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How To Soften Hard Water

Comments(10) Sub Category:Facility Maintenance,Reduce Maintenance Cost Posted On: May 10, 2011

Hard water is a problem that millions of households across the country face. Hard water is water that has high mineral content. Even though there is no serious health implications associated with hard water, the effect on your plumbing fixtures can be felt over a period of time. Due to the minerals present in hard water, the sides of pipelines are clogged. Over a period of time, deposits build-up preventing water to flow like it should, pipes becomes too small to allow the smooth passage of water. Once the holes become smaller, the pressure in pipes increases so much that there is a high risk of the lines deteriorating or bursting. So, if you are a homeowner and want to protect your pipelines, it is a good idea to install a water softener or water quality device. Softened water still contains all the natural minerals that we need. It is only deprived of its calcium and magnesium contents, since some sodium is added during the softening process.

Water Softening Methods

Water softening is a process that reduces calcium, magnesium and ion concentration in hard water. Hard water is known to clog pipes and to complicate soap and detergent dissolving in water. Temporary hard water contains Calcium and Magnesium Bicarbonates. While permanent hard water contains Calcium and Magnesium Chlorides and Sulphates. The temporary hardness can be removed by boiling the water and then filtering it. The permanent hardness can be removed by the addition of washing soda. The best way to soften water is to use a water softener unit and connect it directly to the water supply.

Determining the hardness of the water is important before attempting to soften it. A high mineral content will cause problems like scaling of hot water geysers, choking of pipes, poor quality of washing in machines etc. There are several methods of softening hard water. Following are important water softening methods.

  • Ion exchange water softener: This method is suitable for all appliances which uses a lot of water. This method can also increase the life span of dishes and clothes. Ion exchange water softener depends on two tanks- the brine and resin tanks. Potentially hard water will pass through the resin beads in resin tank. When the beads become saturated with magnesium and calcium ions, the ion exchange softener goes offline. Brine tank is again filled with new sodium ions which are ready for exchange, it flushes the resin tank and then it becomes online again.
  • Shower head water filters: The shower water filters use the most effective methods to catch lead, chlorine, unpleasant smell from the water your shower in. The KDF (Kinetic Degradation Fluxion) water filtration technology is used in shower water filters. The KDF redox process works by exchanging electrons with contaminants. This “give and take” of electrons converts many contaminants into harmless components. During this reaction, electrons are transferred between molecules, and new compounds are created. Some harmful contaminants are changed into harmless components. KDF frequently found in home showerhead filters because of its effectiveness at higher operating temperatures and flow rates.
  • Reverse Osmosis (RO): Reverse Osmosis is active at a comparably low temperature and its energy consumption is rather economic, people use it with different applications, for example, cleansing of polluted water, desalination, minerals’ reclamation, regulating per cent of whey and various food products and water filtration. Most RO devices with a cellulose acetate membrane are worked out to act between 55 F – 86 F (13 C – 30 C). Actually, the dirty water can pass through one of or a set of the following points: chlorinator and retention volume, anthracite filter, degasifier, neutralizer, sand bed, activated charcoal filter, microfilter, and deionizer, it depends on the kind of filtered water and the quality of water you want to receive after filtration.
  • Water filter pitchers: Using water filter pitchers is the best choice for home water purification which is needed more in today’s world. Most water filters can remove phthalate contamination and cryptosporidium from drinking water but water filter pitchers can remove a broader range of contaminants and a significantly higher level of viruses, bacteria, chlorine, metals, and are BPA free. This is the cheapest and safest way to purify drinking water.
  • Water softening by magnetic: Magnetic water softeners employ magnets placed either inside or outside a water pipe so that water flows through a magnetic field. Because of the strength of the magnetic field, water is stripped of its impurities and “hardness,” but not of vitamins and nutrients. It is best to put magnets as close to the water source as possible. It is considered to be the safest for drinking water in the market and one of the few non-chemical ways of softening water.
  • Chemical method: Chemical method is the most inexpensive way of treating hard water. Two chemicals used in the water treatment are sal soda and Calgon.
  • Salt: The water that enters the house is filtered through the zeolite minerals. A reaction occurs during the treatment process which replaces the magnesium and calcium ions to be replaced by sodium. The minerals containing zeolite require change on a periodic basis. This system includes a large tank where the bags of softener salts are regularly added.

Choosing Right Domestic Water Softener

  • The first step is to test your water for hardness before you actually go about getting a water softener.
  • Ask your neighbors what they do for water treatment and what they use to soften it. They may steer you in the right direction or might tell you what to avoid.
  • With number of apartment communities rising day-by-day, service providers compete with each other for providing the best service to their customers. The manufacturer or Domestic Water Softener service providers can provide a detailed Operation & Maintenance manual which gives detailed instructions on how to operate the unit and regenerate it.
  • Make a note of the water meter reading in the log book. It will help you to know the amount of water treated since last regeneration.
  • A very good way to find out whether the water softener you are getting is of good quality or not, is to look at the ratings of the softener.
  • Check whether it is electric or non-electric. If it runs on electricity, then it makes it much easier to run in the long-run than non-electric models.
  • When a domestic water softener reaches its capacity it has to go straight through regeneration. The time interval between successive softener regenerations should be taken into account.
  • Most commonly preferred in the domestic store is a meter controlled valve. This type of unit has a preset capacity and maintains which will open regeneration when reached regardless of the time elapsed since the last one.
  • Any way to get the best out of this investment it is important to ensure the unit is the correct size and fitted with the appropriate operate valve.
  • Seek Expert help and you can also ask your local dealer for advice.
Disclaimer: The article contains data collected from various sources and the use of same is at readers discretion.

10 Responses to “How To Soften Hard Water”

  1. plumbing says:

    Reverse osmosis is often referred to as the most effective method of filtering your water. These filters have a reputation for being able to treat water of very poor quality.

    • Cucko says:

      For drinking water purposes I find these branded RO filters having not only high initial cost but that their maintenance/replacements and electric costs too can be quite high plus delay in servicing.

      Our municipality supplies water from borwells that varies between light to heavy hardness. I have a simple standalone Kent tabletop water purifier of 8+8 ltr with a sediment and activated silverized carbon filter. It cost me Rs1200. I boil water in a 4 ltr utensil twice a day to remove hardness and kill & remove any bacteria, cyst, virus, etc . However, such boiled water after filtering through muslin cloth still has an odd slimy taste. So, on it cooling down I pour it into the tabletop water purifier. Thereby, I get clean, tasty, purified drinking water. We are just three members plus a pet and 8 Ltrs/day is more than sufficient and the purified water in the lower tank is safe for 48 hours. The cartridge lasts for 4000 hours, i.e about a year for us and costs just Rs600. What do you and other readers think about this idea?

  2. Jolyn Bueter says:

    Hi there, I arrived at your website coming from google. It sounds as if spent a long time to own your blog and the information and facts a person offer is absolutely helpful.

  3. Ervin Piroso says:

    Some really great blog posts on this site, thank you for contribution.

  4. Jim says:

    All the ways you reference above will work. There are some real differences between them, however, in efficiency and cost. But it’s great that you are giving consumers a lot of choices.

  5. Floretta Bade says:

    Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague that was doing a little study on that.

  6. Hermelinda Glos says:

    Great articles

  7. Reyes Fluhman says:

    Great write up!

  8. Bess says:

    This blog is genuinely amazing.

  9. lowes says:

    Appreciation to my father who stated to me on the topic of this blog, this weblog is actually

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