Hard water is a reality for millions worldwide. Hard water is water that springs from aquifers among other sources from the underground which collect dissolved minerals from the rocks and in particular carbonate, manganese calcium and magnesium. These minerals are what give the water those undesirable characteristics that are collectively known as “hardness”.
The hard water problem is more obvious and annoying nuisance when you do laundry,clean the house and cook. Magnesium and calcium react with many detergents lathering capability causing you to use more and take longer rinsing. Additionally, certain minerals may also cause the water to have a bad odor and taste. Health-wise hard water is known to cause rashes due to clogging of skin pores.
This is the reason why water softening appliances have come on board. In this article we shall take a look at various water softeners available in our markets today and the principles behind how they function.
1. The Salt based Ion exchanger – Water softeners of this kind cycle the hard household water between two tanks: one filled with brine and the other special resin beads. It works based on the ion exchange principle where the sodium in salt is exchanged for the hard minerals.
2. The Salt free softener – This water softener regenerates uses the potassium-chloride salt as a substitute as opposed to sodium. This type of softener appeals to people who are watchful about their salt intake. This kind of softener is actually a descaler in that it does not reduce hard water mineral rather it prevents the from being deposited on the services of appliances that use water.
3. The Dual Tank Softener – When softeners are recharging they usually disconnect from the water system something that would pose a disadvantage for the very large families as a result it would be wise to consider the dual tank softener this is because when one tank is in use the other usually is in regeneration mode and thus both can be in use continually interchangeably.
4. The Magnetic Softener – This one is a more controversial one in that it is a plug in device that creates a magnetic field that changes the electromagnetic properties of the “hard” minerals causing them to be repelled by the pipes and each other.
In conclusion when buying a water softener one needs to have in mind the following; size of household, ability to remove hardness without regeneration as well as affordability.