An ion-exchange water softener is a tried and tested system that has been installed in many homes. There are other water softening processes, but they are inefficient and unreliable and they are at very early stages of development. For this reason, ion-exchange is still the go to system for people that want to improve their water quality. In this article, we will look at the three vital components that are required to make this system work efficiently.

1.  The Mineral Tank

This is the tank where the incoming hard water is softener to make it easier to use in your home. The water supply is fed into this chamber which contains a bed of resin beads and this media is used to collect the calcium and magnesium ions. The surface of the resin beads is covered and over time they will be less efficient. The surfaces of these beads are flushed clean during the regeneration cycle, which can be set to trigger automatically when the demand for water is low. When the water has been softened, it flows out into your home plumbing system and it’s ready for use at any appliance or fixture.

2.  The Control Valve

This part measures the volume of water that passes through the mineral tank and from that chamber into your home. The valve has a built-in meter that tracks the water that’s softened to evaluate when the resin beads need to be cleaned. The control valve is the component that triggers the aforementioned regeneration cycle. The maximum capacity of the water softening system is pre-programmed using a number of key factors. The regeneration cycle must be optimized for the size of your home, the number of occupants, the water hardness and other associated factors. This is important because a control valve is a demand initiated system and if the settings are incorrect it can be inefficient. For this reason, we recommend that you get a water treatment specialist to program the control valve when you get annual essential maintenance for your system. This will save water and lower your monthly bills with no loss of performance.

3.  The Brine Tank

The brine tank is a smaller tank that is usually located near the mineral tank for easy access. This tank is where the water softening salt is added to create a concentrated salt solution to facilitate the ion-exchange process. During this process, the salt ions are exchanged for the mineral ions which then adhere to the resin beads. The salt ions create a positive charge that makes the entire process work efficiently. Water softening salt is added to the tank manually in the form of blocks or pellets and there are different grades. They dissolve in the water and when the control valve determines that more salt is needed, the brine solution is flushed into the mineral tank. Water softener salt can be sodium or potassium for people that are sensitive to salt in their water.

If you need a water softener system for your home or some essential maintenance for your existing system, contact your local water treatment specialist today.

By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.