Hard water is typically caused by a buildup of ions from minerals such as calcium and magnesium. The dense elements can create scale and calcium deposits in water supply lines, which can eventually diminish the water supply. The buildup can also reduce the life of appliances and dull clothing. To reduce the mineral content in hard water, water softeners exchange a sodium ion for a mineral ion which makes the water feel less harsh.
Regeneration and Salt
Hard water can amass on the inside of the water softening unit. When this happens, the softener regenerates by rinsing the minerals away and effectively restoring the unit’s ability to collect the hard water ions. The salty solution rinses the inside of the tank and flushes the minerals out. The process can take between two and three hours to regenerate the system completely.
Capacity and Hardness
Each water softening tank has a specified grain capacity listed by the manufacturer. This number signifies the amount of hard water that can be removed by the tank before the unit requires regeneration. The hardness of water can be measured in grains per gallon. The more rock in the water, the harder the water is said to be. To properly test the water, contact your city services or purchase a water testing kit.
Size and Utilities
The average person uses approximately 80 gallons of water per day. To determine the size of the water softeners needed, multiply the number of people in the home by 80 gallons. The resulting number is then multiplied by the hardness grains in the water to find the quantity of particles to remove daily. Although regeneration occurs automatically, there is no need to worry about utility costs rising. A system recharge requires about as much water as a single load of laundry, and the amount of electricity used by a softening unit is equivalent to an alarm clock.
Salt and Water
Hard water can be difficult to live with. Water softeners can improve the quality of your home’s water and often extend the life of your appliances, and that can make life a little bit easier.