For most of us, our water supply comes from a municipal water system. Unfortunately, the water supplied by many of these systems is often hard or full of unwanted minerals like calcium and magnesium.
Thankfully, there’s an easy solution to this problem. Let’s examine how a water softener works and why you may want one.
What Does a Water Softener Do?
A water softener is quite literally what it sounds like—it’s a device that makes hard water soft. It removes the minerals that make up hard water and replaces them with sodium ions. Making hard water soft, or “ion exchange,” works by exchanging ions within the unit. This exchange creates softened (or conditioned) water that is much easier on your skin, hair, and plumbing system.
How Does a Water Softener Work?
The typical residential-sized water softener contains two tanks—one tank holds resin beads saturated with sodium ions, while the other has a salt brine solution. When hard water enters the unit, it passes through the resin beads, where the calcium and magnesium ions change into sodium ions before entering your home’s pipes. The calcium and magnesium ions remain stuck in the resin until the regeneration process flushes them out. The salt brine solution then flows through the unit to cleanse it of all contaminants before repeating the cycle.
Why Should I Invest in a Water Softener?
If you live in an area with hard or mineral-rich waters, chances are you have experienced its effects first-hand—limescale buildup on faucets, stained shower doors, soap scum on dishes, and more. Investing in a quality water softening system can help lessen these effects by removing unwanted minerals from your home’s drinking and washing water supply. Adding a water softener is one of the ways you can extend the lifespan of your water heater and appliances and even reduce energy costs.
Investing in a high-quality residential or commercial-sized water softening system can drastically improve your day-to-day life if you live in an area with hard or mineral-rich waters. Softened water will be gentler on your skin and hair and better for appliances like dishwashers or washing machines since they won’t have to work as hard to remove soil from fabrics or dishes. Understanding how these units work and their benefits should help you make an informed decision about whether you should invest in one for yourself!