How to Set Whirlpool Water Softener Hardness Setting

Whirlpool Water Softener Hardness Setting: (Step-by-Step Guide)

Do you own a whirlpool water softener and want to set the right hardness settings for your system?

Then, this is the article for you. I have written a step-by-step guide to help you set the perfect hardness level for your whirlpool water softener. 

Let’s dive in!

Why to set Whirlpool Water Softener Hardness Setting? 

Calcium and magnesium are minerals dissolved in your water that determine its hardness. When these minerals accumulate in your plumbing and appliances, you can encounter various problems.

You see, GPG and mg/L are the measurement units used for measuring the hardness of the water. Generally, hard water is defined as having more than 3.5 grams per liter of calcium carbonate content.

The settings in your whirlpool water softener will give you soft water by eliminating the hard minerals, thus converting the hard water. 

Your water softener’s hardness setting determines the amount of salt used to remove these hard minerals. If the setting is higher, more salt is used, while if it is lower, less salt is consumed. 

You may need to experiment with different settings until you find one that works best.

Whirlpool Water Softener Hardness Setting

There is no average or normal number for this setting, as the hardness of your incoming water depends on your geographical location. The Hardness Worksheet below will help you calculate your number.

Step 1: Retrieve the Data.

Find out how hard your water is and how much iron is in your drinking water.

A. Well water – If you have well water, send it to a treatment facility for testing.

B. City water – Contact your local water provider to find your water’s hardness and iron values.

(We will discuss more on checking the hardness of water below.) 

Step 2: Water hardness is Calculated

We now know that whirlpool water softeners communicate in GPG (Grains per gallon). As hardness numbers are typically reported in PPM or MG/L, divide them by 17.1 to convert them to GPG. The following is an example:

 The hardness of 250 ppm / 17.1 = approximately 15 gpg.

Step 3: Calculate the Iron Content in Clear Water

You should skip this step if you do not have Clear Water Iron.

Adding 5 to your hardness value will give you the value of iron in your water supply. For instance:

Iron at 2 ppm x 5 ppm = 10 ppm.

Iron value of 10 pm plus hardness value of 15 gpg = total value of 25 gpg.

Step 4: Programming the Whirlpool water softener 

Use your softener’s Program/Select button to scroll through the menu until you find the Hardness programming screen. Simply set your hardness value by using the Up/Down arrows.

Keep in mind – The final hardness level will be increased by 25% if you choose potassium salt (KCI) instead.

Whirlpool Water Softener Hardness Setting
Control Board of Whirlpool Water Softener

For more information regarding the hardness level of potassium chloride, refer to Whirpool  –

Checking the Hardness of Water 

As far as testing the hardness of your water is concerned, there are a few ways to do so. Using a home test kit like the Water Hardness Test Strip from LaMotte is one way to test your water hardness. Test strips like this measure the calcium and magnesium levels in the water so you can see how hard your home water is.

Sending a sample to a lab for analysis is another way to test your water’s hardness. In addition to giving you a better idea of the mineral content of your water, this will also let you know how alkaline and acidic the water is.

Lab tests are required to measure water hardness accurately, but they are also the most expensive option. Using a home test kit is a more affordable alternative if you need a general idea of how hard your water is.

You should have received a receipt with your test results if you had your water softener installed by a professional water treatment company.

Water hardness can be easily tested with a simple water hardness test kit, even if you installed your water softener.

To determine the hardness level of water, you can use various methods. A few easy ways are outlined below:

  • The soap test is as follows:

There’s no simpler way to do it than this. Place tap water in a plastic bottle, and then add liquid dish soap. Shake to mix well, and then close the lid.

Consider the water soft enough if bubbles are visible in it. Alternatively, the water is hard if there is no bubble formation but a milky layer.

  • The following kits are available for hardness testing:

A hardness test kit can immediately determine the water hardness level. The hardness can be calculated by dipping it into a water sample and calculating its hardness (GPG). 

Depending on the level of hardness, the strips’ color will change.

  • Laboratory certification:

You can discover your hardness level by using a certified laboratory. You must send a sample of your water to a laboratory for testing. Besides giving you in-depth results regarding hardness, they will also give you a measure of your water’s grist rate per gallon and PPM (parts per million).

Adjusting the Hardness Setting of your Whirlpool Water Softener? 

Before making any adjustments, test the level of water hardness. Finding the right setting for you will be easier with this information.

Set the hardness of your water slightly higher than the setting you started with. If the setting needs to be lowered, you can do so at any time.

Keep an eye on the salt level in your unit regularly. Maintain the efficiency of your water softener by adding salt when it starts to run low.

Saving money and conserving resources are possible when you find the right setting for your needs.

How do I know if my Whirlpool Water Softener Hardness Water Setting is Right? 

Test the water first to know the most precise settings on your Whirlpool water softener.

As most hardware stores and home centers sell water hardness testing kits, you can purchase one easily.

Following the instructions in the kit will guide you through using a water hardness test kit. It is usually necessary to add a few drops of the testing solution to a test tube or vial where a sample of water has been collected. After a few minutes, the water will change color depending on the hardness level.

This is how you will understand the hardness level of your water and then you can set your Whirlpool water softener accordingly.

Same as this, we have also written guide to Kenmore Water Softener Hardness Setting.


Here’s what you need to know before you leave…

The hardness level of your water and how to test it so that you can choose the optimal settings on your whirlpool water softener.