In addition to raw water characteristics, the operation of the softener can influence efficiency of softening. The most important factors in softener are resin, flow, and cleaning.
Both the resin type and depth influence softening. There are many types of resins, each with different removal abilities, so the type of resin used will determine what can be removed from water. The depth of the resin bed will influence how much hardness can be removed from the water, with deeper beds removing more hardness.
Operation of the softener during the softening phase can also influence efficiency. Specifically, the flow rate of the water through the softener influences how much hardness is removed.
The efficiency of regeneration greatly affects operation of the softener during the softening phase.
The salt dosage during regeneration, the brine concentration, and the brine contact time all influence how well sodium is regenerated on the resin surface. If regeneration is not complete, then the softener will not operate as long before it requires another round of cleaning.