water softening

Water Softener Maintenance

We often don’t think much about a water softener or the maintenance that is required when owning one. Besides adding some salt every now and then there isn’t much you need to do so we push the thought to the back of our mind. It’s only when something goes wrong that we really start to think about the system.

About the Water Softener

No matter how many tanks you have or what kind of water softener you have, they all work the same. The “hard” water goes into a resin tank where beads collect the minerals from the water. Without these minerals the water is known as soft water. It then passes through the system to give you the water you desire.

The resin beads occasionally have to be cleaned. On a preset schedule, the softener stops the inflow of water so that the salt water from the brine tank can “clean” the resin beads. It does this by dissolving the accumulated minerals that are on the beads and then flushing them down the drain. This system is called a “recharge” or a “regeneration” and is necessary to keep the resin beads clean so they can keep catching the “hard” minerals from the water.

Types of Water Softeners

When deciding on the best water softener to get, it’s important to look at the different types to ensure all your needs are being met. The most commonly used type is an ion-exchange unit or “cation exchange” as it is also known but there are other types that are also important to understand.

 Salt-Based Ion Exchange Softener

This water softener cycles the water through two tanks. The first tank is one with resin beads and the second tank has the brine. It softens the water by substituting sodium for hard minerals like calcium and iron.

Salt-Free Water Softener

In this water softener, a potassium-chloride salt substitute is used instead of sodium. For those concerned with salt intake, this might be a better option. This type of water softener doesn’t reduce the minerals but prevents them from being deposited as scale to the surface of the water. This treatment is not as effective but is better than no water softener at all.

Magnetic Water Softener

This is the more controversial option of water softeners. According to the manufacturers, this device clips onto the incoming pipe and sets up a magnetic field. The electromagnetic properties of the calcium-carbonate minerals will be changed so they are repelled by pipes and each other.

The upkeep of a water softener is not difficult. There are several options out there from the basic ion-exchange to a dual tank water softener so that pesky recharge doesn’t affect your water usage. Finding the best water softener for your needs takes a bit of research and talking to experts. Once you compare prices and features, it will be easy to find the right one for you and your family.

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The best Methods of Water Softening

waterWater softening primarily entails the process of removing metal cations such as calcium, magnesium that are responsible for hard water, this article cover the best water softeners. The main reason to soften water is to make it more compatible with soap from washing as well as increase the durability of plumbing. Water softening can be done with the use of various methods, but we are going to discuss the best ways. The methods come with advantages as well as shortcoming.

Salt-free water softeners

The best water softener methods, which use NaturSoft media. The media used has calcium carbonate crystals on its surface. This attracts the excess hardness in the water by removing it from the solution and integrating it into the calcium carbonate crystal structure. The crystal grows larger as the water flows, and the granules keep on rubbing as well as fragmenting on the same time. The crystals keep moving in the pipe dissolving the excess hardness.

The method is recommended because of

  • The method does not need any maintained as well as an additional cost as it does not use any potassium or even salt.
  • The essential mineral required in the water are remved
  • The system does not waste any water as it allows 50% of soap as well as detergent hence saving on the washing cost.
  • Its 100% environmental friendly
  • The system increases the lifespan of appliances such as dishwasher, water heater among others.

The method only disadvantage is that it’s not used with hard water with oil or even traces of H2S.

Salt based water softener

The method is described as ion exchange process and is used by people who use salts or even potassium in the removal of calcium as well as magnesium to make the waste soft. The method works by removing calcium and magnesium ions that are responsible for hard water. The hardness ions replaced with nonhardness ions hence the soft water. The method uses sodium in the removal of calcium and magnesium. Read more in our post here.

The effectiveness of the method depends on

  • The hardness of the water
  • Water unit size to be softened
  • The amount of water used
  • The capacity of the exchange media for soft water

The method recommended as it leaves no scaling on the household appliances, hence increasing their lifetime. Clothes washing with soft water from the process always have more delicate feeling, and still the approach reduce soap usage as well as detergent hence lowering the cost of washing.

The disadvantages with the use these methods are

  • The soft water from this method is not used for drinking, lawns, as well as watering plants and gardens due to the sodium salt.
  • The process induces extra cost for maintaining the brine.
  • Reverse osmosis

This method involves passing the water through a semi-permeable membrane which traps out the salts are causing hard water hence soft water. The reverse osmosis process refers water from a concentrated high salinity to permeate to the other high purity stream with the use of pressure to drive the water through the membrane. The impurities and salts are left on the membrane. The primary benefit of the technique is that the process is efficient to remove 98% of all unwanted salts, as well as impurities.

The method has so many cons

  • The methods removal the entire essential mineral needed for drinking water
    75% of the water is wasted
  • The process is very slow and needs a large storage tank
  • The method adds to the cost as it requires regular disinfectant to reduce the growth of bacteria’s

The above technique is not the only one used in water softening as there is the use of magnetic water conditioner that we can’t recommend for use. The first method is the best water softer.