How Does a Water Softener Work?

What is a Water Softener?

A water softener is an appliance that you can use in your home to remove the hardness from your water. This gives you that luxurious feeling from the water, without the dry skin. It also reduces the limescale build up in pipes and appliances which in turn lengthens the life of your appliances and reduces your bills!

This is about our Clack water softeners, Find out more about how electronic water softeners work here.

Find out more about the Benefits of using a water softener

What is Hard Water?

Hard water is simply water that contains calcium and magnesium compounds. The more calcium and magnesium then the harder the water is.

Calcium and magnesium are mostly found in bedrock, this is why water that comes from wells is typically harder than that from lakes and rivers.

That’s where the water softener comes in as it removes these compounds from your water.

How Does it Soften Water?

A water softener usually contains two tanks, a mineral tank, and a brine tank.

The Mineral tank contains softening resin. As the water comes into your home from the mains, it is pushed through the mineral tank containing the resin. Resin looks like small plastic beads, this resin has an attraction to the magnesium and calcium-containing compounds. As the water flows through, the compounds will stick to the resin and be removed from the water.  This is because the compounds have a positive charge and the resin has a negative charge so they attract.

Every few days or so the resin will have so much calcium and magnesium that it cannot take anymore and the unit will stop being able to soften your water effectively. This is where the brine tank comes in, it is basically just water and salt that is used to regenerate your water softener.

Most water softeners either have a timer or a water meter to time when to regenerate your unit. When this happens, the unit reverses the system to wash out any contaminants from the resin. Then in the second stage, the brine is moved from the other tank, the sodium(salt) replaces the calcium and magnesium in the resin, which then goes down the drain. The final phase is to wash out the excess brine and refill the brine tank. This is when you need to add a bag of salt, so the process can go again the next time.

Take a look out our water softeners and if you need any help then let us know in the chat.