How Water Softener work
You may wonder how Water Softener work. Hard water saturated with minerals is fed into the machine and the result is soft, clean and tasteless water.
Water softeners help prevent stains on dishes and appliances, blockages in water heaters, scale build-up on pipes, sinks and other metals, and improve the water’s cleaning ability. It’s no wonder so many people are interested in how a water softener works. These devices make it much easier to manage the huge amount of water we use every day.
Most water softeners remove the minerals in hard water through an ion exchange process, resulting in cleaner, better tasting water. Some of the minerals that can cause problems in water are calcium, iron, Sulphur and magnesium.
Your water softener contains a number of small plastic beads or matrices called zeolite. These are coated with sodium ions. When water passes through the beads or zeolite, the unwanted minerals are replaced by sodium. This leaves more sodium in the water but removes other minerals. Over time, the zeolite or beads can no longer hold sodium ions and need to be replenished.
Regeneration is an essential part of the operation of water softeners. This process involves soaking the zeolite beads in a solution containing sodium ions. Common table salt is often used – a strong salt solution is prepared to regenerate the softener. After regeneration of the beads or zeolite, the salt water and mineral residues can be washed away. A single dehydrator can produce a large quantity of brine if it needs replenishing!
However, this method means that the Water Softener add additional brine to the produced water. This can be a problem for people on a low sodium diet. Sometimes salt replacers, such as potassium chloride, are used to solve this problem.
Anyone who needs to limit their sodium intake and wants to use a dehydrator should talk to their doctor about other minerals, sodium or potassium they may be consuming. Some Water Softener do not use salt at all, but work by using charcoal filters or other methods to remove unwanted minerals from hard water. These devices are usually much more expensive than conventional Water Softener.
After regeneration, the water softener is ready for use again. Some systems regenerate automatically and only need to be refilled with salt. Other systems, such as portable Water Softener, run until they run dry and then stop working until they are manually regenerated. Whatever water softening method you use, it’s important that you maintain it properly so that it works efficiently for years to come.