What Water Softener Do?
A quality water softener removes calcium, magnesium, and other minerals that cause hard water. Without proper treatment, the water with an exceeding amount of those minerals can damage appliances, dry out hair and skin, and leave buildup on the surfaces in your kitchen and bathroom.
Limescale minerals create water hardness, one of the most common water quality problems a homeowner encounters. Hard water destroys not only appliances, but leaves filmy soap scum across bathrooms and kitchens, and dries out hair and skin. With over 85% of Spain’s coasts relying on hard water for their cooking, cleaning, and bathing, water softeners serve a vital purpose.
A water softener saves you from replacing prematurely ruined water heaters, scaly faucet heads, and hours and hours of cleaning up soapy residue. Investing in a water softener saves you time, energy, and money, and protects your home and your property.
How a Water Softener Works?
Whole-house water softeners come in a variety of sizes and styles to accommodate the size of your home and family. The softener is installed in the basement, garage, utility closet or wherever water enters the house.
A typical water softener consists of a tall, narrow water-softener tank, and a short, wide brine tank. The softener tank is connected to the home’s water supply line. A small-diameter fill tube connects the brine tank to the softener tank. And a discharge hose runs from the softener tank to a nearby sewer pipe.
The softener tank is filled with specially formulated resin beads, which are permanently sealed inside the tank. The brine tank has a removable lid so you can fill it with salt pellets or potassium chloride pellets.
Here’s a quick explanation of how a water softener system works:
Water enters the top of the water-softener tank and percolates down through the resin beads. The resin has a negative charge, which attracts the positively charged minerals in the water (a process known as ion exchange). The mineral deposits cling to the resin and the now-softened water exits the softener tank and flows throughout the house.
Sooner or later, however, the beads reach maximum capacity and can’t attract any more mineral ions. At that point, the softener tank must be regenerated, or, flushed clean. That’s where the brine tank comes in. An onboard computer calculates the amount of water that has flowed through the softener. When it reaches the preprogrammed setting, regeneration automatically begins. For a three-bedroom house and family of four, regeneration usually occurs every 12,000 gallons.
During regeneration, salty water from the brine tank flows up the fill tube and into the softener tank. A rinse cycle commences and the salty water washes the mineral deposits off the resin beads. The regenerated water—and all those destructive mineral deposits—are flushed out the discharge hose. The system then automatically reverts to softening the incoming water.
The regeneration process slowly dissolves the salt or potassium chloride pellets in the brine tank. So, at some point, you’ll have to add more pellets to the tank. (Again, the resin beads are permanently sealed in the softener tank and never need replacing.) How often you’ll need to add pellets depends on how much water you use.