What is a Water Softener System

A water softener system is an appliance that is used to soften water. Hard water is water that is high in mineral content. High hardness levels can damage your homes plumbing system. A water softener system prevents this damage. They are comprised of three main components. The control valve, the resin tank and the salt container.

Resin Tank

The resin tank is a tank filled with water softener resin. Resin is a type of media that removes hard water minerals from water through ion-exchange. First, the water softener resin is pre-charged with sodium during a process called regeneration. Then, hard water flows through the resin media. The exchange sites on the resin media prefer the Calcium. So, they let go of a sodium to attract a Calcium. Subsequently, this process produces soft water. But once the resin is full of calcium how is it cleaned?

Salt Container

Salt plays a key role in a water softener system. It’s the sodium that will clean the ion exchange resin during the regeneration process. A high concentration of sodium, called brine, is flushed through the system periodically. The sodium then overpowers the bond between the resin and the calcium. Like wise, with all the calcium out of the system it’s ready for service. This process of cleaning the tank with sodium is repeated as needed. How often this occurs is decided by the Control Valve.

Control Valve

The control valve is demand initiated. Which means, it counts how much water is being used to determine when a regeneration is needed. A typical water softener system in Jacksonville Fl will regenerate every 1000 gallons used or once a week. However, this could occur sooner or later depending on how much water you use.  A demand initiated control valve reduces salt waist and are considered the most efficient of control valves.