Hotel Water Softener Basics

Hotel Water Softener Basics

Hotel Water Softener Basics

Hotel Water Softener Basics

In previous newsletters, I shared the basics of tank and tankless hot water systems. Today, I discuss one last and often overlooked component of the hotel water system – Water Softeners.

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.”

water softner

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.

Water Softener System

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.