Mechanics of Water Softeners & Their Essential Components
In principle, the major procedure that the water softeners follow is an ion exchange process. Eventually, ions propagating hardness such as magnesium and calcium are exchanged for ions such as sodium/potassium (salt). This procedure takes place in the brine tank of water softeners. When water surges through the brine tank, it links with the resin beads layered with sodium ions. This is when the exchange system starts and the hard ions are exchanged with sodium ions, resulting in a higher capacity of softened water.
In due course, as an increased capacity of water undergoes the softening procedure, the resin beads wear out and require renewal. Hence it is advised that salt bags be placed in the tank, which is either beside the resin tank or set within it, as one unit. The recharge of the mineral tank operates in the same manner as water softening, except for the fact that it works in a reverse direction. The swap between magnesium and calcium takes place with the rich sodium blend from the brine tank, while the excess volume of minerals is rinsed into the drain line.
Within water softeners, there is a mineral tank where the ion exchange takes place. Within the mineral tank, you will find another layer known as the brine tank. This includes a mixture called the brine solution and has high concentrated value of sodium ions. During the exchange, the water softener system releases these brine ions into the water in order to maintain a balanced ionic scale. Last but not the least is the control valve, which manages the water flow– volume and pressure both. After the ion exchange process is complete and the residue build-up is left behind, the soft water is directed through these pipes.
What is a DIR Water Softener?
DIR or Demand Initiated Regeneration is another one of the most commonly found water softeners in the market nowadays. Such water softeners gauge the water consumption in due course and start the regenerating process only when required. Some work according to a pre-set clock which regenerates only at set water volume upsurge. This, however, is a technology that is potentially wasteful with salt and water handling, since it regenerates regardless of whether it is needed or not.
Know-how of Different Types of Salts for Water Softeners
Water softeners use three major types of salts which are: rock salt, evaporated salt and solar salt. Rock salt is quite economical as compared with the other two, however it contains insoluble elements. This is why solar salt (generated by evaporated seawater) and evaporated salt (refined and purified form of salt) are more useful, since they help keep water softeners clean of any residual build-up.
When choosing the type of salt needed for your water softener, you need to consider the regularity of regeneration. For example, if the water softener regenerates more frequently, you will come across increased build-up of non-soluble substance when you use rock salt. This is not a major issue since for domestic household, excess matter is flushed out during regeneration.