How Does a Water Softener Work?
Rid Your Home of Hard Water
Hard water is water which has dissolved minerals of at least 60 parts per million (ppm). The most common minerals found in hard water are calcium and magnesium. Minerals can leave a crust called “scale” on your water fixtures and cookware. The hard water may cause long term damage to major appliances, including washing machines and water heaters. You may not realize how much extra detergent, shampoo, and soap you are wasting on a daily basis, as hard water resists lather and/or suds. Without a water softener installation from a trusted Brooklyn plumber like Petri Plumbing, time and money are also wasted, as hard water takes longer to boil and freeze.
A good water softener from Petri Plumbing will pay for itself very quickly, and you will notice the difference in the taste and other characteristics of your water after the minerals are removed.
How a Water Softener Works
The most effective unit uses ion exchange beads. Water fills the water softener’s mineral tank which has small spheres of zeolite, also called resin beads. These polystyrene beads are negatively charged, because dissolved calcium and magnesium are positively charged, they will cling to the beads.
After the mineral tank, the water is pushed to a “backwash” tank. This tank is filled with a solution containing a high sodium concentration. The sodium scrubs the calcium and magnesium coated beads to release the minerals. Sodium is negatively charged and the positively charged minerals cling to it, allowing water to be pumped into the general plumbing without the damaging calcium or magnesium. If you have concerns about sodium in your drinking water or septic tank Petri Plumbing can use potassium to produce the same effect.
To work efficiently water softeners must recharge every 7-10 days, more often if your water has 100 ppm of dissolved solids or you have high water needs. During the recharge the brine solution is pumped back into the mineral tank. The sodium collects on the beads, replacing the calcium and magnesium, which are drained out. The mineral tank is flushed of old sodium and debris, and the brine tank is refilled. Petri Plumbing only installs top-of-the-line water softening systems that are built to last, however if a problem arises we offer affordable repairs on all units.