How Does a Water Softener Work

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If you are reading this article then you are probably wondering how does a water softener work.

Well don’t feel like you are the only one wondering this.

Today more and more people are using water softeners to soften the water coming into their home or business, however, most of those who use a water softener do not know or understand how a water softener works.

Well today we are going to answer the question of “how does a water softener work?”.

Lets first explain why a water softener is needed. Many homes today have a problem with hard water and simply stated, a water softener works to soften the hard water.

But what is hard water?

Hard water is water that is to high in dissolved minerals, specifically calcium and magnesium. You don’t have to worry about hard water being a health issue because it isn’t, instead, hard water is more of a nuisance due to the habit of the minerals in the water to build up on your water fixtures and the way in which these minerals cause your soap and detergent to perform poorly.

Additionally, hard water can cause your water pipes and water heater to corrode which can lead to an expensive repair bill. Although a water softener can be expensive it will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

So How Does a Water Softener work?

So lets answer the question “how does a water softener work?”. To begin with there are different types of water softeners to choose from however some of them are not truly water softeners but are instead known as descalers. Descalers do not actually soften the water.

A true water softener uses a tank with resin beads which contain sodium, because of the sodium the resin beads are negatively charged. Your water system is connected to the water softener before it enters the house, as the water passes through the tank and over the resin beads the minerals, which are positively charged, are exchanged with the sodium.

It really is as simple as that, the negatively charged ions are exchanged with the positively charged ions, thus salt is exchanged for the minerals. However as I am sure you have figured out by now, that because of the sodium being used and exchanged you will end up with sodium in your water. For some this may pose a health risk.

How Does a Water Softener Work

Now that we have answered the question “how does a water softener work”, lets move on to alternatives to water softeners.

Surely you have seen advertisements for salt-free water softeners, Although they may be salt free they are not truly a water softener, instead they are a descaler. A water softener works to actually remove the minerals that make up hard water where as a descaler only addresses the problems that hard water causes, scale buildup.

Although a descaler can help reduce the amount of scale build up in your pipes and water fixtures it will not help with any place were water will remain sitting. A good example of this is your water heater, you will still get scale build up inside of your water heater when using a descaler and this build up will drastically reduce the length of time that your water heater will remain useful.

So which is the better choice for you? The answer to this is really based on the individual. A true water softener will typically be the better bet however if you are concerned with the sodium that is added to your water then a descaler may be your best choice.

Hopefully this article has answered your question on how does a water softener work and provided you with a information that will helpful for you when dealing with your hard water problems.

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