What is a Water Softener?
Tap water taste and quality can vary depending on your location. Water is said to be "hard" when it contains certain ions like magnesium, calcium, or even iron. It can also be used to remove salt from water. Most of the time, hard water will not hurt you, but it may appear somewhat clouded, and the taste may change slightly. To make up for this, water softeners are sometimes used to remove those metallic ions. It's especially important to use water softener when there is a problem with iron in the water. This should be relatively easy to tell by the reddish discoloration of the water.
What is Reverse Osmosis?
In order to understand how a water softener works, you must be familiar with reverse osmosis. That means understanding general osmosis first. Osmosis is a natural phenomenon important to life and biology. The principle is that water containing fewer solvents (such as sodium) will always try to move toward water containing higher solvent concentration. The kidney absorbs water from our bodies because the water is moving toward a higher concentration solution. In other words, osmosis is why many forms of absorption happen. What about reverse osmosis? It tries to get water to move from a higher solution concentration to a lower one. Energy is required in the form of pressure to force the water through a membrane or filter that catches solvents like salts and metals.
How Do Water Softeners Work?
Water softening systems filter metals or salt into more pure water. The filtering works thanks to reverse osmosis. First, hard water enters a mineral tank where calcium and magnesium ionically bond to the negatively charged mineral beads. Then, high sodium water is pumped into the tank, and reverse osmosis is made to happen. The water moves from a high concentration to a low concentration. Soft water moves away from the solvents, becoming more pure. .
Most water softening systems are installed into your plumbing system. Softeners usually consist of two tanks connected by a tube along with the first tank's tubes for hard water inflow, extra water drainage, and soft water outflow into your water pipes. Water softener installation is offered by many companies who sell the systems. It can also be installed by a plumper or, if you know what you're doing, you might learn to install it yourself. Water softeners will also require some maintenance now and then so it's good to get an installation from someone who is familiar with the system and its needs.