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How Does a Water Softener Work?

How Does a Water Softener Work?

Understanding how water softeners work is a great first step toward choosing the best system to transform the hard water in your home into better water that doesn’t stain your dishes and clog your water-using appliances and plumbing. Although some water softener purveyors may describe their products as “filtration systems,” the truth is that effective water softeners do not use traditional water filters. They work via a process called ion exchange.

Targeting the Cause of Hard Water

To understand how water softeners work, it helps to find out what makes water “hard” in the first place. In many regions of the country, including the Texas communities of Austin, San Antonio, and the Rio Grande Valley, most residents get their tap water from an underground water source. In the Central Texas region, that groundwater has percolated through large limestone deposits and picked up dissolved calcium and magnesium carbonates along the way. These naturally occurring minerals linger in the water as it travels to your kitchen tap. They pose no health threat in drinking water supplies, so even municipal treatments don’t try to rid hard water of its concentrated mineral content. However, plenty of homeowners will testify to the many problems caused by hard water, including the need for premature replacement of appliances and plumbing.

How the Ion Exchange Process Rids Water of Its “Hard” Features

The process of ion exchange “softens” water by substituting less-problematic mineral ions—usually sodium or potassium—for the troublesome calcium and magnesium ions. For the best results, you’ll want to have a high-quality water softening system professionally installed at the site where water enters your home. This means the water will flow into the system, which typically consists of a tank holding tiny resin beads washed with sodium brine, before it reaches your plumbing. As the hard water passes over the beads, they trap the unwanted minerals and replace them with sodium ions during a regeneration cycle. From there, the treated water will be released into your home.

What Differences Will You Notice When Your Water Softener Is Doing Its Job?

Because hard water isn’t harmful, you might be wondering what difference it makes to have a water softener system installed at your home. Well, treating your water supply will have a positive impact not only on you, but on your home’s appliances as well. When you invest in a water softener to rid your home of its hard water problem, you can expect:

  • Cleaner, healthier skin and hair
  • Your washer, dishwasher, and other water-using appliances to be protected against damaging mineral deposits
  • Spotless dishes that are free from hard water stains
  • Clothes that are softer and cleaner when they come out of the washer

Turn to the Experts for Your Investment in a New Water Softener

While water softeners are designed to eliminate hard water issues and provide a wealth of additional benefits, it’s important to note that not all systems are created equal. If you live in Austin, San Antonio, or the Rio Grande Valley, the water treatment experts at Sweetwater Home Services will be glad to tell you about the premium, long-lasting water softeners we install for homeowners throughout this area. We make it a priority to offer the industry’s best water softeners for the homeowners we serve. And we have good reason to believe in these systems, so we back our installations with an industry-leading warranty to give you even more peace of mind. This will be the last water softener you ever have to buy for as long as you live in your current home.

If you think your Texas home could benefit from the installation of a new water softener, contact Sweetwater Home Services today to request a free consultation and in-home water test.

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