What is a water softener? 

A water softener is a whole-house filtration system that removes hardness caused by calcium and magnesium minerals from your water. This is done through a process called ion exchange. Hard water can be very destructive in your home. As scale builds up in your pipes, they become clogged and decrease water pressure. This can lead to shorter lifespans for expensive appliances like washer machines, coffee makers, ice machines, and dishwashers.

Hot water appliances are affected and destroyed by hard water. As water temperature rises, calcium and magnesium solidify and harden into solid deposits inside your water heater. A common symptom is the water heater making a popping sound like popcorn. This is because the scale has attached itself to the heating element. As the heater’s temperature rises and the tank expands, the calcified rock deposits crusted on the heating elements start cracking and stretching. Hard water-induced scale is the culprit of that popcorn-popping sound.

Without a water softener, laundry needs extra detergent to prevent it from appearing dingy. Dishes will come from your dishwasher streaked and stained. Filmy scum builds on your shower curtains, and your shampoo and soap won’t lather. Bathing in hard water leaves your skin dry, itchy and your hair lifeless and sticky. The sheer quantity of time, energy, and money necessary to wash up the harmful side effects of hard water is dizzying. A whole house water softener is the only solution to this treachery of water hardness.  

What Does A Water Softener Do?

The ion exchange method is the only one that softens water by extracting the minerals that cause limescale from hard water. This process eliminates your water’s hardness-causing components, calcium and magnesium. The hard water flows through a bed of round resin beads when it enters the nutrient tank. Sodium ions charge these plastic beads. The resin beads are anions, meaning they have a negative charge. The magnesium and calcium minerals possess a positive direction, making them cations. As the hard water passes through the resin, the beads catch hold of these mineral ions and remove them from the water. After the bead seizes the nutrient ion, then the sodium ion is released. The column of resin strips all the hardness from the water as it moves through the mineral tank, and softened water flows outside your home.

What are the components of a water softener?

A water softener comprises three components: a control valve, a mineral tank, and a brine tank. These three work together to remove the minerals from hard water, monitor the stream of water, and periodically clean out the system through a regeneration procedure.

Water softener

The mineral tank (1,2,3)

The mineral tank is the chamber where the challenging water is softened. The water supply line feeds the hard water to the tank. The water seeps through the bed of resin beads, depositing the water-hardening calcium and magnesium ions. The water exits the tank softly and flows through your pipes and out to your home’s appliances.

The control valve (5)

The control valve measures the water passing through the mineral tank and into your house. The valve houses a meter that monitors the water flow into the mineral tank. As hard water flows through the nutrient tank, the resin beads exchange sodium ions for hardness ions. Over time, this increases the capacity of the resin to keep effectively softening water. Before the beads become too burdened with mineral content to continue removing calcium and magnesium ions, the control valve automatically initiates a regeneration cycle. This maximum capability is pre-programmed into the control valve’s onboard computer. It is based on a range of factors, such as the dimensions of your residence, the number of occupants, and the hardness of your property. Control valves are demand-initiated controls that permit water purification components to be highly efficient.

The Brine Tank (4)

The brines tank assists the water softening system in regeneration. It’s a shorter tank that sits adjacent to the nutrient tank. The brine tank holds a highly concentrated salt (or sometimes potassium) solution to restore the resin beads’ positive charge. Salt is added to the brine tank as pellets or cubes. These dissolve in the water in the base of the tank. After the control valve accomplishes, the resin’s softening capacity diminishes, and the hefty brine solution is pulled from the tank and flushed through the resin from the mineral tank. If the brine tank runs out of salt, the water passing through the unit will no longer be softened. 

Branded Water Softener

Smart Water Treatment Technology has the best water softener system for your home. Give us a call and talk to one of our specialists to find out more.