Water is one of our most valuable resources and something that many people take for granted. Water treatment occurs before any water reaches you, but for added protection and better taste, water softeners provide an important treatment step at your home or business.
How Water Softeners Work
When water is in the ground, it picks up various soluble minerals. I n some cases, this can lead to a contamination that makes it unsafe to drink, but most of the time it collects magnesium and calcium and becomes “hard”.
Hard water won’t harm you if you drink it, but the minerals do affect the water’s usefulness. Soap doesn’t lather in hard water, and in particularly bad cases calcium deposits are left on the insides of pipes.
Water softeners remove magnesium and calcium through a process called ion exchange. Basically, excess calcium and magnesium ions are exchanged with sodium ions, leaving water softer and easier to use in the home.
The major work in the softening process occurs in a water softener’s mineral tank, where special negatively charged beads attract the positively charged calcium and magnesium ions and remove them from the water. These ions are replaced by sodium and potassium ions, which mostly come from a brine solution in a separate tank within the mineral tank. This brine solution requires special water softener salt to keep the softener functioning as normal.
Common Water Softener Repairs
As with most appliances in your home, your water softener is subject to potential problems and may need to be repaired. The most common problem in water softeners is blockages. This can happen if the salt and other minerals in the softener accumulate enough to form deposits in the filter screen and the brine line. These are easily fixed by homeowners with little help from professionals.
The resin beads in salt-based water softeners can sometimes become damaged and need to be replaced. These beads in the mineral tank can often last for as long as the softener itself, but they may need to be cleaned or replaced if you notice debris floating in softened water. This usually means that the beads are deteriorating.
Your water softener should be reliable as long as you receive the proper maintenance and is filled with the right softener salt. Water softeners seem like simple machines, but you will notice if your softener isn’t working properly and you are stuck with hard water.
Call the experts at Triple-T for water softener service and repair today!