What is a Water Softener?

Posted on Posted in Better Water

Why you need a Water Softener in Iowa

All of Iowa’s (most of the US’ for that matter) water supply can be classified as hard or very hard water. Many homeowners choose to instal a water softener to get rid of, or “soften” the water. But what exactly does hard water mean? In Iowa, per liter of water, you can expect 120mg or more of dissolved Calcium Carbonate (Lime). This dissolved Calcium creates problems, many of which can cost you money!

benefits of water softener

As water heats up, it loses its ability to keep the Calcium dissolved. So inside your hot water lines, and water heater, solid Calcium begins to scale. Much like cholesterol clogging up arteries, this Calcium scale will start to line the insides of your pipes, reducing flow, and increasing your energy bill! ( Calcium deposits in your water heater insulate the heater element, so more energy is needed to heat water)

In addition to costing you money by reducing the life of you water systems, and increasing your energy bill. Hard water also reduces the effectiveness of soaps. You will need to use more soap, still, your clothes will start to feel gritty, colors will fade to a gray, and wear down quicker, as calcium particles start abrading away at the fabrics. A water softener will take care of these issues, instantly.

How does a water softener work?

A water softener is filled with beads called resin. These beads, think of them as little magnets, are negatively charged. Attached to these negatively charged beads are positively charged Sodium (Na+) Ions. The Sodium Ions are not too worried about staying on the bead, so when hard water full of Calcium flows past these beads, the Calcium Ion shoves the Sodium off, and attaches itself on the bead. The Calcium which causes all the problems, is now out of the water, left behind in the softener resin tank, replaced by an harmless Sodium Ion.

Each softener is sized according to how much Calcium it can take out before needing to be regenerated. Ideally, just before all the beads are coated with Calcium, the water softener will regenerate. During regeneration, salt water, or brine (essentially a lot of Sodium and Chloride) will soak the resin beads. This mob of Sodium ions will strongly persuade the Calcium to let go of the beads. This mix of brine and evicted calcium is washed out of the tank (into the sewer), the resin is rinsed thoroughly, and your softener is ready to take out more Calcium. Easy right?

Ready for a Water Softener?

Before you can choose the right water softener, you need to learn how hard your water is, along with how much water you use per day. Give us a call for a free water test and let us size up the right water softener for your household. Not ready to commit? Try renting a softener, starting at only $18.50/month! We know you will start seeing the benefits instantly.

 

Contact Global Water Services for your free consultation and water test!