If your water reduces the power of your detergent, shortens your water heater life span, stains the sinks, causes mineral buildup in pipes and faucets, it is hard water. You can change your water from hard to soft by using a water softener. If you need one, here is information on the different softener types.
Salt-based ion exchange softener
In this type, water is cycled through 2 tanks. There is one with specialized resin beads, and then the other tank is filled with brine. This softener unit operates on the rule of ion exchange, softening hard water by substituting hard minerals like magnesium, iron for salt or sodium.
Salt-free water softener
This softener uses potassium chloride salt instead of sodium. It is suitable for people that have salt-related health problems or are weary of salt consumption. This device is a descaler. That is because instead of reducing hard water minerals, it prevents them from building up in pipes and appliance. While this way of treating water is not as efficient as ordinary water softening, it better than nothing.
Dual-tank water softener
This unit has two tanks. Therefore when one is regenerating, the other is still in use. That means that there is no time when you can not get water because the unit is regenerating. For a family that lives in areas where water is very hard or the family is large, a dual-tank water softener that has two resin tanks is ideal.
Magnetic water softener or descaler
This softener is a plug-in device. It gets clipped to the inlet pipes, and it creates a magnetic field that changes the electromagnetic properties of the hard water minerals. That stops them from building up in the pipes because not only do the pipes repel them; they also repel each other. An example of such softeners is the Eddy Electric Water Descaler.
Features and sizes of water softeners
When leasing or buying a water softener, it is crucial that you get one whose size is perfect for you. It must ably handle your household needs yet not too big or too costly.
While the unit’s physical size is not the major issue, its ability to soften your water with less regeneration is. There are several sizes of softeners, but the idea is to acquire one that can go for about three days without regenerating; one that can supply you with soft water efficiently.
If you want to calculate the suitable softener size, multiply the number of people in your household by 75 gallons. That is because we assume that on average, every person uses 75 gallons of water every day.
After that, multiply the number by the number of grains per gallon of hardness in your water.
The result is the size of water softener you need for your family.
For example, if you are 3 people in your house, and there are 5 grains per gallon, your ideal unit size is 3 * 75 = 225 * 5 = 1,225 grains per gallon of hard minerals to remove daily.
Water softener controls
Before getting a softener, you need to know its features and how they work. Check how to control the regeneration cycles, how long each cycle lasts, and the amount of water and salt (if you are using it) that are needed for recharging.
You need to know that fully automatic softeners also need an occasional salt refill. There are different cycle control methods. However the common ones are:
Softener DIR controls
With this method, a sophisticated method called demand initiated regeneration (DIR) detects when the resin tank needs recharging. It does that automatically or by the help of a meter that measures and calculates usage. The DIR system contributes to save on water and salt as recharging is done only when necessary. Besides that, it allows for abnormal water usage (high quantities).
Water softener timer controls
In this method, electronic timers or clocks recharge the softener at a pre-programmed time and day automatically. The problem with this approach is that it does not allow for abnormally large water use. Besides that, salt and water are wasted because regeneration occurs whether there is a need or not. Regeneration is usually done early in the morning. You can check water softener reviews before making a buying decision on soft water lab.
With these tips, buying a water softener just got easier.We are in collaboration with ro-system.org website to prepare a buying guide list to find the best reverse osmosis tips for you. keep following our posts.