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Home Water Softener

Many homeowners don't know what their water softener does for them, or how it works. Some even wonder whether they really need a softener.

All water starts as soft water. But as it falls through the atmosphere and filters through rocks and soils, it picks up invisible minerals. The presence of these minerals in water makes household tasks more difficult to perform, thus the name "hard water".

There are two types of water softeners: side-by-side and cabinet models. The side-by-side model has a separate brine tank (salt container) and resin tank (regeneration unit). The cabinet model has a resin tank enclosed in the brine tank. Both models perform the same function.

The resin tank contains thousands of tiny resin beads. These beads hold minute electronically charged ions. When freshly regenerated, the beads are full of sodium from the softening salt. As hard water passes through the softener, the hard water ions of calcium and magnesium are attracted to the resin beads. There, ions of sodium are exchanged for the hard water ions. The results are soft water.

Eventually, the resin bed begins to fill with calcium and magnesium. These elements are removed from the softener in a regeneration cycle.

The hardness in our water is calcium carbonate (CaCo3). Hardness is measured in grains per gallon. Each grain is equivalent to 1/7000 of a pound. Our well water hardness is 21 grains per gallon of water.

Dan Gordon
Water Service Manager
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