When the water travels through rocks it comes in contact with minerals like calcium and magnesium. You must have heard about the rock called limestone, as water runs through such rocks it eventually picks up minerals and becomes hard. It can be said that it becomes very hard in some of the cases of contact. As we all know that the wholesome process is natural and there is no such thing that we can do to stop it. Hardness is measured via grains per gallon of water. Water which contains 10 grains per gallon is considered to be hard.
AUTOMATIC WATER SOFTENER
Automatic water softeners or self-regenerating water softeners are an effective means for treating hard water. Hard water builds up scales on our plumbing appliances which eventually decrease the designed timeline of our appliances. Since these appliances are costly, hence hard water problem can lead to economic crisis.
Automatic water softeners are plumbed into residential water supply and other uses by removal of dissolved minerals with the process of ion exchange. These softeners consist of a mineral tank that is full of plastic beads (often called as softener resin) carrying negative charge. In order to balance the charge and maintain equilibrium, positive charge carrying sodium ions are also present. A tank is provided which holds a brine solution (concentrated) made up of sodium chloride or potassium chloride. This solution is used in the regeneration of softener.
How Automatic water softener works?
The water is passed through the tank under normal conditions. Since the feed water contains calcium and magnesium. These minerals carry positive charge stronger than that of sodium and potassium if used in the resin bed. It is because the calcium and magnesium swaps places and replaces themselves with sodium ion on the beds. The effluent water is now considered to be soft.
Whilst the process goes on, the sodium lacks in quantity as it is removed to soften effectively. The optimum time for the process is usually in the middle of the night or early in the morning such that soft water isn’t available for regeneration to occur. The regeneration can be taken in consideration when the concentrated salt water washes over the resin bed. Since the sodium level is high in case of brine water. It replaces the calcium and magnesium while the chloride stays back in the solution. Finally after the regeneration takes place the brine is flushed. New sodium chloride or potassium chloride must be added to the brine tank on regular intervals for water softening to continue the work.
As a result, regeneration discharges significant water quantity to sewer line. On average basis, self-regenerating water softeners discharge about 30 pounds of salt per month to the sewer system which eventually increases the cost of disposal.
Automatic softeners can be operated via a mobile app which saves a lot of time and effort. These softener require mainatainanece as the equipment is costly. These are usually solar energy backed which increases their cost but saves in long run.