Water Softener Article and Information
Water softener questions?
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.
How does a water softener work?
We call water "hard" if it contains a lot of calcium or magnesium dissolved in it. 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. The scale doesn't conduct heat well and it also reduces the flow through pipes. Eventually, pipes can become completely clogged.
- It reacts with soap to form a sticky scum, and also reduces the soap's ability to lather. 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, or to use a water softener. Filtration could be expensive to use for all the water in a house, so a water softener is usually a less costly solution.
The idea behind a water softener is simple. The calcium and magnesium ions in the water are replaced with sodium ions. 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 zeolite. The beads or zeolite are covered with sodium ions. As the water flows past the sodium ions, they swap places with the calcium and magnesium ions. Eventually, the beads or zeolite contain nothing but calcium and magnesium and no sodium, and at this point they stop softening the water. It is then time to regenerate the beads or zeolite.
Regeneration involves soaking the beads or zeolite in a stream of sodium ions. Salt is sodium chloride, so the water softener mixes up a very strong brine solution and flushes it through the zeolite or beads (this is why you load up a water softener with salt). The strong brine displaces all of the calcium and magnesium that has built up in the zeolite or beads and replaces it again with sodium. 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? 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. We have two different kinds of water softeners, "On Demand" and "Timer" models. Check out what we have to offer now!
Please call 1-800-684-0979 to verify the NSF Certified manufacturer and their model of the products, if you have any doubt if the equipment is NSF Certified.
If you still have water softener questions or are interested in purchasing a water softener, feel free to contact us.
Please note: Some assembly is required on most purchases. 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. Please compare. 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? Please note: Sometimes people buy a water softener to make their reverse osmosis systems work more efficiently. Reverse osmosis works differently on hard and soft water.