Water Softener Hardness Setting For Well Water [Expert Guide]

Setting water softener hardness setting for well water is a crucial step in ensuring that your water is clean and free of minerals. Well water generally contains high levels of dissolved minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron, which can cause scaling and sediment buildup in plumbing systems. By properly setting the hardness setting on your water softener, you can prevent these minerals from causing damage to your plumbing and appliances.

Step 1: Test Your Well Water

The first step in setting water softener hardness setting for well water is to test your well water to determine its hardness level. You can use a water hardness test kit or have a professional water test done to determine the level of minerals in your water. According to the Water Quality Association, water hardness is measured in grains per gallon (gpg), and the ideal level for water softening is between 3-4 grains per gallon.

Step 2: Determine the Ideal Hardness Setting

Once you have obtained the results of your water test, you can proceed to determine the ideal hardness setting for your water softener. The following guidelines will assist you in this process:

  1. If your well water has a hardness level of 1-3.5 grains per gallon (gpg), it is recommended to set the hardness setting to 3-4 grains per gallon.
  2. If your well water has a hardness level of 3.5-7 grains per gallon, it is advisable to set the hardness setting to 7-8 grains per gallon.
  3. If your well water has a hardness level above 7 grains per gallon, it is recommended to set the hardness setting to 9-10 grains per gallon.

These ranges ensure effective softening of the water, providing you with the desired level of mineral removal and sediment reduction.

Also Related: Can You Install a Water Softener in a Condo [Expert Guide]

Step 3: Adjust the Hardness Setting

Adjusting the hardness setting on your water softener is a straightforward process that can be accomplished by following these simple steps:

water softener hardness setting for well water
water softener hardness setting for well water

1. Locate the control panel:

The control panel of your water softener is typically located either on the top or front of the unit. It is designed to provide easy access for adjusting various settings.

2. Identify the “Hardness” or “Saturation” setting:

Once you have located the control panel, look for the specific setting that controls the hardness level. This setting may be labeled as “Hardness,” “Saturation,” or something similar. It can be displayed as a numerical value or represented by a series of bars indicating the hardness level.

3. Use the control panel to adjust the hardness setting:

Depending on the type of control panel you have, there are different ways to adjust the hardness setting.

For traditional control panels, you may find a dial or button that allows you to increase or decrease the hardness level. Simply turn the dial or press the appropriate button to set the desired level.

4. Adjusting digital control panels:

If your water softener is equipped with a digital control panel, you may need to access the settings menu to adjust the hardness level. This is typically done by pressing a designated button that grants you access to the menu.

Once in the settings menu, navigate to the hardness setting and use the provided controls, such as arrow keys or a touch screen, to adjust the setting to your preferred level.

5. Test the water:

After adjusting the hardness setting, it is important to test the water coming out of your faucet to ensure that it has been adequately softened.

Allow the water to flow for a few moments, and then collect a sample in a clean container.

Check for any signs of hardness, such as soap scum or mineral deposits.

If the water is still not adequately softened, you may need to make minor adjustments to the hardness setting. But generally I would repeat the testing process until the desired results are achieved.

By following these steps, you can easily adjust the hardness setting on your water softener to ensure that your well water is properly treated and free from minerals and sediment.

Tips for Maintaining Your Water Softener

In addition to setting the hardness setting, it’s important to maintain your water softener regularly to ensure that it’s effective and efficient. Here are some tips for maintaining your water softener:

  • Regularly clean the sediment filter to remove any debris or sediment that may have accumulated.
  • Check the salt level in the brine tank and add more salt as needed.
  • Inspect the water softener’s electrical connections and make sure they’re secure.
  • Have your water softener serviced annually by a professional to ensure that it’s functioning properly.


To summarize, setting the water softener hardness setting for well water is an important step in maintaining clean and mineral-free water in your home. By following the outlined steps and adhering to the recommended maintenance tips, you can enjoy the benefits of soft water while prolonging the lifespan of your water softener.

With well-treated water, you can experience improved quality and efficiency throughout your household water system.

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