Background info: Main house and guest house are fed from one well, guest house is supplied with softened water from the main house. Our current softener is the timer type; you have to set the pins on the dial to determine how often it regenerates. Up until now the system has worked pretty well, but recently we had two people move into our guest house. This is the first time anyone has lived in the guest house since we've owned the home, so I expected a few glitches.
Immediately after they moved in I noticed some surging in the water pressure when taking a shower. Didn't take long to discover the well tank was under-inflated and not correctly matched to the pump cut-in setting. Since I got that straightened out the water pressure has been excellent, but then we started getting spots all over the dishes. Makes sense that the softener would need to regenerate more often with twice as many people using water, so I added some extra pins to the week's schedule. The water seems to be fine now, but here is the sticking point...the folks living in the guest house are often gone for 2-3 days at a time, and their water usage is very erratic. Sometimes the softener regenerates when it doesn't need to, and other times the water starts to get hard due to high consumption for that particular day (laundry day, etc).
I would like to upgrade the water softener (current one is ~20 years old) to one that operates based on water usage, not just time. Just curious what you guys are using, what has worked well, what doesn't, etc. Any comments are welcome.