How Does Your Water Softener Regenerate?

The installation of a water-softening system in your house allows you to remove magnesium and calcium ions from the hard water and replace them with sodium ions. This softening unit is installed into your plumbing system to help eliminate the problems associated with hard water, such as the need to use large quantities of detergents when washing clothes and dishes. Once you have installed a water-softening system in your house, you may start to wonder how the system regenerates. Below is an overview of the two major ways through which your softener is regenerated.


Water softeners that use the demand-initiated approach are usually regenerated once the capacity in the tank is depleted, which can occur at any time. One integral part of these systems is a meter-controlled valve that displays the total amount of water passing through the system. After the hardness of the water is calculated, the meter is set to start regeneration of the softer once a certain number of gallons pass through the system. This means that if your household uses fewer gallons than those preset by the meter, then regeneration will not be frequent. When the meter gives out a signal, it promotes the control valve to start the regeneration process, and the soft water finally finds its way back into the holding tank, ready for pumping.


Water-softening systems that use a time-initiated approach are the oldest on the market. They were mainly developed to end the system whereby an operator had to switch on the regeneration system to initiate the process. The majority of time-initiated designs on the market have control valves that are equipped with a digital or a motorized clock. During installation, the technician is expected to select the number of days that will lapse before regeneration commences, as well as the start time. Regeneration is usually set to start at midnight to minimize the probability of untreated water going directly to the taps. Time-intimated systems are usually set up on the basis of the estimated water usage in your household.

To determine the best softener-regenerating system for your household needs, it is important to work closely with professionals that have experience doing water-softening installation. They will measure the hardness and usage of water, which will guide them on either picking a time- or demand-initiated regenerating system. Picking the right system minimizes the chances of unnecessary regeneration or the chance of hard water getting into your taps.

For more information, call an installation and pumps repair professional in your area.