you should choose depends on the amount of water your household uses and the hardness of the water in your area. If you purchase a water softener that is too big for your household’s needs, it can lead to over-softening and over -regeneration, which can be costly and inefficient.

2. How Do I Know What Size Water Softener To Buy?

The best way to determine the size of the water softener you need is to use an online sizing calculator. These calculators consider your home’s water hardness, household size, and estimated daily water usage to estimate the size of water softener that is best for your needs.

3. Does Water Softener Size Matter?

When it comes to water softeners, size does matter. The size of your water softener is determined by a few factors, including the hardness of your water, the amount of water you use each day, and the number of people in your household.

4. Can You Drink Softened Water?

Yes, you can drink softened water. Water softeners are designed to remove hard minerals such as calcium and magnesium from the water supply, which may otherwise build up on fixtures and appliances over time. Softened water is generally safe to drink and use for cooking, but it’s important to size a water softener correctly to ensure that the right amount of salt is used in the softening process.

5. Is Soft Water Healthier?

Soft water results from softening, removing magnesium and calcium from hard water. The result is “softer” water that feels slippery and soapy. While it may be beneficial for use in bathing, laundry, and cleaning dishes, there is no scientific evidence that soft water is healthier than hard water for drinking or cooking.


It is important to correctly size your water softener to ensure you’re getting the most out of your system. An improperly sized water softener can lead to over-softening, over-regeneration, and higher energy costs. Before purchasing a water softener, consider your home’s water hardness, household size, and estimated daily water usage when using an online sizing calculator to determine the size of the water softener that is best for your needs.


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