How it works
Home water softener systems are pressurized water conditioning devices. These systems force hard water through a bed of cation exchange media for the purpose of exchanging the objectionable calcium and magnesium ions for sodium or potassium ions. This process results in softened water, which is more desirable for home use.
Water softeners are rated in terms of grains of capacity. This capacity measurement refers to the ability of the unit to remove the stated number of grains of hardness from a supply of water. The capacity of a water softener depends on the amount of salt used to regenerate it, plus a variety of other design factors such as regeneration flow rates.
- The body of a water softener is a tank filled with resin beads that are covered with sodium ions. As hard water passes through, the resin beads act like a magnet attracting the calcium and magnesium ions, or hardness, in exchange for the sodium ions.
- Eventually the resin beads become saturated with mineral ions and have to be “re-charged.” this process is called regeneration, and it can be done with the control valve on the top of the tank. The control valve is the brains of the system.
- During the regeneration process, a strong brine solution is flushed through the resin tank, bathing the resin beads in a stream of sodium ions.
- These sodium ions replace the accumulated calcium and magnesium ions. Softened water can the be delivered through out your home.
- The brine solution carrying the displaced calcium and magnesium ions is then flushed down the drain by fresh water. The regenerated resin beads can be used again and again.