Water Softening

Home Water Softening

Before you can decide what solution is best for your family, you first need to understand the difference between hard and soft water. Hard water contains large amounts of dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium that are picked up from surrounding rock and soil. If you have hard water in your home it can become a frustrating and costly problem as it causes mineral buildup, or scale, in pipes, water heaters and appliances. The scale buildup reduces flow and can eventually clog pipes entirely.

With hard water, you may also notice a sticky film on dishes, residue on faucets and in your bathtub, and find it difficult to get a soapy lather when shampooing or laundering.

When you remove these minerals, water becomes soft, and with soft water comes a number of benefits.

Benefits of Water Softeners

By reducing the hardness of your water, you can:

  • Use less soap when bathing, laundering and cleaning, since soft water increases soap lather
  • Reduce sticky soap residue and film on skin, hair, clothes and dishes
  • Significantly decrease scale buildup in plumbing and appliances, ensuring efficient operation and increasing their lifespan
  • Lower energy consumption and cost by improving water flow in your pipes and reducing scale buildup in water heaters
  • Eliminate mineral-derived odors in your home
  • And, generally make household cleaning and maintenance easier and more cost effective

How Water Softening Works

Water softening involves a process called ion exchange, which removes dissolved minerals that a filter won't catch. Basically, the hard ions like calcium and magnesium are exchanged for sodium or potassium (salt) ions.

Water softeners use a resin tank where water runs through a bed of beads that are covered with sodium or potassium ions. As the water flows through the beads, the hard ions trade places with the softer ones, eliminating impurities in the water.

Over time, as your household water continues to undergo softening, the resin beads become exhausted and contain only calcium and magnesium, therefore requiring regeneration. To regenerate or recharge the resin beads, you need to add salt to the brine tank. Now the calcium and magnesium are again swapped with sodium and potassium and dirt and sediments are flushed from the beads into the wastewater drain. The tank is then rinsed with fresh water and the system begins the water softening process again.

Using water softeners and soft water in your everyday life is important for any family and household. By reducing the impurities found in hard water, you can not only maintain the health of your house, but ensure the well being of your family, and that's the most important thing in the world.

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