What Is a Water Softener and What Does It Do?

October 3, 2022

Water softeners help to eliminate some of the minerals in water that cause it to be hard. Hard water is not necessarily bad for your health, but it can be a nuisance. For example, it can cause soap not to lather well, leave spots on dishes and clothing, and make hair feel dry and brittle. Hard water can also cause your appliances such as your water heater, faucet heads, and washing machine.

What Is a Water Softener?

With hard water, you’ll need extra laundry detergent to make your clothes look cleaner. Also, dishes can come out of the dishwater looking dirty and with spots. You can spend a lot of extra time and money to clean from the effects of hard water. A water softener can help with these issues.

A water softener is a device used to remove minerals from hard water. The device works by exchanging the calcium and magnesium ions in the water for sodium or potassium ions. This exchange process makes the water softer.

Water softeners can be used in both residential and commercial settings. They are often used in areas where hard water is a problem. Water softeners can improve water quality, make it easier to use, and extend the life of appliances.

How Does a Water Softener Work?

Water softeners work by exchanging ions in the water. This process is called ion exchange. For example, the calcium and magnesium ions in the water are exchanged for sodium or potassium ions. This makes the water softer.

The ion exchange process happens in a tank that contains tiny beads of resin. The beads are made of a material that attracts calcium and magnesium ions. The sodium or potassium ions are attracted to the beads as well. As the water passes through the tank, the calcium and magnesium ions are exchanged for sodium or potassium ions.

The process of exchanging ions takes place every time the water softener regenerates. Regeneration is a process where the beads are cleaned to continue exchanging ions. During regeneration, salt is added to the tank. The salt helps clean the beads and remove the calcium and magnesium ions deposited on them.

Why Do I Need a Water Softener?

A water softener can improve water quality and make your household run more efficiently. From the improved health benefits to cleaning chores, water softeners are beneficial. You can hire a professional plumber to install a water softener, or you can try it yourself. 

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WES Water