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Keep in mind that 1 L of resin at 20 German degrees of hardness produces 120L of desalinated water. So using the special hardness meter, you can calculate the hardness and therefore calculate how many liters of desalinated water the softener will produce. This will help you properly program when the machine will be regenerating. Example: You are on an island and decide to buy a softener because you have very hard water. You measure hardness and you find it to be 40 German degrees. This means that one liter of resin will produce 60 liters of desalinated water. If your softener is 10 liters (resin capacity), then you know that the softener will produce a total of 600 liters of desalinated water. Then it will need to regenerate.
Why the softener needs to regenerate: The resin exchanges magnesium and calcium ions with Sodium and Potassium ions. However, it is exhausted at some point. To regenerate, it needs to be washed with coarse salt. This process can take up to four hours. So the softeners have a brine container where you put the salt. There the softener adds water to dissolve the salt and allow the machine to regenerate. The brine tank should be 1/3 covered with water, 1/3 covered with salt and 1/3 vacuum. Some softeners are compact (they have a built-in brine tank) and some are simpler (the resin is separate from the brine tank).
Important information: Water hardness is measured in mg / l or parts per million (ppm) as well as in French, German or English. 1 ppm = 0,1ºf (French degrees) = 0,0556 ºd (German marks) = 0,07 ºe (English marks). So 1ºf (French grade) = 10 ppm If we divide ppm of water by 10, then we have the number of water hardness with a very slight deviation of 2-3ºf French. You can measure your water conductivity with a conductivity meter (TDS) that counts in ppm (parts per million). See the table below to know how soft or hard the water is in your area:
|ppm||μS/cm||f (french degrees)||Water Characterisation|
|0-70||0-140||0-7||Very soft water|
|150-250||300-500||15-25||A bit hard water|
|250-320||500-640||25-32||Hard enough water|
|>420||>840||>42||Very hard water|
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