Hotel Water Softener Basics
What Does A Water Softener Do?
- A water softener is a tank system that removes the ions (i.e., usually calcium and magnesium) from the water to make it “softer.”
Do I Need One?
- Over 80% of hotels in the US require water softeners.
- Water softeners may not be required in certain areas of the Northwest and Northeast.
- In the most cases, a water softener is required when water hardness is more than 5 grains per gallon in hot water and 7 grains per gallon in cold water. A basic water test can determine the water profile.
- Hard water – when left untreated – can clog plumbing systems with limescale and reduce the lifespan of the plumbing equipment and fixtures.
- After treatment, the water softens and easily liquefies soap for easier removal of soap scum from sinks and tubs.
What Types Are There?
- There are several different types of softeners; however, the best option is a softener that uses ion exchange.
- Ion exchange is the technology most commonly used in water softeners.
What Size Do I Need?
- A typical 120-key hotel needs two 24” diameter softener tanks and one 30” diameter brine tank. These tanks take up an approximate 7’ by 2.5’ footprint in the water heater room.
- Choosing the size of the system required for each hotel is important.
- Oversized systems lead to hardness leakage due to inefficient flowrates. Undersized systems lead to pressure issues.
- Your MEP engineer should work directly with Culligan or another softener representative to ensure it is properly sized.
How Much Do They Cost?
- A water softener for a typical 120-key hotel can range from $5,000-$10,000.
- Cost fluctuations depend on whether you plan to soften only hot water or both the cold and hot.
- Since hot and cold water are mixed, most manufacturers recommend treating both sources.
What Maintenance Is Required?
- Softener maintenance is fairly basic.
- Requirements include regular cleaning of the brine tank and use of a high-quality salt and clean resin.
What Brands Are The Most Popular?
- Culligan is the most popular water softener we specify in our hotels. They have a longstanding reputation and are available nationwide.
If you have further questions or would like to discuss more details, please don’t hesitate to reach out.