Water Softener Buying Guide 2024 – Berks County PA

Water Softener Buying Guide 2024 – Berks County PA

If hard water is a common issue in your household, you likely recognize the significance of having a dependable water softener.

While hard water itself is not harmful, it comes with undesirable consequences. It has the potential to reduce the lifespan of your plumbing appliances by as much as a third and it may affect the taste of your water.

Additionally, hard water can contribute to dryness in your hair and skin. If you haven’t already, investing in a quality water softener system it is a wise decision to mitigate these issues and enhance the overall quality of your water.

What is a Water Softener and How Does It Work?

A water softener is a device that removes or reduces the concentration of calcium and magnesium ions in hard water. Hard water contains high levels of these minerals, which can lead to various issues such as limescale buildup in pipes, appliances, and fixtures. Water softeners use a process called ion exchange to replace calcium and magnesium ions with sodium or potassium ions, effectively “softening” the water.

It’s important to note that there are different types of water softeners, including salt-based and salt-free  options. Salt-based water softeners use actual salt to regenerate the resin beads, while salt-free systems use alternative methods to prevent scale buildup without adding sodium or potassium to the water.

Buying A Water Softener: What Size Do I Need?

When selecting a water softener, size is critical, considering both price and efficiency. Calculate the size of your water softener based on water hardness (grains per gallon) and daily water consumption. Higher grains per gallon signal harder water, necessitating a larger grain capacity. For precision, use a water hardness testing kit or consult us for a comprehensive evaluation.

Water with 3.5 to 7 grains per gallon is moderately hard, 7-10 is hard, and above 10 is very hard. Factor in household water usage by considering occupants and appliances. Estimate daily needs by multiplying residents by 75, then by 7 for weekly usage. Multiply this by grains per gallon to determine the required capacity.


Here are some steps that you can take:

  1. Test Water Hardness – testing the water with a kit or strips to determine the harness of your water. Plumbing Professionals are a great resource to have this done for your home.
  2. Determine Daily Water Usage – estimating your households daily water usage
  3. Calculate Daily Grain Capacity – Multiply your daiy water usage by the harness of your water.
  4. Fact in Water Softener Efficiency – Efficiency of the water softener you’re interested in.
  5. Adjust for Peak Demand – Does your household experience peak water usage at certain times? factor in this peak demain when determining the softener size
  6. Consider the size of the resin tank: The size of the resin tank in the water softener also matters. Larger resin tanks can handle more grains before regeneration.
  7. Consult with a plumbing specialist – Water treatment specialist like Service 360 Group can provide an accurate assessment for the best water softener for your home.

What Are the Different Types of Water Softeners?

When choosing a water softener, consider your specific needs, water hardness level, and preferences to determine which type best suits your requirements. The main types include:

Salt-Based Ion Exchange Water Softeners

  • Traditional and effective.
  • Uses salt to regenerate resin beads.
  • Requires maintenance, including adding salt.

Salt-Free Water Softeners/ Conditioners (Descalers)

  • Alternative for those concerned about sodium intake.
  • Uses other methods to prevent scale buildup.
  • Low maintenance but may not be as effective for very hard water.

Dual-Tank Water Softeners

  • Continuous Water Supply
  • Efficiency in regeneration cycle
  • Extended Lifespan
  • Suitable for HIgh-Demand Situations

Electric  Water Softeners

  • No Salt Usage
  • No Brine Discharge
  • Low maintenance

Magnetic Water Softeners

  • No Chemical Additives
  • Easy Installation
  • No Electricity Required

Does Softened Water Taste Different?

The taste of softened water can be different from hard water due to the removal of certain minerals, primarily calcium and magnesium, during the softening process. Softened water has a reduced concentration of these minerals, and some people may notice a subtle change in taste.

It’s important to note that the taste difference between hard and softened water is generally subtle. Some individuals may prefer the taste of softened water, while others may not notice a significant change. The impact on taste can also depend on the specific water-softening method used and the overall water quality.

Managing Water Softener Maintenance Costs

Wondering when to replace your water softener? Look out for signs like stains on sinks, toilets, and showers, mineral buildup on faucets, foggy glassware, faded laundry, and dry skin. Ensure ongoing maintenance, including salt replenishment, cleaning, and occasional professional servicing, to keep your water softener effective and extend its lifespan.

Tips for Maintaining Your Water Softener

  1. Check Salt Levels
  2. Add Salt As Needed
  3. Inspect for Salt Bridges or Crusts
  4. Clean The Brine Tank
  5. Inspect And Clean The Resin Tank
  6. Inspect The Control Valve
  7. Check System Settings
  8. Test Water Hardness
  9. Check for Salt Bridges in the Brine Tank Float Assembly
  10. Professional Maintenance

How a Water Softener Works

  1. Hard Water Entry: Mineral-rich hard water enters the softener from the main supply.
  2. Ion Exchange: Resin beads in the tank, coated with sodium or potassium ions, attract and capture calcium and magnesium ions through ion exchange.
  3. Mineral Removal: Calcium and magnesium ions in hard water are exchanged for sodium or potassium ions as water passes through resin beads, effectively removing hardness-causing minerals.
  4. Resin Regeneration: Saturated resin beads undergo regeneration. A brine solution is introduced, displacing captured minerals and recharging the beads with sodium or potassium ions.
  5. Excess Mineral Flush: Excess minerals and brine solution, along with impurities, are flushed out, leaving resin beads ready for the next softening cycle.
  6. Softened Water Distribution: Calcium and magnesium-free water flows through the plumbing, protecting appliances, pipes, and fixtures from scale buildup.
  7. Continuous Operation: The system operates continuously, ensuring a consistent supply of softened water. Regular maintenance, including salt replenishment, ensures optimal performance.

Lancaster Water Group

Lancaster Water Group located in the heart of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Lancaster Water Group was founded in 1942 on the values of honesty and quality. Four generations of founding families continue to maintain the same honest attitude of dependability and trust that began with a handshake. Our mission as was the mission of our founders, is to provide cleanin flowing water through quality equipment.

When purchasing a water softener is the quality of the product. Does the company stand behind their product? Explore top-quality water softeners from Lancaster Water Group, a reputable brand known for innovative residential water treatment solutions & water filtration systems.

Areas of Service

Lancaster Water Group caters to Berks County, PA, including Reading, Kutztown, Blandon, Temple, Elverson, and Shillington.

Ensure your water softener choice aligns with the specific water conditions in these regions for optimal performance. 

Call, Chat or book online to speak with our water softener experts & water treatment system experts today.