How Do Water Softeners Work?
Among the many household appliances, water softeners are known to help make dishes, clothing, and tubs clean. These appliances work through a complicated scientific process that softens the water. They also help lower utility bills. They are also known for their health benefits.
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Water softeners work by using ion exchange. The process removes hard minerals from water. This includes calcium and magnesium. These minerals cling to the resin beads and are exchanged with sodium ions. Sodium ions have a lower positive charge than calcium and magnesium. When calcium and magnesium cling to the resin beads, they form a negative charge that attracts sodium ions. Water softeners are also known to reduce scale buildup. This process also helps improve the lathering ability of soap.
Water softeners are comprised of two main parts, a resin tank, and a mineral tank. These tanks are connected to each other by a riser tube. The mineral tank is the part of the water softener that performs the softening process. Throughout the softening process, the resin beads soak up calcium and magnesium from the hard water. The calcium and magnesium are then flushed out. Sodium is then added to the water softener and is exchanged with hard water minerals. This process is also known as bringing.
Once the hard water is flushed out, a salty brine solution is added to the resin tank. This solution is then drawn up through the resin beads and is pumped back into the resin tank. This solution restores the positive charge of the resin beads. The water softener is now ready to soften water again.
The water softener control valve is a computer controller that monitors the water going into the softener and the water flowing out of the resin tanks. It is programmed to meet the needs of the home. It also calculates the amount of water flowing through the system and signals the brine tank when it is time to clean the mineral tank. The control valve is also programmed based on the size of the home and the city’s water hardness.
A water softener is also known as an ion exchange unit. The ion exchange process removes hard minerals from water and replaces them with sodium. The process is passive and does not require the assistance of mechanical filters. It also does not make water taste salty. Nevertheless, it is recommended to replace the salt in the brine tank based on the instructions of a technician. The amount of sodium added to the water softener is well below the “very low sodium” standard set by the FDA. It is also recommended that homeowners replace the salt in the brine tank if the system is older.
The water softener control valve usually has a computer positioned on the tank. The control valve also monitors water usage and automatically initiates the regeneration cycle. It is also possible to manually begin the regeneration process. Water softeners can be regenerated manually. When the control valve detects that the resin bed is no longer attracting cations, it signals the brine tank to clean the resin bed.