There are generally a lot of concerns related to water at home. Sometimes, hard water interferes with household tasks, clogs pipes, boilers and damages utensils. It can be extremely frustrating when white spots show up on your kitchen slabs. Typically, we can divide water into two different types of hard and soft water.
Hard water contains large amounts of dissolved irons, such as bicarbonate, calcium and magnesium. You can measure the hardness of water. Suppose it’s concentration in parts per million is above 121mg/L, it is considered as hard water. To use it you’d need a water software system at home.
Temporary Hard Water
Further hard water can be divided into two subcategories, temporary hard water and permanent hard water. The former type contains bicarbonate ions of high quality. How are these ions formed? Bicarbonate ions are formed because of carbon dioxide. It reacts with water, thus forming a carbonic acid which is also present in fizzy beverages. On heating, ions break down to produce water and CO2. That said, it’s easy to soften the hard water. In case you don’t have a water softener system at home, simply boiling the water will remove the ions from it.
Permanent Hard Water
Calcium, magnesium, iron and sulfate ions are present in permanent hard water. It’s a bit challenging to remove these ions, as boiling won’t work. So, they must be removed using certain chemical compounds such as zeolites, sodium and potassium ions. When done right, these ions will replace calcium and magnesium ions. Although, this process puts a large quantity of salt into the water.
Water Softener System
Without a water software system there is always a risk of damage. These systems work by filtering hard water through a mineral tank. Generally, there are beds of plastic beads (sometimes resin beads) present in the tank. Since these beads are negatively charged, they attract calcium and magnesium particles, therefore removing them.
Water softener systems also run a regeneration cycle. It clears the elements contributed to the hardness. In most cases, there is a control valve to mix salt and water into the resin bed. The salt works like a magnet and attracts minerals from beads.
You can schedule the regeneration cycle more than once a week. Depending on how hard the water is and how much of it you use are usually the contributing factors. If water is hard and you use more water, then regeneration should be done on a frequent basis. One cycle almost uses 50 gallons of water depending on the water software system.
Resin beads do not require replacement, that is another benefit of using a water softener system. Yet, to maintain the effectiveness, you can refill the brine tank with softener salt. Replace the salt depending on the tank size and frequency of regeneration cycles.
Top Types of Water Softener System
Depending on your usage, pick a water softener system type from below: –
- Dual Tank Water Softeners
The dual-tank system contains two resin tanks. One is always available while another is in the regeneration cycle. This way you can ensure that household people can access soft water.
Purchasing dual-tank is recommended for large households. If so, your home has a high water usage, then go with this one. Also, there are salt-free models as well.
- Ion Exchange Water Softeners
Ion exchange water softeners exchange ions as described above. They might also use electrically charged particles in the water supply. Usually sodium ions substitute the magnesium, calcium and other minerals hence making water usable.
Using an ion exchange system also requires periodic refills. Additionally, they might add sodium in low-quantity to the drinking water.
- Salt-Free Water Softeners
These systems use a potassium-chloride salt substitute. There is no sodium used in salt-free water softeners. The system might not be able to reduce the hard mineral instead prevent it from clogging the pipes and appliances. Potassium is environmentally friendly, but it’s also an expensive option.
Certainly these systems are grouped with water conditioners and reverse osmosis systems. That said, they might also use different filtration methods, none of them use salt.
Rainwater is considered as soft water. It has dissolved ions and none of the elements that block pipes or damage utensils. Using a water softener system removes the mineral that causes hardness in water. When water contains high levels of calcium and magnesium, you’d need more energy to heat it. Hence a benefit of the softener system is that it helps you save electricity bills. Moreover, using hard water can cause skin irritation and dryness. Reduce the negative effects of hard water by leveraging the optimal treatment. Follow your gut, pick up the most suitable water system for your household.