Water softeners are units for dealing with hard water in homes. Water is said to be hard when it has a lot of calcium and magnesium dissolved in it.
A softener work is to make hard water soft by removing minerals. They use a process of ion exchange to get rid of the minerals.
The process works like this:
Calcium and magnesium ions are negatively charged. Resin, which is inside the water softener, is positively charged. The negative ions will naturally attach themselves to the resin because the opposite charge attracts to each other.
As more and more calcium and magnesium ions accumulate inside the softener, this weakness its ability to attract negative ions. When this happens, the softener regenerates by passing salty solution on the resin bed.
How does resin bed work
A resin is a sticky organic substance that is obtained from plants, it’s insoluble in water. It’s mostly used in the manufacturing of glues.
Because the resin is permeable, it has a large surface area which makes it ideal for ion exchange to take place. This properties of being insoluble and having a large surface area make resin the perfect material for softening H2O.
How it does this is by capturing negatively charged ions from calcium and magnesium, and the resin will at the same time give out positively charged ions from sodium. Consequently, ion exchange will take place, therefore, removing calcium and magnesium ions from hard water to make it soft.
Hardness is measured by grains per gallon (GPG). As the softener works on hard water, the resin becomes more saturated with negative ions. Regeneration is the process of refreshing the resin by getting rid of the calcium and magnesium ions using a salty solution.
The grain capacity of a water softener is the number of grains a water softener can handle before it is regenerated. One grain of hardness is equal to 1/7000 pounds of rock.
Recharge is the process of cleaning the resin bed by mixing it with salt in order to flash calcium and magnesium ions on the resin bed. Failure to recharge will make the softener not to soften hard water effectively.
Backwashing is the first process of a softener regeneration. When negative ions have accumulated on the resin bed, the softeners start the process of regeneration. The first step is backwashing. It involves flowing water in reverse to flush out the dirt.
After the backwash process, the second phase will involve the regeneration process of driving sodium solution through the resin bead. This is the process of running salty water through the resin bed. A typical device will take around One hour and a half to complete the regeneration cycle.
Softener cleaner: What is it?
This is a liquid for cleaning softeners. They are used to clean resin beds to make the devices more efficient. While water softeners are able to remove minerals such as calcium and magnesium, they are not able to clean some minerals such as iron, manganese and other contaminants.
What is loop
This is an extra copper pipe on the wall near the water heater. It works is to connect the internal plumbing to water distribution pipes. It helps to keep the inside and outside of home separated. This helps in regeneration your home’s water lines with soft water.
What is brine tank
The brine tank is used to mix the brine solution(strong salty solution) This tank is feed with salt which it then mixes with water to create the solution. The salty solution is also known as a brine solution.
What is discharge
Discharge refers to the salty water that is released by water softeners after regeneration. This discharge should be disposed of carefully because they are harmful to the environment. Home water softeners are responsible for a lot for salty water that goes into water bodies in the US.
Home water softeners are responsible for more than 150,000 tons a year of the salt that gets into Minnesota’s water bodies, says a study by the University of Minnesota. https://t.co/1k7a3o4xpj
— American Rivers (@americanrivers) July 19, 2018
How regeneration works
Softeners regenerate in three phrases. The first stage involves backwashing. Next, a brine solution is used to clean the resin bed. The final stage is discharging the brine solution.
Can softener cause acne
A softener does not cause acne. In fact, it can prevent acne because it removes minerals such as magnesium and calcium. When these minerals interact with chemicals such as soap, they create a white substance that sticks to the skin.
This substance block skin from ventilating properly and this can cause or worsen acne.
Because a water softener is very effective in removing these minerals, it helps to prevent acne. If you install a water softener, you will notice a difference on your skin.
My mom got a water softener installed and maaaan my face hasn’t looked this acne free in years!
— blanca (@blancasorayde) June 11, 2017
Where to install
If you want to install a softener, it’s recommended that use an expert to advise you on the best place to install it. They type of plumbing that you have in your home and the type of system you want to install determines the location of installation.
In general, softeners are installed as close as possible to where water enters the house. This is because you don’t want hard water to corrode your pipes. You should never install they system downstream a water heater because the hot water will damage the softener.
How long do the resin beads last?
The life expectancy of the resin bed is between 15-20 years. However, they can get damaged depending on the type of contaminants you have in your water. If you find that your system is giving soft water even after regeneration, it’s an indication that the resin bed is damaged.
The reason whey resin bed gets damaged is chlorine. If the city water department uses chlorine to purify, your resin bed is at risk of damage. Chlorine weakens the glue that holds together the resins molecules and finally causes them to be ineffective in the process of ion exchange.
Best water softeners
If you are looking to buy a water softener, you can read our latest reviews of the best water softener and the buying guide. (Click Here for Full Post)