Commercial vs Residential
The main difference between a water softener used in a commercial application and one used in a residential setting is its size, which affects how frequently it regenerates. Regeneration is the process by which a water softener cleans itself out, ridding itself of all the hard minerals that it has taken out of your water and flushing them down the drain to start the softening process again.
Sizing a commercial water softener is based on the gallons per minute or flow rate of water used in the facility. You want to size a water softener large enough that, based on the average gallons of water used per day, the softener only regenerates once per day.
The Regeneration Process
Every time a water softener regenerates, it uses salt. Salt is corrosive and can cause damage to a system over time, which is why it’s important to size the water softener unit correctly so that it only needs to regenerate once a day at the most.
During the regeneration process, soft water is not available. For this reason, residential water softener regeneration cycles generally take place at night, when soft water isn’t needed. However, in some commercial applications where soft water needs to be available 24 hours a day, there may be multiple water softener units in place so that while one is regenerating, another can soften water.
You can typically wire together up to four individual water softeners into one overall water softening system. Some factories may even use multiple water softener systems to meet their daily water softening needs.
Other factors you need to consider when sizing a commercial water softener include water pressure, the hardness of your water, the water temperature, the capacity per cubic foot of resin that each water softener tank can hold, the desired hours between regenerations, and the amount of space you have in your facility.
Not all commercial facilities may need a large water softener. Some may have the same size softener you would use in your home. Every commercial water softener application needs to be individually sized and quoted based on the company’s unique water consumption.