Springbore – A useful guide to water softener systems.
A water softener is a unit that is used to soften water by removing the minerals that cause the water to be hard. When water contains a high level of calcium and magnesium it is called hard water. Hard water can cause several problems throughout your home or business that you may or may not have noticed. Hard water is known to clog pipes, complicate soap and detergent dissolving in water, and leave behind water spots.
Water softeners use specific ion exchanges resins that are designed to remove ions which are positively charged. Most water softeners on the market are ion exchange systems. In these systems, hardness ions (calcium and magnesium) are exchanged for salt (sodium or potassium) ions. The exchange takes place within the resin tank of the water softener. When water flows through the tank it comes in contact with small resin beads that are covered with salt ions. As water flows through the resin beads, hardness ions trade places with salt ions, hence the higher salt content in softened water.
As larger volumes of water are softened, the beads become exhausted and contain nothing but hardness ions . The beads are recharged by adding bags of salt to the brine tank. Recharging works the same as softening but in reverse. The hardness ions swap places with the salt ions in the brine tank and excess minerals are rinsed into the wastewater drain.
Some consumers are concerned that drinking softened water will increase the level of sodium in their diet. Do not use artificially softened water in baby’s feeds or for people on a low sodium diet. Despite the myth, softening your water will not result in salty-tasting water.
Water treated with a water softener versus untreated hard water has many benefits:
- Cleaner and shinier glassware, mirrors, tiles, cars, or any plumbing fixtures.
- Softer skin and helps treat conditions such as eczema are psoriasis.
- Clean, smooth hair.
- Uses less soap and shampoo because of the rich lather softened water and soap produces.
- Softer clothes without hard minerals trapped in the fabric. Fabrics last longer and whites stay whiter.
- Preserves the life of all water appliances such as coffee machines, ice makers, dishwashers, water heaters and laundry equipment.
- Save money on monthly energy costs and damages to appliances.
Springbore can supply, install, service and troubleshoot all of the main water softener brands including Clack, Fleck and Autotrol from small cabinet type softeners to large commercial/industrial softener units.
Whether you require a water softener for mains, borehole or spring water we can accurately size a unit based on incoming water hardness, daily water usage and downtime (see simplex vs duplex below), salt saturation time, and peak flow requirements.
There are also ion exchange units that can reduce levels of other contaminants such as iron, manganese, ammonia, and organic matter alongside the softening process.
We specialise in the supply of water softeners for a wide range of applications such as:
- Domestic properties
- Commercial and industrial water treatment systems
- Boiler feed water
- Feed water for Reverse Osmosis
- Hotels / Bed & breakfast
- Public houses / restaurants
- Residential care & education centres
- Food processing & wash down
Simplex vs Duplex – A simplex system has a lower initial cost and smaller footprint but will require water shutdown during regeneration. A duplex system allows for continuous treated water and is also useful when considering salt saturation time for making a full strength brine solution.
The amount of salt used for water softening depends on the following:
- How often the unit regenerates – timed or metered water usage.
- Water hardness
For standard softener resin every litre of resin requires 0.14kg of salt to regenerate.
Example: 50 litres of resin x 0.14 = 7kg of salt per regeneration.
Every litre of standard resin has 50 grains capacity
Example: 50 litres of resin x 50 = 2500 grains capacity. If the incoming water hardness CaCO₃ was 300mg/l this would supply 2500/300 =8.333m3 or 8333 litres of treated water between regenerations.