WHAT IS WATER SOFTENING?
Water that contains a high percentage of calcium and magnesium is referred to as hard water. Hard water usually clogs pipes and also makes it difficult for soap and detergents to dissolve in it. Magnesium and calcium positively charged ions and because of this, other positively charged ions will not dissolve easily in water containing them than in soft water. Water softening is therefore the process used to remove magnesium and calcium rum hard water to make it soft. Using a water softener unit is the best way to soften water which is directly connected to the water supply.
WHAT IS A WATER SOFTENER?
A water softener is a unit which is used to remove hardness from water to make soft .
THE ADVANTAGES OF WATER SOFTENING
- It reduces the hardness of water therefore making it more usable;
- The incidences of blocked pipes are greatly reduced thus saving money that would otherwise be used for replacement.
- It increases the efficiency of hot boilers and tanks by reducing lime scale deposits caused by hard water. This greatly lowers the cost of heating domestic water.
- Water softening also reduces damages to domestic machinery such as laundry machines and therefore prolonging their useful life.
- It also helps to improve the efficiency and longevity of air conditioning systems, solar heating systems and much other water — based applications.
HOW DOES A WATER SOFTENER WORK?
Almost all water softeners operate on an ion exchange system. This system works by exchanging hardness ions (magnesium and calcium) for sodium and potassium ions. This process happens in resin tank. As water passes through the resin tank it comes into contact with resin beads which are covered with potassium and sodium ions. The action of water flowing through these resin beads causes the magnesium and calcium ions to exchange places with sodium and potassium ions. As more and more water continues to flow through the resin tank, the sodium and potassium ions become exhausted and therefore necessitating a recharge. A water softener system has a brine tank as a component. The function of this tank is to hold bags of potassium and sodium salts that are used for the recharging the water softener system.
HOW LONG DOES A WATER SOFTENER LAST?
A good water softener can last for many years without requiring major repairs safe for the concessional need to refill them with salt.
A softener resin will need replacement when the water softener system stops making water soft enough, in the absence of mechanical faults.
The softener brine tank may not need regular cleaning unless the salt product in use is contains high insoluble matter or where there is some serious malfunction.
Loosely compacted salts should not be used in a resin. This is because the resin may form tiny crystals of evaporated salt. These crystals may then bond creating a thick mass within the tank. This phenomenon is called mushing and may cause interference with the production of brine.
WHO NEEDS WATER SOFTENERS MOST?
Water softeners are very essential in industries such as those involved in drinking water preparation, soda production and in breweries. They are also essential for boilers and water cooling systems.