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.
Sizing a commercial water softener is based on the gallons per minute or flow rate of water used in the facility. It is a measure of how many gallons of water flow through the pipes. 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.
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. Every time a water softener regenerates, it uses salt. Salt is corrosive and can cause wear and tear 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, the regeneration cycle generally takes 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 kick on to soften water.
You can typically wire together four individual water softeners into one overall water softening system. Some factories may use multiple water softener systems to process all the water they are using per day.
Other factors you need to take into consideration when sizing a commercial water softener include water pressure, the hardness of your water, the temperature of the water, 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 depending on its water consumption. 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.