Water Softener Systems: How They Improve Water Quality

Some homes experience problems with hard water. If you've ever dealt with spots on your dishes, shampoo that doesn't seem to rinse clean, or even clogged plumbing with no explanation, you may have hard water in your home. Water softener systems were developed to help people remedy this problem. If you think you may need one of these systems in your home, read on to find out how they work and how they can help you.

What They Do

High levels of calcium and magnesium in the water can be problematic, so softener systems are designed to eliminate these minerals from the water coming into the home. Most water softener systems are small appliances that are installed into the plumbing of a home's water supply. The softener essentially uses an influx of sodium into the water supply to counteract the mineral buildup. This process is known as an ion exchange, and it works by using a mineral tank filled with tiny resin beads. The beads have a negative ionic charge. Since calcium and magnesium both have positive charges, they stick to the resin beads as the water comes through the tank. The sodium which also has positive charges helps to counteract the bad minerals.

How to Use Them

In order for a water softening system to work, sodium has to be pumped into the tank in order for it to work its magic. Large bags of salt sold specifically for water softening need to be poured into the tank so they can flush through and help to rid the minerals from the water supply. Once the mineral pump has been installed, this salt should be added frequently enough that it stays over halfway full at all times. Some systems have a separate tank known as a brine tank, which helps to keep the levels of salt regulated before it passes through the mineral tank. As everything mixes together, it reverses the way the water flows until it has been completely charged correctly. Then, it can be carried back through the mineral tank and used in your home. when you have a system installed, be sure to have someone explain the correct operating procedures so that you will be able to use it on your own regularly. If you're dealing with hard water, a softener system can certainly help improve not only the quality of your water, but the quality of your life.