Today, everyone is trying to learn some of the best disposal methods, which will help preserve the environment. That also includes how to dispose of Water Softener Resin.
Water softeners use resin beds for ion exchange. The resin which is made of different materials, but it also has its limited lifespan. When that time reaches, you need to replace the resin beads and employ the appropriate methods of disposing of it.
In this post, I will show you how to dispose of water softener resin appropriately. Also, we will cover how you can replace the resin after it has reached the end of its lifespan.
How to Dispose Of Water Softener Resin
First, you need to know that water softener resin is non-reactive with other compounds and also stable. Therefore, the resin is not hazardous for the environment. But we found that most people thought it was, considering the chemical manufacturing process. However, even if the resin is not hazardous to the environment, you need to follow specific steps at its disposal.
Currently, the ocean is polluted with plastics, and we don’t want to add to that pollution by dumping old resin there since it’s non-recyclable. So, what are the proper methods of disposing of water softener resin? Well, you’ll be glad to know that it’s not a complex process.
The disposal process is similar to how you dispose of some of the waste in your home.
What is water softener resin, and how is it made?
Before we proceed to how to dispose of water softener resin, you must understand what it is, and how it is made. Overall, the resin is the ion-exchange media that is used for water softening. The resin is made of polystyrene, which is also non-recyclable.
Although resin is not recyclable, it has an extensive lifespan because of the material used in its manufacture. The resin bead is usually regenerated using salty water from the brine tank.
So, how is water softener resin made? Well, it is a polystyrene-based gel resin that is made through several processes. You need to know that polystyrene is made of three elements – styrene, ethylene, and benzene.
Styrene is the main component, and it is extracted from natural gas or petroleum. Styrene then reacts with benzene and ethylene to form polystyrene. The polystyrene undergoes polymerization so that it can be converted into an ion-exchange resin.
How do you dispose of brine?
Brine is water with a high concentration of salt. Saltwater is usually used to recharge the ion exchange resin bead. Disposing brine is a big environmental challenge. If the brine gets into rivers, it leads to the poisoning of marine life because of the high concentration of 50 to 75 g/L.
Have you noticed that water softeners come with two tanks? Well, one is a brine tank with salt, while the other contains polystyrene resin.
The resin comprises of plenty of beads, through which the water passes. The resin helps to soften the water by eliminating the magnesium and calcium ions from the water. The polystyrene resin replaces these ions with sodium ions. The tank also uses the sodium ions to regenerate the water softener resin.
If you are worried that the process involved in manufacturing polystyrene resin has too many chemical processes, you don’t need to. Despite its complex manufacturing process, water softener resin is entirely safe for humans. It is also BPA-free.
Water softener resin lifespan
Like any other product that undergoes a manufacturing process, water softener resin also has a lifespan. However, the resin is made of materials that have a very long lifespan. The materials used to make water softener resin are similar to those used to make plastic packaging.
Overall, water softener resin can last between 10 and 15 years. However, this period varies from one softener to the next. It also varies depending on the quality of water in your region. The contaminants in the water affect the lifespan of the resin. The more the contaminants, the shorter the lifespan.
Therefore, if you live in areas where the water has a lot of contaminants, you need to install a filtration system. The filters will filter away the majority of the contaminants before they reach the softener. Additionally, a softener does not function as effectively as a water filter when it comes to removing contaminants.
Generally, the contaminant that you should watch out for most is chlorine. Why chlorine? It’s because it affects polystyrene resin adversely, damaging it much faster. Therefore, we recommend that you know the quality of water in your region. It will help you to establish whether you need a filter or if the softener will work by itself.
Moreover, you have to take proper care of your water softener resin to ensure that it reaches its expected lifespan. You might even get surprised that it will last longer than the stipulated period. However, when it hits the end of its life, you must replace it. Do know that buying a new water softener resin is pretty costly. So, you need to carry out a proper market assessment before settling for a particular product.
How to replace water softener resin
When it comes to replacing your old water softener resin, you need to follow a series of steps. By doing so, you ensure that the new resin functions effectively. Here are the steps to follow:
- Turn off the water
- Disconnect your plumbing and unscrew the control head and brine tank.
Lay the softener tank over a trash can or on its side
- Insert a garden hose, and turn on the water to rinse the old resin out
- Dispose of the old resin
- Save the old gravel and stand the tank upright
- Refill the gravel to ensure that it covers the screen
- Pour in the resin to the recommended level
- Reattach the control head, then the plumbing
- Turn on the water, and test it for softness
Have you been wondering how to dispose of water softener resin? We hope you now have a clear understanding of how to discard it safely. Resin is used for water softening applications, and it has a long lifespan. But once its usefulness ends, you have to know how to dispose of it appropriately.