How a Water Softener Works
Hard water passes through the media tank that contains resin beads coated with sodium ions. The calcium and magnesium ions are exchanged for sodium (or potassium) ions, thus softening the water.
When the beads have trapped the hardness and need to be regenerated, the control valve charges them with brine (salt and water solution) from the brine tank. As regeneration occurs, calcium and magnesium (hardness) ions are freed from the beads, replaced with sodium or potassium ions; and the system is ready to soften water again.
How the Water Softener Regeneration Process Works
There are 3 basic types of water softener controls that are used in residential applications to manage the regeneration process. The control valve will manage the frequency of recharging the resin beads that clean the water and flushing the contaminated water out of the system.
The most popular of the 3 types, computerized systems regenerate based on actual water usage. If you are away on vacation or if you have guests staying, the control will adjust accordingly. Computerized controls are programmed with grain capacity of the softener, water hardness and how many people are in the home. Since this type of unit only regenerates when necessary, it is the most efficient in salt pellet usage.
This type of system regenerates based on a time clock. The control is set to run at a predetermined time, regardless of the actual amount of water that has run through the system. Timer controlled systems tend to be less costly than computerized, however salt usage tends to be higher and there may be times when un-softened water is delivered due to higher than expected demand.
Although rare, there are some applications where a manually controlled system is needed. Manual systems simply use a lever control valve that regenerate when you want it to. An example of a manual control application is when a permanent drain is not available and a hose is temporarily used to flush the waste water. It’s best to oversize the system in this case so that the system doesn’t need to be regenerated as often.
Soft Water Makes a Difference You Can See & Feel
In the Bathroom
Soap and shampoo will lather better. Hair and skin will feel noticeably cleaner, softer and not as dry. No soap scum or mineral deposits to clean off sinks, showers, tubs or toilets.
In the Laundry
Clothes will be softer, cleaner, whiter and brighter. Plus they will last longer. Using soft water increases the life of clothing, towels and linens up to 33%. Without hard water service issues, washing machines last longer, too.
In the Kitchen
Dishes will clean more easily, and be spot free, without the film glasses get when etched by mineral-laden water.
Throughout the House
Water-using appliances will last longer and run better. Why?, because water heaters, washing machines and dishwashers using hard water can wear out 30% faster.
Our plumbers in Kerrville, Boerne and San Antonio have found that city water averages about 16 gpg and surrounding area (country) averages about 25 gpg. 8 Grains Per Gallon is extremely hard water so you can do the math. If there are stains or buildup on your sinks and bathtubs...if you have to use large amounts of soap to clean dishes or wash your hair...or if your water tastes or smells odd, you probably have hard water.
Professional Series Water Softeners eliminate the effects of hard water by removing the calcium and magnesium found there. Water is treated at the point-of-entry to the home, extending the useful life of water heaters, coffeemakers, humidifiers and household plumbing by as much as 30%.
Call us at (830) 890-8812 for a free hardness test.
If left untreated, the minerals in hard water will cause yellow stains on plumbing fixtures and be deposited as scale, eventually clogging plumbing and shortening the life of appliances like washing machines, water heaters and dishwashers. Scale deposits not only cut down on the efficiency of these appliances, they cost you money, increasing both energy and maintenance bills.