How Softeners Work (Easy Explanation)

Posted by Janice Macdonald on

Installing a water softener in your home will not only make the water more pleasant but it will add years of life to your appliances and plumbing. Dishwashers absolutely require soft water to operate effectively. Your laundry will be cleaner, your dishes will sparkle and your skin and hair will love it. 


So, how do softeners work?

There are lots of different types of softeners but they all work basically the same way. It's simple ion exchange. Small resin beads, inside a tank, collect hardness minerals from the water as it passes through the tank.

Periodically, the minerals have to be cleaned out of the tank and that's when the salt comes into action. When the softener has determined that it's time to recharge, it will set a regeneration in motion.

The salty water from the brine tank will be drawn into the taller cylinder tank which holds the resin beads. That water will carry the old minerals down the drain and voila, your softener is recharged and ready to start working again.

This entire process happens automatically, usually, while you sleep. You do not have to do anything to maintain your softener except keep a small amount of salt in the tank. 

That's it in a nutshell. 

You don't need to read a book to buy a softener. We'll be happy to help you choose and it will take less time than you think. 

There are a few things to consider when shopping for a softener, though.

You should look for efficiency. That means a softener that uses less salt and water to regenerate. Our softener was chosen for the Ontario Green Home project, because of it's high-efficiency rating.

2 Piece or 1 Piece? 

2 piece softeners (salt tank separate from softener tank) have many advantages over single cabinet models. Longevity is the obvious thing.  A North American made 2 piece softeners, usually last about 15 years or longer. They are easy to repair or refill if the resin needs to be changed and often come with great warranties. That's because they are simply better products.

Cabinet models that are all in once piece have a much shorter life expectancy, are difficult if not impossible to fix and are usually less efficient. They usually have a very short warranty.

This article is a very basic explanation of how an ion exchange, sodium-based softener operates. 

Please call our toll free number to find out more information about water softeners. All softeners from Ontario Soft Water have extended warranties, are high-efficiency and contain Canadian resin. We can quote you on the phone or if you are in the area we can arrange to visit your home. 
1-877-136-2970 Toll-Free
Ontario Soft Water 

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