80 N. Charlotte Street
  Pottstown, PA 19464
  Phone: 610-326-9803

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Why clean water matters
Signs of bad water
Solution for clean water

How a Water Softener Works

The idea behind a water softener is simple: the calcium and magnesium ions in the water are replaced with sodium ions. The process is called ion exchange.

 

water text bullet.pngIon Exchange

Ions are atoms or groups of atoms that can gain or lose electrons in water and, thereby, exist in water with an electrical charge. Hardness exists as calcium (Ca++) and magnesium (Mg++) ions in water. 


Ion exchange is a reversible chemical process in which sodium (Na++) ions from the insoluble solid medium (the ion exchanger resin) are exchanged for the calcium and magnesium ions in the water. The physical structure of the resin is not affected.

 


water text bullet.pngRegeneration

Eventually, the beads contain nothing but calcium and magnesium and no sodium. At this point they stop softening the water and it's time to regenerate. There are three phases to this:

 

water text bullet.png Backwash: Water flow is reversed to flush dirt out of the tank.


water text bullet.png Recharge: The salt/brine solution is flushed from the brine tank through the mineral tank. Since the brine is so strong, it replaces all of the calcium and magnesium that has built up on the beads and with sodium.


water text bullet.png The mineral tank is flushed of the calcium, magnesium, and excess brine, which exit through a drain pipe. The brine tank is refilled.