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How a Water Softening System Works

Drop of Water

Drop of WaterIt might sound silly to soften water, but for people who live in places that mostly have hard water supplied to them, it makes perfect sense. Most municipal water has some minerals in them, usually calcium and magnesium.

When water has high levels of these two minerals, you have hard water. This is not good for your clothes, skin, and hair. It also tends to clog pipes, which can send your plumbing repair and water bills up. Water spots on sinks and bathtubs are also common.

You can solve these problems with a water softener in Salt Lake City. Here is how a typical system works:

Softening phase

A water softening system connects to where the water pipes enter the house. That way, it can treat all the water you use for washing and drinking. The water first goes into a mineral tank. This is full of resin beads with salt ions, which have a negative charge.

Calcium and magnesium have a positive charge. These attach to the beads, dislodging the salt ions. The salt ions then go with the softened water as it goes into the home. The term for this process is ion exchange.

Cleaning phase

At some point, the resin beads can no longer hold any more calcium or magnesium ions. The system has a brine tank. This has a timer or volume control to signal when to clean the mineral tank. It’s better to use a volume control, as it measures how much water you actually use.

When it is time to clean the beads, the brine tank releases a salt solution to the mineral tank to remove the calcium and magnesium ions from the beads. The solution flows through the resin beads and out the drain.

Rinsing phase

The beads are now full of salt ions. The unit will go through a slow and fast rinse cycle, using fresh water to remove the excess salt from the beads. The excess salt and rinse water will also go down the drain. There are still salt ions on the beads, but just enough for the next cycle of ion exchange and water softening. The system will also refill the brine tank, ready for the next cleaning.

A water softener is a solution to hard water problems. The process may seem a bit complicated, but it all happens automatically. Have a professional plumber install the system for you and say goodbye to water spots.

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