Soft as Silk: How Does a Water Softener Work?
If your building has hard water, we’re talking mineral-rich water, not ice cubes, then you’re probably considering getting a water softener. Know that you’re amongst the many because about 90% of Americans have hard water.
But what is a water softener? And how does a water softener work? We’re here to answer your questions. So read on to learn about this system that will improve your water quality.
What Does a Water Softener Do?
We need to first understand the function of a water softener to learn how it works. Simply put, a water softener is a water filtration system placed where water enters your building. A water softener system filters out calcium and magnesium, which are the primary minerals found in hard water.
Hard water can wreak havoc on pipes and appliances such as water heaters, bathroom fixtures, ice makers, coffee makers, and anything else that uses water. The calcium and magnesium build-up and harden, causing poor performance and even permanent damage.
Hard water also lessens the effectiveness of soap and detergents, which leads to more soap use in order to get a good lather.
When it’s all said and done, hard water results in more plumbing repairs and a higher water bill.
The best water softeners, such as the Fleck water softener, are made of three main components; the mineral tank, the control valve, and the brine tank.
The mineral tank is where the minerals are removed from your water. This is done by filtering the water over beads which are permanently sealed in the tank. Because of the opposing charges, the positively charged beads attract the negatively charged minerals thus removing them from the water. Over time, the beads will lose their ability to attract minerals and will need to recharge with sodium ions which are stored in the brine tank.
The control valve tracks how much water flows through the mineral tank via its built-in computer. Before the beads become overburdened by minerals, the control valve will initiate a regeneration cycle. This process uses salt, stored in the brine tank, to cleanse the beads of mineral build-up and recharge them to attract more minerals.
Why Does It Require Salt?
Water softener salt acts solely for regenerative purposes. The salt adds a positive charge back to your beads, which do all of the softening. Your water doesn’t flow through the salt and will not taste salty after a water softener installation.
The salt sits in the brine tank in the form of pellets and will have to be replenished based on your water usage. For a family of four, this could easily be once a month.
So, How Does a Water Softener Work?
A water softener filters your water by removing minerals that will calcify in your pipes and appliances. Have the system installed by a professional and set to work for your level of water hardness. So now that you’re no longer wondering, “how does a water softener work?” Its time to start looking for one that will work for you!
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