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How Does a Water Softener Work?

Water SoftenersMost people don't even realize when they have a hard water problem in their home. The sure signs of a hard water problem include a white film around faucets and tubs, dishes that never seem to get clean, poor quality drinking water with an unexplainable smell or taste, and even clogged pipes. If left alone, hard water can wreak havoc on a plumbing system by causing a buildup of minerals like calcium and magnesium. There are products on the market that advertise their use as a water softener, such as chemical liquids and powders, however these products are not the way to go. Such products can ruin clothes and even cause serious health risks to family members. A proper water softener installation done by a professional Salt Lake City plumber from Valley Plumbing can remedy hard water problems, without the added complications of subpar products.
Calcium and magnesium deposits are the main causes of hard water. The purpose of an effective water softener is to eliminate these unwanted minerals. A water softener is a mechanical system that is most often installed right where your water supply enters the home. The system will remove calcium and magnesium, replacing them with sodium or another harmless mineral like potassium. The process by which these minerals are replaced is known as an ion exchange.
A water softener contains a mineral tank that is filled with resin or zeolite, which are tiny polystyrene beads that have a negative charge. Since calcium and magnesium have positive charges, these minerals will immediately grab on to the beads. A powerful brine solution is then flushed through the tank to wash the mineral deposits off of the beads. Common salt is used to help create the brine solution.
After the beads have collected the calcium and magnesium deposits, the tank begins a 3-phase regenerating cycle. Once the phases are complete, the extra brine is then flushed from the mineral tank and the system is reset. Water softeners use either a mechanical water meter, electric timer, or a computer to determine when the system needs to be recharged and flushed. Valley Plumbing can help you to choose the best water softener for your home and budget.
If you are in the Salt Lake City area and are in need of a water softener installation, contact Valley Plumbing at (801) 341-4222.