How Does a Water Softener Work?

Hard water residue on a glass pitcher

Did you know 85 percent of the homes in the United States are affected by hard water? Although hard water doesn’t pose a health hazard, it can cause dry hair and skin, soap scum on bathroom fixtures, spots on dishes, faded clothes, and damage to appliances and plumbing systems. Rather than continue to live with hard water, there’s a simple solution: Install a water softener. With a water softener system, you no longer have to worry about hard water issues in your home.

What is a Water Softener?

A water softener is a filtration system that removes large amounts of calcium and magnesium minerals from your water. Magnesium and calcium are the main culprits that cause hard water. When the water flows through a water softener, the system filters out the minerals, and the softened water then flows through the plumbing system.

How Does It Work?

Water softeners work through an ion exchange process, which is designed to eliminate magnesium and calcium from water. Upon entering a mineral tank, the hard water flows through a group of resin beads. These beads are charged with sodium ions with a negative charge. Because magnesium and calcium both have a positive charge, they’re drawn to one another. The beads grab onto the mineral ions, thus removing them from water. This allows a steady flow of soft water. In most instances, a water softener treats the whole home’s water supply.

What are the Parts of a Water Softener?

A water softener has three parts: a control valve, a mineral tank, and a brine tank. Each of these components works together to remove minerals from the water, monitor the flow of water, and frequently clean the system using a regeneration process.

  1. Mineral Tank: This is where the action happens. The water supply line feeds the hard water into the tank, where it seeps through the resin beads, depositing the calcium and magnesium ions. When the water exits the tank, the water will be soft.
  2. Brine Tank: The brine tank sits next to the mineral tank and holds the highly concentrated solution of salt or sometimes potassium to restore the resin beads’ positive charge. The brine tank must be periodically replenished with salt or potassium pellet or the system will not be able to soften the water.
  3. Control Valve: The control valve is the device that controls the flow of water into and out of the mineral and brine tanks during regeneration. Control valves only run on demand, which allows water softeners to be extremely efficient.

If you suspect hard water in your home, you should have a professional technician test your water. At Owens Soft Water, we offer free water tests. Call us today!

By |2020-06-02T11:22:31-04:00June 1st, 2020|Blogs, Water Systems|Comments Off on How Does A Water Softener Work?