How does a Water Softner Work?
All of us know salt is corrosive. This is only because of the chloride content dissolved in the water. What if we drink salt water instead of pure water? What if we use salt water for bathing and cleaning purposes instead of using cleaned and purified water? The use of softener is to exchange cation or anion. It can be clearly described as the exchange of ions for sodium or potassium ions mainly from calcium and magnesium present in the water. This effects can greatly reduce the hardness concentration of the ions in water and thus makes the water soft giving it a smoother feeling.
For example, we have many tools in the kitchen and we use almost all the tools every day. After using anything, the first thing we do is cleaning. If we did not clean the tools properly, we can see a white layer formed on the top. Sometimes, even if we clean properly, we see a white layer on the top and no matter how many times, we can see that. This is because of the water problem.
The water we use comes from the ocean and mainly from the earth. It consists of all the minerals and soluble particles that are present in the earth’s water. This makes the water unfit for drinking. This is the main reason why we get hard water. Due to hard water, soaps and detergents we use to lose the effectiveness. Instead of dissolving completely, it gets a chemical reaction with the minerals present and forms precipitate. This makes your washing machine and all other equipment useless.
The only solution to this question is to remove the chemicals dissolved by using some certain chemical reactions. We can get rid of calcium and magnesium with the help of some chemical reactions. The water softener machine consists of a mineral tank which acts as a heart of the water softner. All the water softners make use of the principle of trading the ions commonly known as ion exchange. It consists of small polysterene beads knows as zeolite which carries a negative charge. Calcium and magnesium both carry positive ions in water which means it gets clinged to the beads when hard water passes through the mineral tank. But as sodium is also positive, when a strong charge of brine solution is passed through the tank, the more sodium ions present in the bed helps to take off the calcium and magnesium ions.
There are many popular water softners which have automatic regenerating systems. The first and the basic type of automatic regenerating water softner is an electric timer that uses its flushing capability and recharges the system on a regular basis. There is also a type of computer to watch the amount of water used. This works on the calculation of an amount of water used. There is a certain limit to change the beds for a certain amount of water. There is also a mechanical water meter which shows and measures the amount of water used and then initiates the recharging. The main advantage of this type of system is that it does not need electrical components. Only the mineral tank is recharged when necessary.