What Are Water Softeners Used For?
Using water softeners is a great way to protect your home from hard water, which can be a cause of high utility bills, scale-ridden pipes, and appliance failure. A softener will make water soft to the touch and won’t leave a scaly film on your dishes and glassware.
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Hard water is composed of a combination of calcium and magnesium. These are both positively charged molecules, so when they are dissolved in water they create a scale. This can cause a decrease in water pressure, damage to water heaters, and a loss of cleaning power for dishwashers. The water softener will remove these minerals from your water, leaving it soft and smooth to the touch.
In order to keep your water soft, your softener must be cleaned regularly. This is done by rinsing the resin beads with a saltwater solution. The salt solution removes the calcium and magnesium from the resin beads. In some cases, the resin beads will be clogged with dirt and mud. If this occurs, the resin will have to be replaced.
Some types of water softeners can remove iron and copper from water. If you have a water softener that has iron removal capabilities, it is important to clean the resin beads regularly. Red-oxidized iron can clog the resin beads. If your water has a high level of iron, it can darken the water’s color and leave visible stains on your fixtures.
Many types of water softeners use an ion exchange process. These are also called reverse osmosis systems. These systems use a large tank filled with salt pellets to exchange calcium and magnesium for sodium ions. This process will remove a small amount of sodium from your water. However, it does not remove the harmful effects that calcium and magnesium have on your health.
A salt water softener is one of the most common types of water softeners. This system uses a large tank filled with salt pellets that react with the hard water in your home. This allows the salt to displace the calcium and magnesium ions in your water, leaving you with soft, smooth water. The salt can also be used as a salt substitute if you would like to use less salt.
Another type of water softener is a salt-free system. These systems remove calcium and magnesium from your water without using any salt. Salt-free systems also have the advantage of preventing scale build-up on your plumbing and appliances. However, salt-free systems don’t remove other particles or heavy metals. These systems can be environmentally friendly as well.
A salt-free system can also be installed in conjunction with a reverse osmosis system, which will help prevent scale build-up on your plumbing and appliances. If you have high blood pressure, it is advisable to install a reverse osmosis system after your softener.
Some water softeners are timed, meaning they automatically regenerate after a certain amount of gallons of softened water has passed through the system. These systems also have a control valve, which lets you control when the system regenerates. Some of these systems also have mechanical and electrical sensors to monitor the flow of water.