How does a water softener work?

How does a water softener work? The idea behind a water softener is simple. The calcium and magnesium ions (Hardness) in the water are replaced with sodium ions. And this generally called a 1 for 1 ionic exchange. Since sodium does not precipitate out in pipes or react badly with soap, both of the problems of hard water are eliminated. To do the ion replacement, the water in the house runs through a bed of small plastic beads or through a chemical matrix called ion exchange resin. The ion exchange beads are covered with sodium ions. And as the water flows past the sodium ions swap places with the calcium and magnesium ions. So eventually, the beads contain nothing but calcium and magnesium (hardness) and no sodium. And at this point they stop softening the water. It is then time to regenerate, or recharge, the beads.

Are you interested in purchasing a water softener? But wonder how it can provide you with the soft water you have been searching for? This page explains how a water softener can eliminate hardness and helps you understand the idea behind a water softener.

What is hard water?

We call water "hard" if it contains a lot of calcium or magnesium dissolved in it. And hard water causes two problems:

  • It can cause "scale" to form on the inside of pipes, water heaters, tea kettles and so on. The calcium and magnesium precipitate out of the water and stick to things. And the scale doesn't conduct heat well. And it also reduces the flow through pipes. So eventually, pipes can become completely clogged.
  • Also, it reacts with soap to form a sticky scum, and also reduces the soap's ability to lather. And since most of us like to wash with soap, hard water makes a bath or shower less productive.

The solution to hard water is either to filter the water by distillation or reverse osmosis to remove the calcium and magnesium. But these two methods are normally a bit difficult for a whole house. So the most popular solution would be to use a water softener. Because a water softener gives you the benefits of soft water. And the ongoing expense is nominal. Because most people add salt to our water softeners about once per year on average. And that is usually a cost of less than $50 per year. Also there is normally very little maintenance for a water softener that is properly applied.

How does a water softener work?

What does water softener regeneration mean?

Regeneration involves soaking the beads or zeolite in a stream of sodium ions. And salt is actually sodium chloride. So the water softener mixes up a brine (salt) solution. And then flushes it through the ion exchange beads (this is why you load a water softener with salt). The brine (salt) displaces all of the calcium and magnesium that has built up in the zeolite or beads and replaces it again with sodium. And then the remaining brine, plus all of the calcium and magnesium, is flushed out through a drain pipe.

Most people are aware of the benefits of clean and pure drinking water. But did you know that soft water can provide your family with numerous advantages, too? So learn about the many advantages that a water softener can provide.

Water Filters of America™ offers a wide variety of water softeners that can provide your family with the softened water you desire. And we have two different basic kinds of water softeners. "On Demand" and "Timer" models. Check out what we have to offer now!

how does a water softener work

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Water Softener Questions?

So if you still have water softener questions or are interested in purchasing a water softener. Please feel free to contact us. And  friendly water tech will answer all of your water softener questions.

 Questions? Call 800-684-0979 for assistance.

E-mail: info@waterfiltersofamerica.com

Some assembly is required on most purchases. And all of our water softeners and water conditioners are capable of being sodium salt free water softeners. Because they use either salt or potassium, whichever you prefer. And we replace all brands at a fraction of the cost including Culligan®, Sears®, Kenmore®, Hague®, Kinetico®, Ionics®, Fleck®, RainSoft® and all others. Compare Brands.

For more information water softener and water conditioner sizing, please read this short article: Water softeners. What size is right?  And sometimes people buy a water softener to make their reverse osmosis systems work more efficiently. Because reverse osmosis works differently on hard and soft water. And it is far more efficient on soft water. And it lasts longer with soft water.