Water softener making my water bill very high?

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1,212
Moved into this house in August. First time with a water softener. My water bill seems pretty high, close to a hundred a month (and I have a septic tank). The previous owners said they set the water softener pretty high because they “like the water nice and soft”.

I don’t have any leaking pipes or leaking faucets/toilets. Could the softener be the issue? And if I turn it down will it not regenerate as much? Anyway, can a water softener raise the cost of a water bill?
 

doublebase

Thread starter
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1,212
Sure. If it is regenerating way too often, it will consume water. Have it checked. What is your level of hardness? Then have the regeneration set to that and your usage.
I’ll have to read the owners manual. It seems to regenerate every other morning. Not sure if that’s normal or not.
 
Messages
43
Location
Georgia
Ya check the softener and your water. Setting a water softener higher than needed won't make the water "nice and soft". It'll just make the softener regenerate more often using extra salt and water.
 
Messages
43
Location
Georgia
I’ll have to read the owners manual. It seems to regenerate every other morning. Not sure if that’s normal or not.
That's way too often unless your water is basically solid or the softener is way way too small.


Mine regenerates once a month and the water comes out perfectly soft. 15 grains of hardness here.
 

doublebase

Thread starter
Messages
1,212
That's way too often unless your water is basically solid or the softener is way way too small.


Mine regenerates once a month and the water comes out perfectly soft. 15 grains of hardness here.
Oh wow, I had no idea. I’ll look into it and change it.

Like I said, the previous owners said they liked their water very soft. I haven’t even read the manual or touched the thing. But I’ll tell yeah, I‘ve never had a water softener, could care less really, BUT my hair is so darn soft it feels like clouds of feathers or something. I’ve never felt anything like that in my life. Haha.
 
Messages
2,596
Location
MN
It depends on the capacity of the softener and the hardness of your water. Mine is set tp recharge every 1000 gallons which for me ends up being every 4 or 5 days depending on laundry and things like that. Unless you are on very hard water or have an iron problem that seems like too often.
 
Messages
43
Location
Georgia
Oh wow, I had no idea. I’ll look into it and change it.

Like I said, the previous owners said they liked their water very soft. I haven’t even read the manual or touched the thing. But I’ll tell yeah, I‘ve never had a water softener, could care less really, BUT my hair is so darn soft it feels like clouds of feathers or something. I’ve never felt anything like that in my life. Haha.
Haha ya they make a huge difference for sure most people won't go back to hard water after getting one.

Definitely look into it though. Regen times will vary by how much you use it and it's capacity. Typically if it's sized right it'll be about once a week. Regen too often and it'll wear out the resin bed early.

Changing it should make you water any harder though. As long as it regen before the bed is full it'll remove all the hardness from you water.
 

RAR

Messages
117
Location
Minnesota
Setting it high doesn’t make it”extra soft”... it just wastes water, like you now know.

I’m installing my new softener because I have somewhat hard water, but the Morton softener I got monitors usage so that it runs only when needed and no more.
 
Messages
736
Location
Indiana
As previously stated, if the softener is anywhere near properly sized, the regen frequency is way to often.

Definitely test your incoming water for hardness. A lot of municipal water utilities will tell you the typical hardness of the water. If on a well, get a home test kit or have it tested by someone who can.

Some older softeners or economy models use a simple timer for setting frequency. Others have flow meters to base it on water consumption.

Our water is really hard here, but my new, on-demand unit only cycles twice a month (ymmv).

Finally, I'd be a bit concerned about the condition of the resin. Depending on how old it is, it sounds like it's been regened hundreds of times. I replaced a 20 year old re-badged fleck unit (simple timer) with a new one with electronic control/demand cycling for less than $800 last summer. Partly because of age, partly to get demand cycling (save water & salt), and partly because it was originally used on well water with high iron content (iron hastens resin bed fouling).
 
Messages
7,055
Location
MIchigan
You can always manually turn it on & off by unplugging it which stops the timer. Then when you want it on......plug it in and turn the dial to regen. If the previous owners didn't leave you a manual I'm sure you can find one online.
 
Messages
7,985
Location
MI
- Depending on size, your softener is using approximately 50 +/- gallons water every time it regenerates.
- Your softener is either timer based (days) or demand based (water used), sometimes both. You can only tweak the softener efficiency by knowing your water chemistry (hardness minerals, iron, etc.).
- IF your softener drains into your septic tank, you want to be extra proactive about managing your softener as efficiently as possible.
- If you wish, I have data that shows efficiently operated softeners are o.k. for septics...... most, but not all situations.
- You DON'T want to spend $20,000+ on a new waste management system!!! I.E., no powdered laundry soap into septics.

Here is a good softener primer if you want to spend the time. It is heavily biased to running your softener as efficiently as possible. IMO, I would not run a softener at less than 6 lbs. salt/cu. ft. resin.......I have some iron, which biases my opinion.

https://www.aquatell.ca/pages/ultimate-water-softener-guide
 
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Messages
7,985
Location
MI
Don't have a water softener or understand too much how they operate, but simple question: Where is the water going ?
When the softener regenerates, the salty rinse water (50 gal. +/-) "flushes off" the minerals collected on the resin beads and drains into the sewer line, septic tank, or a dry well.
 
Messages
4,939
Location
Ohio
Ouch, I didn't realize that ! I guess this rinse could be otherwise good, treated water if it's not used in time too, right ?
 
Messages
9,782
Location
Central Coast, Calif.
If it regenerates every day at 50 gallons per cycle that would still only be 2 units of water (ccf) per month. That’s only $10 if you have expensive water. I’d look for water usage in other spots also.
 
Messages
6,574
Location
New England
Are you comparing water usage or billing cost from before? Remember the billing rate can differ town to town so it may not be meaningful.

If you can compare your consumption of gallons of water or CFM home to home it maybe will start to be more meaningful.
 
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