If you want to treat the water in your home so it is safe for drinking, bathing, and doing laundry, you may wonder if a water softener is the answer. It helps if you understand how a water softener works and what it actually does to the water. The important thing to know is that one of these units is for treating hard water and not for filtering out contaminants. Here is a look at how water softeners work.
Hard Water Treatment
Hard water is water that is high in minerals. The mineral content of water varies by geographic location. You can have hard water whether your water comes from a well or the municipal supply. The two minerals most commonly found in hard water are calcium and magnesium. A water softener removes them through a process called ion exchange. It does not filter out the minerals or any other particulate matter. A water softener is for treating your entire water supply to protect your plumbing and appliances. If you want a device to purify your drinking water, you'll still need to add a filter on the faucet of your kitchen sink, even if you have a water softener.
Ion exchange is a chemical process that takes place inside of the tank that softens water. The tank is filled with resin beads that are coated in salt. As water passes through the tank, the magnesium and calcium in the water attach to the resin beads, and the salt is released. As a result, the water that comes out the other side of the water softener has much lower levels of minerals. Over time, the calcium and magnesium build up on the resin beads, and the water softener has to regenerate. This is done by flushing the tank with more salt solution. The minerals are flushed out of the tank, and the resin beads are coated with salt once again, so the cycle starts over. To keep this system going, you'll need to fill the reservoir with salt on a regular basis.
Unlike a water purification system that is installed on a single kitchen faucet, a water softener generally treats all the water coming into your home. Therefore, a plumber will install it on your main water line. That way, you'll have soft water for bathing and doing laundry because water coming out of all your faucets is treated. It's important to use a water softener for whole-house treatment to protect the plumbing pipes as well as all of your appliances.
One drawback of hard water is the scale it leaves behind. This scale builds up on your coffee pot, iron, washing machine, and any other appliance that uses water. It also builds up on your pipes, which can lead to clogs and pipe damage. In addition to reducing scale buildup, a water softener makes your water feel silky. This helps your skin and hair feel softer after a shower. Soap products make lather more easily in the presence of soft water too. This helps your laundry and dish soap be more effective.
For more information, contact Optimum Plumbing LLC or a similar company.