Hard water is a common problem being faced by the majority of households in the US. There are some temporary ways to deal with the effects of hard water, but the best and most economical solution is to install a water softening system. In this article, we are going to discuss the working of a water softener. Going through this article will help you improve your understanding of the system.
First of all, let us understand what a water softener is!
Water Softener System
Water softeners are whole house water filtration units that are connected to the main water supply of your home after it enters your home. The Well Water softeners remove calcium and magnesium from your water and make it soft. These two minerals are primarily responsible for hardness in your water. Water softeners come in different shapes and sizes and have a working capacity as per their capabilities and level of hardness in water.
How does it Work
In simple terms, a water softener uses water softening salts to reduce the hardness of the water. The salts remove calcium and magnesium from water and make it soft. As a result, the water you get is not harmful to your appliances, crockery, washing eatables, cooking, cleaning, and showering.
The actual process is an ion exchange process. In this process, calcium and magnesium are removed from the water with the help of resin beads. These minerals are mostly found in well water and drinking such water is harmful for living beings. These beads are made from polystyrene and are charged with sodium ions. The sodium ions are positively charged, while the calcium and magnesium ions are negatively charged. When the water passes from the resin beads, the negative ions are taken out of the water and replaced with sodium ions. The resin strips the hardness of water, and you get soft water for your use.
Parts of a Water Softener Unit
A standard water softener is composed of the following elements.
The Control Valve: The control valve controls the flow of water entering in the mineral tank and exiting the system towards your home. Most of the water softeners come with a digital meter to keep you aware of the amount of salt left in the system and the amount of water passing in the mineral tank. In some of the water softeners, the capacity is already set based on the size of your house, the number of people in your home, and your water consumption. Some latest models allow you to adjust the setting according to your preferences.
The Mineral Tank: Mineral tank is the heart of the system. It is the area where the actual action goes on, and your water is softened to be used safely. The mineral tank has the resin beads in it. When the water is supplied through the main lines, resin beads work on water according to the process explained above.
The Brine Tank: It helps in the water regeneration process. The brine tank holds the highly concentrated salt solution that is discharged in the mineral tank during the softening process. It aids in recharging the resin beads in the mineral tank and extend the life of water softening salt. Softening salts are also added to the brine tank. When the salt in the brine tank is finished, the water will no longer be softened while passing through the mineral tank.
Water Softener Regeneration Process
The regeneration cycle is just like a cleaning process for the resin beads in the mineral tank. The highly concentrated solution on the brine tank cleans off the beads and washes away any residual calcium and magnesium in the mineral tank. This process results in recharging and amplifying of resin beads to work on the incoming water. Most water softeners allow you to set a regeneration time as per your desired settings.
Benefits of Using a Water Softener System
- Safe water for cooking, washing eatables and other kitchen chores
- Safe showering
- Enhanced life of appliances, crockery, and plumbing
- Clean bathtubs, faucets, and showerheads
Tips for Better Results
- Install as per the recommendations of the manufacturer
- Keep the salt half full in the brine tank
- Check the salt levels regularly
- Use a high-quality salt