A water softener is the reduction of certain metal ions, usually calcium, magnesium, and some other alloys, in hard water coming from the pipes. The resulting soft water needs less detergent for the same cleansing effort since no soap is wasted binding with magnesium and calcium ions. Some systems also add anion exchange compounds to reduce the sodium content. However, the most common type of water softener uses a resin bed that consists of activated carbon and/or phosphates to replace lost sodium and magnesium ions in hard water, thus softening it further. The softener works by replacing the lost ions in the water with sodium bicarbonate (Sodium bicarbonate is used to replace calcium and magnesium in water to make it less hard).
Three parts water softener: the resin tank, the media, and the regeneration unit. First, water enters the resin tank, where it is softened by the resin media. Once inside, the water ions are separated from the sodium ions, thus turning them back into their original form. This process is repeated a number of times until all the water in the tank is soft. Then the resin media is removed and the regeneration unit is installed.
Water softeners are useful for many different plumbing and pipe needs. But there are still some hard water problems that they cannot solve. If the scale is sopping up in your pipes or plumbing fixtures, then it may be time for an upgrade. These days, there are water softeners on the market that can handle harder water. You just have to check the specifications to make sure that it’s the right one for your needs.
When your pipes are filled with calcium and magnesium minerals, you are dealing with serious problems. Your kitchen might turn green as well as your shower. Hard water is bad enough by itself, but when it gets into your shower, or sinks and tubs, it’s worse. Excess scale build-up not only causes hard water problems but also makes rust-proof pipes weak and reduces the lifespan of appliances like water heaters. So before you buy a softener, make sure that you know what kinds of plumbing or pipe systems you have, and check for any kind of damage. And never use tap water to try out a softener!
This post was written by Kristian D’An, owner and water expert at Eco Water Solutions of Florida. Eco Water Solutions is a Tampa water softeners company. They offer whole home water solutions such as softeners, whole home water filtration systems, and reverse osmosis systems. Their focus is to provide Floridians with safe and clean water throughout the home.