There are many people that do not have the idea on how a water softener actually works. The main purpose of the water softener is to let mineral laden hard water in while excreting a soft and clean feeling water without the aftertaste.
The presence of a water softener will help avoid scales on sinks, pipes, and other metal, spots on appliances and dishes, clogged water heaters, and also will help improve the cleaning ability 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.
Most of these water softener units use a method that is called an ion exchange to help remove minerals that are dissolved in hard water in order to create much cleaner water with no aftertaste. Some of these minerals that are present in hard water and can be a problem to people are iron, sulfur, magnesium, and calcium.
The water softener unit will contain a lot of small plastic beads or a matrix that is called a zeolite. Ions of sodium consists the covers of these zeolites. The sodium will take that place of the harmful minerals in the water every time the water will pass through the zeolite or the small plastic beads in the water softener unit. Sodium will then be present in the water because the harmful minerals will be removed by the zeolites or the small plastic beads in the water softener unit. So eventually the zeolite or the small plastic beads will run out of sodium ions and these zeolites will need be regenerated.
An important factor on the actual work of a water softener is the idea of regeneration. One way of regenerating the sodium ions on the zeolites or the small plastic beads in water softener units is to soak the beads on a solution filled with sodium ions. You can actually use a common household salt for the regenaration of the zeolites, a strong salt brine can help regenerate the sodium ions on the small plastic beads or the 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. You should be aware that even a singe water softener unit will produce a lot of brine when there is a need to recharge the unit.
You should be aware that when you use this method, the water that will be produced from the water softener unit will have a lot of salt. This will be a problem especially to those people who are in a low sodium diet.