General facts about water softening systems

Besides calcium and magnesium ions, hard water also consists of bicarbonates, heavy metals and sulfates. Although this water does not cause any health problems to humans, it can create other issues people want to avoid. For example, hard water is not good for cleaning and washing purposes because it does not lather when mixed with soap and detergent.

Consequently, soap scum appears. Repeated usage of hard water can also reduce the lifespan of our appliance. That is why more and more people opt to install a water softener.

This type of system replaces calcium, magnesium and even iron ions (when necessary) with sodium ions. A water softener is installed directly to the water supply. There are three types of water softeners available on the market: manual, semi-automatic and automatic. Usually, a high quality hard water softener works perfectly for several years and do not require too much maintenance.

Regularly, one has to refill the salt in order to make the system work properly. The salt used for hard water softeners can be divided into three categories: evaporated salt, solar salt and rock salt. Evaporated salt is taken from the underground mines and it is the best of all because it is the most effective, but also the most expensive. Solar salt results after the water is evaporate. The cheapest one is the rock salt, but using it requires a lot of maintenance. On the other hand, water softeners can be divided in water meter-controlled and time operated. They need to be connected to water-power or electricity sources according to its type, use of water, its hardness and the type of energy utilized.

Different water softening systems

With the help of a medium, the magnesium and calcium ions are replaced with sodium and potassium ions. A water softener includes a resin bed containing small plastic beads, also called zeolite. These plastic beads are covered with sodium and potassium ions. When the water runs through this bed, the calcium and magnesium ions are replaced with sodium and potassium ions. Now, the beads are charged only with calcium and magnesium ions and the water is softened. But, the beads need to be replenished. In order to do that, a brine solution containing sodium and potassium is needed. After the tank is rinsed with fresh water, the brine tank is loaded. This way the beads are cleared from magnesium, calcium, dirt and any other contaminants. The most up-to-date water softeners are automatic. It is to be mentioned that there are four types of water softening systems with top-mount valves:

  • Heavy-duty water softening systems with time-clock regeneration
  • Heavy-duty water softening systems with meter regeneration
  • Compact water softening systems with meter regeneration
  • Compact water softening systems with time-clock regeneration

Water softening systems with top-mount valves can be fully automatic type or demand initiated regeneration type. Fully automatic types include a timer that starts automatically in the regeneration procedure. This procedure starts during night when water is not used. With the second type, all actions start automatically when necessary. In order to work properly, one has to make sure that the salt storage is proper.


For people who suffer from a high blood pressure or heart disorders, softened water is not very healthy because of the sodium content. The water is not suitable for plants. The chloride potassium can kill any bacteria in the septic tank. In order to stop the water get through the filter, one can install a bypass pipe. The amount of heavy metals that soft water leaches from pipes can rise too much. When the softening process takes place, the minerals that are good for human health are removed.

There are many brands that sell different water softener systems such as Clements Water Softener, Fresh Water Systems, Worldwide Water Systems, TwinTec Water Softener and CAI TechFountain Sotfners. They are the best when it comes to price vs. guarantee. According to the type, base, secure site, shipping and online ordering Ltd and CAI Technologies and Culligan, Fresh Water Systems are the most reputable.

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