How a Water Softener Works
If you’re wondering how a water softener works, you’re not alone. In fact, water softeners have been around for several years. In a nutshell, hard water enters the softener through a control valve. The water then passes through a bed of resin that attracts the calcium and magnesium in the water. The resin beads, which are negatively charged, trade weak sodium cations for the positively charged magnesium and calcium particles. The resin beads then attract the negative sodium ions and eventually pair up with the positively charged magnesium and calcium particles, giving up their hardness.
Once the water softener has filtered the water, it enters the softening tank to continue the process of de-limbing your water. A small fill tube connects the softener tank to the brine tank. A discharge hose runs from the softener’s tank to a nearby drain pipe or dry well. After the hard water passes through the tank, the softener switches to a second cylinder and rinses the beads and resin with soft water.
When you have hard water, you might be wondering how a water softener can help.
The basic process involves rinsing resin beads with brine. The saltwater solution contains positively charged cations and negatively charged anions. These ions are attracted to the resin beads and soften the water. This process is called regeneration, and there are several parts to the system.
To learn how a water softener works, consider the following:
The process of regeneration involves flushing out old salt and cleaning the softener’s resin beads. If you have an older system, you might have fewer steps to follow. This process takes place every few days and usually occurs at night. After the resin beads have been saturated with hardness ions, the softener needs to regenerate. The process can be initiated by a timer or a meter.
A water softener filters incoming hard water through a resin vessel. The resin contains thousands of ion exchange resin beads. These beads attract the hardness in water and convert it to soft water. Consequently, hard water in the home can be softer and easier to clean. This process also extends the life of water appliances. Depending on the model you choose, it may be worth your while to add a water softener to your home.
Ion exchange is the key to how a water softener works. In an ion exchange process, the sodium ions in water attract positively charged magnesium and calcium particles. The resin beads then trade negative ions for the stronger magnesium and calcium particles. Once the resin is saturated with the minerals, it is flushed down the drain, and the whole process begins again.