Learn More About Water Softeners
Water softeners are used to treat hard water. Before we go further in this subject you have to understand what hard water is all about. Hard water may be defined as untreated “raw water”. The “raw water” contains many minerals, including magnesium and calcium. Water dissolves the minerals while running between rock surfaces that contain deposits of magnesium and calcium.
Water softening systems eliminate ions of magnesium and calcium from hard water. The water softeners replace the minerals with sodium ions (Na+). The ions of magnesium and calcium interfere with the effectiveness of detergents and soap. Sodium, on the flipside, does not affect the actions. Water softening aids soaps and detergents to work properly in eliminating dirt and oils from clothes and dishes. It helps get the slipperiness that comes with soap as you wash. You do not need to use a lot of detergent and soap when using a softener.
Water softening systems are mostly installed at the point near where water gets into your house. You can use the water to cook, drink and wash but not for irrigation. The unit has many porous plastic resins that contain molecules that bind ions which cause hardness in water. In other words, the calcium and magnesium ions get bound by the resins. Subsequently, the ions of sodium are released into the water to maintain an equilibrium in the electric fields of the resin.
The resins gets saturated by the sodium and magnesium ions over time. The resins are then renewed when the system utilizes concentrated saltwater to rinse them. The calcium and magnesium ions are displaced by the water containing high concentrates of sodium ions from the surface of the resins, which later remains with sodium ions only. The magnesium and calcium ions are released from the system together with the saltwater to let the water softener function normally.
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There are other water softeners aside from the salt-based system, such as salt-free system, magnetic systems and reverse-osmosis water softening system. The effect of hard water is reduced by magnetic fields in the magnetic-based system. The system has a display panel and a number of transmitters bearing magnetic properties designed near the surface of water supply pipes.
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Salt-free water softeners are based on the concept of crystallizing ions of magnesium and calcium that are found in water. The system actually doesn’t eliminate the minerals that cause hardness in water. The minerals are converted to crystals making it hard for them to stick to any surface. The last water softener on this list is the reverse-osmosis water softening system. This system involves letting water pass through fine membranes that separate the impurities from the water. For this unit to work effectively, you need to apply sufficient pressure. Among all these water softeners, the salt-based water softening system is the best.