- How do Water Softeners Work?
- What is Water Hardness?
- How will this save me MONEY?
- Will my skin feel slimy using soft water?
- Will a water softener harm a septic system?
- How Can I Get My Water Tested?
- Why do water softeners add salt to the water?
The water to be treated passes through a bed of the resin. Negatively-charged resins absorb and bind metal ions, which are positively charged. The resins initially contain univalent hydrogen, sodium or potassium ions, which exchange with divalent calcium and magnesium ions in the water. As the water passes through the resin column, the hardness ions replace the hydrogen, sodium or potassium ions which are released into the water. The "harder" the water, the more hydrogen, sodium or potassium ions are released from the resin and into the water. Resins are also available to remove carbonate, bicarbonate and sulfate ions which are absorbed and hydroxyl ions released from the resin. Both types of resin may be provided in a single water softener.
Hardness is made up of calcium and magnesium – rock that is dissolved in your water. With this in your water, it is difficult to wash because the hardness prevents soap from lathering. Hardness also leads to scaling in pipes and water heaters. Hardness is described in grains per gallon (gpg) or parts per million (ppm).
You can save money by preventing costly scale build-up in your household plumbing and fixtures. It reduces the energy cost for heating water and prolongs the life of water-using appliances. Water softening cuts the cost of cleaning supplies (soap, detergent, and shampoo) by up to 75%. Treated water gives you brighter, fresher, clothes that last longer, sparkling water, spot free dishes, no more bathtub rings, softer, smoother skin, shiny, more manageable hair, no more iron stains, no more scale and iron deposits in pipes.
When you wash your skin with hard water, there is a layer of soap and minerals that is left on your skin. This is what causes the supposed squeaky clean feeling. With soft water, the soap is completely rinsed away leaving just the natural oils your skin produces.
Studies conducted at the University of Wisconsin- Madison, and the National Sanitation Foundation confirm that softener regeneration does not harm the bacteria in the septic system.
You'll want to test for hardness, iron, and pH if you have well water; hardness, pH and chlorine for those on city water. Click here to set up an appointment to have your water tested in your home or our office. If you are experiencing iron stains with municipally supplied water, you should also test for iron.
The softener operates using an "ion exchange" process. When hard water contacts the cation resin beads, by passing through the softener mineral tank which has soft sodium/potassium ions attached to them, an ion exchange process takes place with the hard mineral ions, (normally calcium and/or magnesium), and during this contact, simply trade places with the soft sodium/potassium ions.
After a calculated period of use, the sodium ions are eventually depleted and are replaced by calcium and magnesium ions.
At this point, the resin then needs to be regenerated with new sodium ions, so the resin will again be able to exchange the hard for the soft. Salt, or sodium chloride, rinse through the resin beads during the regeneration of the softener and washes the hard water ions off of the resin beads replacing them with new sodium ions.