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What are Water Softeners and How Do They Work?

What are Water Softeners and How Do They Work?

Picture this:

Softer skin and shinier hair. Sparkling dishes and glassware. Bright and soft laundry. Protection from scale build-up and corrosion for plumbing fixtures and appliances. Sounds too good to be true, right?

Lucky for you, these benefits are just a water treatment system away! Introducing, water softeners.

What are Water Softeners?

A water softener is a water treatment system that is popularly used within residential applications to improve the water quality. There are two types of commonly used water, soft and hard. Water softeners remove the hardness from water that is most often used for drinking, cooking, sanitation and household chores, such as laundry or dishes.

Hard water flows through hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in the U.S. and Canada each year. Hard water has high mineral content in comparison to soft water. It’s formed when water is exposed to large deposits of limestone and chalk, allowing calcium and magnesium to dissolve in the water.

Hard water can result in a thick film on your clean dishes, clogged pipes, itchy and scaly skin, dry and damaged hair, damaged appliances, dingy clothing, corrosion and/or scale build-up. With the help of a water softener, you can enjoy brighter clothing, improved hair and skin, improved longevity of your household appliances, plumbing system, and even use less detergent and soaps, among many other great benefits!

How Does a Water Softener System Work?

In order to make hard water soft, the compounds of calcium and magnesium need to be removed. That’s where your water softener steps in. A water softener generally consists of two separate tanks. The first tank is called the mineral tank and the second is called the brine tank. The mineral tank is filled with softening resin, while the brine tank has rock salt combined with water.

First, hard water enters the mineral tank where the resin will attract and collect the calcium and magnesium compounds. The compounds will stick to the resin, effectively removing it from the water. During this process, resin releases a sodium ion into the water – essentially making a trade for either calcium or magnesium.

This process takes place for several days, until all the calcium and magnesium is removed. Once complete, the water softener will begin what’s called the regeneration cycle. This cycle is usually completed in the middle of the night because the flow of water throughout the home is interrupted. The rock salt and water combination, otherwise known as salt water, is flooded into the resin tank through small valves. The sodium floods the resin, effectively removing the magnesium and calcium so that it can be flushed through the drain. New sodium ions latch onto the resin, so the process can begin once again.

All homeowners have to do is simply monitor the salt levels within the brine tank. When the sodium levels get low, add another bag of salt and the water softener will do the rest!

How Water Depot Can Help

There are so many wonderful benefits that you can experience from adding a water softener to your home. To learn more about how a water softener can benefit you, contact the experts at Water Depot today. We can help you learn more about how water softeners work, how they are installed within your home, the regular maintenance, cost, and more!

Contact your local Water Depot store today to get started.