What are the ingredients of a water softener?
A water softener consists of three components: a control valve, a mineral tank, and a brine tank. Together, these three components remove metals from hard water, monitor water flow, and periodically clean the system through regeneration.
How is water softener regeneration performed?
During regeneration cycles, resin beads are filled with a highly concentrated salt solution that flushes hard metals and releases them from the system. The resin beads are refilled and prepared to remove the hard metals.
Resin pellets are very durable and can effectively remove hard water for twenty years or more. Water softeners are regenerated in one of two ways: simultaneous or reverse flow regeneration (also known as brine and brine solution).
What do water softeners remove?
Water softeners first remove calcium and magnesium ions from hard water. Calcium (Ca2+) and magnesium (Mg2+) are the two metals that cause water hardness. The ion exchange process also attracts and removes positively charged ions (also known as cations). These can be other metals such as iron and manganese.
Is soft water safe to drink?
Soft water is safe to drink. Through the process of ion exchange, the resin beads release sodium into the water when they trap hard minerals. However, the sodium content of soft water is not harmful and is in fact much lower than generally believed. If your water is moderately hard, say five grains per gallon (about 86 ppm), that means you’ve added only 37 milligrams of sodium per liter of water.
This is less than 2% of the recommended daily sodium intake. One slice of white bread contains approximately 170 milligrams of sodium and one slice of pizza contains approximately 640 milligrams. The sodium content of water softeners is therefore negligible in comparison.
The amount of sodium added to a water softener is linearly related to the amount of hardness minerals reduced. A water softener removes two milligrams of sodium per milligram of water hardness. This only becomes problematic if you live in an area with very hard water. If your water hardness exceeds 400 ppm, you should install a reverse osmosis system at home to purify the water you drink and cook with.
A reverse osmosis system forces water through a semi-permeable membrane that can remove almost all dissolved solids and salts from the water. If your doctor has advised you to reduce your sodium intake due to blood pressure or kidney problems, a reverse osmosis system is recommended after a softener; you can also check how much it costs to install a reverse osmosis system in your home in Pakistan.