Water softeners are whole-house water filtration systems that remove hardness-causing calcium or magnesium minerals from your water. This is called ion exchange. The most serious and damaging water problem is hard water. A water softener solves this problem. The modern home is affected by hard water. Scale can build up in pipes and reduce water pressure. Scale drastically reduces the life expectancy of appliances such as dishwashers, coffee machines, and ice makers. Hard water destroys hot water appliances. Higher temperatures will cause calcium and magnesium to solidify in your hot water heater. It can make your water heater sound like it is popping popcorn if you live in hard water areas. The scale has attached itself to the heating element. The calcified rock deposits on the heating elements crackle and stretch as the heater heats up and expands. Popcorn popping sounds are caused by a hard water-induced scale.
Laundry that isn’t water softened will require extra detergent to keep it looking clean. Your dishwasher will leave your dishes stained and streaky. Your shampoo and soap will not lather if you have filmy scum on your shower curtains. Hard water can cause skin irritation and make your hair dry and lifeless. It is a daunting task to remove the harmful side effects of hard water. The solution to water hardness is a whole-house water softener.
What Is The Working Principle Of Water Softeners?
Water softeners use a process called “ion exchange” to remove calcium and magnesium from water. The mineral tank contains hard water that flows through a bed made of spherical resin beads. These beads are usually made of polystyrene and charged with sodium Ion. Resin beads are anions which means they have a negative charge. Calcium and magnesium minerals are cations because they have a positive charge. Because opposite charges attract, the negativity of the minerals’ charge is attracted by the resin beads’ positive charge. The beads grab hold of the minerals ions as the water passes through them. The sodium ion is released when the bead grabs the mineral ion. As the water passes through the mineral tank, the resin column removes all hardness. The water is then softened and pumped out to your home.
What Are The Main Components Of A Water Softener?
A water softener consists of three components: a control device, a mineral tank, and a brine tank. They work together to remove minerals from hard water, monitor water flows, and periodically clean the system with a regeneration process.
1. The Mineral Tank
The mineral tank is where hard water is softened. The tank is fed by the water supply line. The water seeps into the resin beads and deposits the calcium and magnesium ions. The water leaves the tank softly and flows through your pipes to your appliances.
2. The Control Valve
The control valve measures how much water passes through the mineral tank into your home. This valve houses a meter that tracks the volume of water entering your mineral tank. The resin beads convert sodium ions into hardness ions as the hard water flows through the tank. This reduces the resin’s ability to soften water effectively over time. The control valve initiates a cycle of regeneration before the beads get too clogged with minerals to remove calcium and magnesium ions. The control valve’s computer pre-programs the maximum capacity. It is based on several factors such as the size of your house and how many people live there. The demand-initiated controllers that control valves use to allow water softening units such efficiency.
3. The Brine Tank
The brine tank assists the water softening system with regeneration. The brine tank is a smaller tank that is located next to the mineral tank. To restore the positive charge of resin beads, the brine tank contains a concentrated solution (or sometimes potassium). The brine tank is manually filled with salt in the form of either blocks or pellets. These are dissolved in the water at bottom of the tank. The control valve will indicate that the resin’s softening ability is decreasing. When this happens, the heavy brine solution will be pulled out of the tank and flushed through the resin in the mineral tank. The water that passes through the unit won’t be softened if the salt tank runs dry.
This post was written by a specialist at One Green Filter. One Green Filter is Tampa Bay’s top Water Softener, Purification & Filtration Expert. Our customers chose One Green FIlter because of our consistently high level of service and superior products we use to deliver pure, delicious water to their homes, businesses, and schools across the Tampa Bay area. To schedule a free appointment to test the quality of your water at your convenience contact us today.