Water Softeners and Why They Matter
Hard Water can have a variety of effects of on your home. Using water softeners can help to prevent those effects.
Hard Water: What is it?
To fully understand what water softeners are and what they do, we have to talk about hard water. Hard water is water that contains a high concentration of minerals. The dominant minerals that determine the hardness of water are Calcium and Magnesium. The reason hard water gets its name is because of the reaction that it has with other metals. As time goes on, this kind of water can leave hardened mineral deposits wherever it flows through. These deposits can then, in turn, make your boilers and piping less effective.
The effects go farther than clogged pipes. Letting hard water build up in pipes can have affects on your skin, hair, and items within your household. Taking a shower with hard water can cause the outside of your skin to feel dry and powdery. This film-like layer can also rest on your head if you’re using hard water to wash it. Clothes washed with hard water also suffer from their fabric breaking down quicker. Dishes can develop several spots from being broken down by hardwater. Using it to clean surfaces also results in a negative, as it may leave residue wherever it is spread. Naturally, one would want to avoid all of these things. While hard water buildup can happen to any home, that doesn’t mean they have to live with it forever.
The Solution: Water Softeners
Thankfully, we have a solution for taking care of the minerals in water through water softeners. There are many different types of water softeners, but they all work in a similar way. In simple terms, as hard water passes through the filtration system, it removes the calcium and magnesium from your water. This not only prevents everything that was mentioned before, but also allows for smoother water flow throughout your home.
The Science of Softeners
Let’s get a little more in-depth with how these devices soften the water in your home. The key to removing separating the minerals from the water are electrical charges. There are positive and negative charges to all atoms. While positive and negative charges attract, charges of the same type repel each other. Water softeners use this concept in the same way that magnets do.
Inside Your Water Softener
Inside your softener, there will be a bed of negatively charged beads. As the hard water with the positively charged calcium and magnesium minerals pass through, the minerals are attracted and stick to the beads. This process separates the mineral molecules from the water before the water makes its way through your pipes.
Clearing the Mineral Molecules
After your water softener has been running for a while, it will start to build up mineral molecules on the beads that will need to be cleared. Thankfully, most water softeners will take care of this process for you by running a regeneration cycle. A regeneration cycle consists of the unit sending a salt and water mixture to the area where the beads are. The salt ions in the water mixture will attract the mineral molecules, and then the unit will flush it all down the drain. Although this process runs on its own, you will still have to add softener salt to your unit occasionally to make sure the regeneration cycle is effective.
Keeping Your Softener in Top Shape
Hard water can have a variety of effects on you and your home. As we’ve mentioned, hard water can lead to mineral or scale deposit build-up. This build-up can restrict or even block the flow of water in your pipes, which would require a professional to come and fix. Due to the amount of iron that can be present in hard water, it is also possible that it can rust your toilet or other metal fixtures. Just like you would give a car engine regular tune ups to keep the vehicle running smoothly, your home’s piping system requires regular care and attention. Doing so keep it running smoothly and efficiently, and could avoid you costlier repairs down the road.
Your water softener will work hard for you as long as it’s taken care of. At Mason Pro Services, we know about water filtration systems. Whether you’re looking for a new system or need some maintenance work done, we can help. Contact us today, and we can help you find the perfect filtration system for your home or repair your current softener to keep it at its best.