What water hardness should be set on the softener?

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Water softening is a process that aims to eliminate excessive amounts of calcium and magnesium ions contained in water. These ions are responsible for what we call water hardness. Hard water can lead to many problems in your home, from difficult cleaning to scale build-up on appliances, to increased energy consumption of household appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers. Water softeners are special devices that are used to carry out this process and help to effectively reduce water hardness. However, many people wonder what water hardness should be set on the softener so that it is optimal for both the house and the health of residents.

Water hardness and its measurement

Water hardness is an indicator that measures the amount of calcium and magnesium ions contained in water. Depending on the region, water hardness is measured in different units, the most common being French degrees (°fH) or German degrees (°dH). It is generally accepted that water with a hardness of up to 5 °dH is considered soft, and water with a hardness above 8 °dH is considered hard. Water hardness can affect many aspects of home life, from the taste of water to the durability of water appliances.

How to Set the Water Hardness on the Softener

To configure the water softener, we must first determine the current water hardness. We can do this using special tests that are readily available at home improvement stores or online. After performing the test and obtaining the water hardness result, the softener should be configured to reduce the water hardness to the desired level. Please note that the optimal settings may depend on the model of the softener, so it is always worth consulting the instruction manual.

What water hardness to choose

In an ideal world, we would like our water to be as soft as possible to avoid the problems associated with hard water. However, in practice, water that is too soft may not be healthy to drink as it may lack some essential minerals. Therefore, the recommended water hardness for everyday household use is around 4-5 °dH. This is the level of hardness that allows satisfactory quality of water for drinking, cooking and use in household appliances, while not causing problems with limescale.


Water softening is a key process that helps prevent many hard water problems in your home. To use the water softener effectively, it is extremely important to set the water hardness on the device correctly. It is recommended that the water hardness be around 4-5°dH for daily home use. However, remember that optimal settings may vary depending on your individual needs, water quality in your region, and the model of softener you have.

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