Understanding Water Softeners
When we say that the water is hard, we means that it have dissolved minerals such magnesium carbonate, manganese and calcium. While these mineral can’t harm your body, their remains does buildup in pipes and other appliances in your house. The level from these accumulations can cause your pipes to block and even decrease the life of various appliances, like hot water heaters. A water softener system helps to dissolve these minerals and reduce the level of buildup.
Benefits of water softeners
Water softeners soften your water. Soft water lowers the scaling of faucets, bath fixtures, pipes, and reduces spotting of dishes, glasses as well as flatware. In addition, it helps detergent to clean your clothes better and also make them to last longer.
Types of water softeners
- Magnetic water softener – Magnetic water softener (a plug-in machine which clips onto the incoming pipe) sets up a magnetic field that alters the electromagnetic characteristics of calcium carbonate minerals so that they can be repelled by pipes.
- Dual tank water softener – When most water softeners are recharging, they are designed to disconnect from the water systems, therefore, they are normally out of use. If the down time of your water softener is a problem, or you live in areas where water is mostly hard, it will be perfect to have a dual tank water softener with 2 resin tanks. With this softener, when one tank is regenerating, the other one can be in use.
- Salt free water softer – Salt free water softener softness water with a potassium chloride salt instead of sodium. It is ideal for people who are concerned about their salt intake. Salt free softener does not reduce the minerals in the water, it only prevent them from settling to the surfaces of different appliances and pipes.
- Salt based ion exchange softener – These kinds of water softeners cycles your water via two tanks; one filled with brine and the other with special beads. It functions on the law of ion exchange – softening hard water through substituting salt for hard minerals.
Maintaining your water softener system
Although water softeners systems can last for many years with little or no maintenance, it is highly advisable to conduct regular checks to keep them functioning properly. Here are a few tips on how to maintain your water softener:
Check the salt level – Salt is a vital part of your water softening process, as it restores the resin droplets to prepare them for further softening. Without salt, the beads will be ineffective.
Add salt regularly – The quantity of salt needed differs from one system to the other – look for the right quantity in your manual.
Know the type of salt to add – Water softeners use one of these three types of salt: Granular, Block or Tablet. This is normally determined by the manufacturer.
Carry out regular inspection –You should inspect your system every two to three months for any sign of solid buildup of salt in your brine tank. It is also recommended you hire a professional plumber to inspect your softener regularly for any sign of damage.
Break up salt bridges – You need to conduct a thorough cleaning to avoid bridges form every now and then.
Clean the brine tank – Traditional softeners may need cleaning every six to twelve months depending on its condition and the age. It is also important to clean your modern softener even if this is not mandatory.
It is highly recommended that you seek the services of a qualified plumber in case your softener is experiencing a problem you cannot solve.