Water Softeners - The Most Effective Option for your Water Supply
Monday, June 25, 2018
An effective water softener can make a world of difference in your daily life. From bathing, doing the laundry and dishes to the general maintenance of pipes and appliances, hard water can cause unecessary issues that can be easily remedied. Trust Watersmart to take care of all your water softener needs.
"We went in looking for a new water softener, your staff was informative, friendly and did not put any pressure on us. After some shopping around, we found that your store offered the best price, products and installation. Financing options were easy and everything was done within a week or less!"
Water softeners are used when water contains significant amounts of calcium and magnesium. This is referred to as hard water, which can clog pipes and complicate soap and detergent's ability to dissolve, among other issues.
Hard water causes the soapy scum on glasses and lime residue on bathroom fixtures. While it's fine for drinking and gardening, hard water can cause mineral build-up in water heaters, pipes, dishwashers and showerheads, reducing their flow.
Soap and shampoo's ability to lather is reduced, and laundry may become stiffer and duller in appearance.
Water hardness is measured with five different classifications and can be expressed in mg/litre or parts per million (ppm) or grains per gallon (gpg).
below 17 mg/litre or ppm (0 - 1 gpg)
17.1 - 60 mg/litre or ppm (1.1 - 3.5 gpg)
61 - 120 mg/litre or ppm (3.6 - 7 gpg)
121 - 180 mg/litre or ppm (7.1 - 10.5 gpg)
over 180 mg/litre or ppm (over 10.5 gpg)
Water softening, then, is a process that removes the ions in water that causes water hardness; this process is completed with the use a water softener unit that is connected directly to the water supply.
Water softeners increase the lifespan of household appliances and pipelines and also contribute to the improved performance of solar heating systems, air conditioning units, and many other water-based applications.
How does a water softener work?
According to Popular Mechanics, "water softeners are mechanical appliances that are plumbed into your home's water supply system."
All water softeners use the same operating principle: Using a process called ion exchange, they trade the calcium and magnesium for something else, in most cases with sodium but in some cases with potassium.
1. To do ion replacement, the water in the house runs through a resin bed of small plastic beads or zeolite. The beads are covered with sodium or potassium ions. As the water flows past the ions, they swap places with the calcium and magnesium ions. Eventually, the beads contain nothing but calcium and magnesium, and softening stops. It is then time to regenerate the beads or zeolite.
2. To regenerate, the beads need to regain their sodium or potassium ions by being flooded with a salty, brine solution that is rich in sodium or potassium.
3. Once completed, the calcium and magnesium, dirt and sediments are flushed from the beads and into the drain in a process called backwash.
4. The final phase rinses the mineral tank with fresh water and loads the brine tank so it's ready for the next cycle.
This handy video makes offers an easy-to-understand explanation of the process:
There are two types of water softeners: Automatic, where all functions are performed automatically, including regeneration; and time-clock, where regeneration occurs on a pre-set schedule.
Why are water softeners the best option?
In summary, here's why a water softener is the best option for those in areas that have hard or very hard water:
In short, while hard water will not hurt you, it can, over time, become a nuisance, reducing your ability to clean your home (and yourself), and even damaging pipes and appliances and resulting in unnecessary repair and replacement costs.
Knowing all this, why delay? WaterSmart Systems can meet your water softening needs with a variety of models. To learn more about the models best suited for your city click the appropriate link below.