Water Softener Efficiency

Home / For Residents / Water Softener Efficiency

Save salt with our softener self-screen tool

You can prevent chloride pollution from salt in fresh water by ensuring that your water softener is operating as efficiently as possible and that you aren’t using more soft water than needed. There are several factors that affect water softener efficiency. While some factors are complicated and require professional assistance, there are other things you can assess on your own to determine whether or not your softener is working efficiently.

The District has developed a self-screen tool to help residents identify opportunities to reduce salt use in the home based on information about their softener and soft water use.

Finding information on your softener

To complete the self-screen, you’ll need to locate certain information on your softener.

  • Softener brand and model – Look for the brand and model on the labeling, stickers at the control head or tank.
  • Softener age – Check the unit for labeling, like a tag or sticker, that indicates when your softener was installed.
  • Softener regeneration control (day or gallons) for softeners with dials – if you have dials instead of a digital screen, check whether the capacity dial is labeled as number of days or number of gallons. Note this is not the same as a time of day setting.

For more detailed explanation with photo references, download our water softener screen help guide.

Water softener efficiency results

After you submit the softener screen, you’ll receive a summary report with the information you entered and your recommendations at the email address provided in the screening tool; this is an example of what you’ll receive about your water softener efficiency. You can share this information and the recommendations with your service provider when scheduling service for your softener.

Water softeners on Building WI TV

Watch this episode of Building Wisconsin TV to learn how we can all help solve the problem of to much salt going into freshwater streams from water softeners. Hear from District pollution prevention manager Kathy Lake, Allison Madison from WI Salt Wise, Steve Breitlow and Cory Thompson from Plumbers Local 75 and others for tips on how a water softener works, how they’re repaired and when they should be replaced.