There are many people that do not have the idea on how a water softener actually works. The main work of a water softener is to allow the entree of mineral laden hard water while in the process, soft and clean feeling water will come out without any aftertaste.
You can avoid many things when you have a water softener such as clogged water heaters, spots on appliances and dishes, scales on sinks, pipes, and other metal, in addition to that you can improve the cleaning capabilities of the water. It is no wonder that there are a lot of people that are curious on how a water softener unit actually works. Making sure that a person can easily deal the huge amount of water that is present everyday is one of the benefits if having a water softener unit.
To make sure that a cleaner and much safer water with no aftertaste is produced, a method called ion exchange is used by most of these water softener units in order to remove the minerals that were dissolved in the hard water. There are a lot of minerals that can be dissolved in hard water and will cause problem and some of those are sulfur, calcium, magnesium, and iron.
The water softener unit will contain a lot of small plastic beads or a matrix that is called a zeolite. The cover of the zeolite is made up of ions of sodium. The unwanted minerals in the water will swap places with the sodium every time the water will flow through the beads or zeolite. This process will result to more sodium present in the water while removing the minerals that are harmful. So eventually the zeolite or the small plastic beads will run out of sodium ions and these zeolites will need be regenerated.
The idea of regeneration is an important part on how a water softener unit actually works. Soaking the small plastic beads or zeolites on a solution with sodium ions is one way of regenerating the sodium ions of the beads. A very common solution to this is by using a simple household salt, a strong salt brine will make the water softener regenerate its zeolites. The remaining brine and the residue of minerals will be flushed away once the zeolites or the small plastic beads of the water softener unit will be regenerated. A lot of brine can be produced even from a single water softener unit if there will be a need to regenerate its zeolites or small plastic beads.
When using this method, you should know that there will be more salt present in the water being produced by the water softener unit. For those people who are under a low sodium diet, this process might result to a problem.