Why is salt required in a Water Softener?
We know that water softeners can solve a variety of hard water problems, but many homeowners are wondering what's happening inside these tanks. One of the most common points of confusion for homeowners revolves around softened salts.
You might ask yourself every time you bring a heavy bag of salt of soft finish to your house and fill the saltwater tank "How much of this salt will end up in my water? Do I have to drink with salt water?Do you bathe or cook? "
The truth is that the water softener does not add salt to the water. The water softening process breaks down the salt and uses sodium. There is a difference. For clarity, the salt, also known as sodium chloride (NaCl), contains sodium (Na). Salt is a compound and sodium is an element. Sodium is found in many foods and ingredients, such as bread, pizza, cheese, and obviously table salt.
But why do water softeners need sodium? How much sodium is transferred from your system to your water? Most importantly, can it affect your health?
The role of sodium in softening requires a basic understanding of how traditional water softeners work. Without adding sodium to the water softener, minerals cannot be properly removed from the hard water.
The dissolved minerals calcium and magnesium cause hard water. To get rid of these minerals, water must go through what is known as an ion exchange process.
This replacement is done in a cylindrical tank filled with media. Basically, calcium and magnesium ions are absorbed by the internal medium and removed from the water before reaching the rest of the house.
“The medium is negatively charged, and the hardness of the water is positive,” explains Fritz. “When water flows through the resin to be cleaned, the opposite side is attracted, and the positive and negative ions combine.”
When all resins are filled with hard minerals, they need to be refilled. Then the salt of the plasticizer acts. During the regeneration cycle of your water softener, which often occurs while you sleep, salt water from the brine tank flows through the media tank.
Sodium in brine solution is also positively charged. Therefore, it separates from chloride and adheres to the negatively charged resin. When that happens, calcium and magnesium molecules are thrown out of the softening medium and washed away from your system. This is ready to recharge the media and keep removing hard minerals from the water in your home.
During the next ion exchange process during softening, sodium molecules are released from the medium and travel through the house with soft water.
The good news is that sodium does not contribute to any of the hard water problems caused by calcium and magnesium. Still, many homeowners are wondering if sodium in the water can cause other effects.
Can drinking soft water containing sodium be harmful to my health? So how much sodium does your water contain?
The amount of sodium contained in soft water depends on how hard the water is initially. The harder the water, the more sodium it needs to remove calcium and magnesium.
But even in very hard water, the total sodium content is minimal. Due to its very small size, soft water falls into the "Very Low Sodium" category of the Food and Drug Administration. This means that sodium levels should have little or no effect on most healthy adults.
As a general rule, homeowners do not have to worry about soft water affecting their health. However, the benefits of soft water for skin, home, clothing, and devices are plenty.
The amount of sodium consumed in soft water is minimal and does not pose a serious health risk, but some people prefer not to drink it. In these cases, a reverse osmosis (RO) system is an ideal addition to your home. These drinking water systems remove sodium, chlorine, and many other unwanted contaminants from tap water to provide delicious water. Since water varies from households, it is always necessary to have a water treatment expert assess the condition and make recommendations based on specific needs and expectations.