Water often needs some form of treatment before being used in home or
commercial applications. Various water treatment options
are available, including distillation, filtering, and water
softening. Distillation relies on heat to cause the evaporation
of water, leaving behind salts and other contaminants. Filtering
relies on membranes or filter cartridges to stop contaminants.
Water softening removes salts that may cause deposits to build up
on piping, water heaters,
and water faucets. Soft water also cleans better than hard water,
because it enables soap to lather more efficiently. Soft water's
drawbacks are that it is somewhat salty to the taste, doesn't contain
as many healthy minerals, and can feel somewhat slippery.
Water that has come in contact with limestone and other sediments often
becomes ionized. It absorbs calcium and magnesium minerals, which
react with soap, hindering its ability to lather and causing the formation
of unsightly bathtub rings. This type of water is referred to as
"hard water." In addition to buildup on bathroom fixtures and sinks,
calcium and magnesium carbonates also build up in pipes, especially in
heat exchangers. This phenomenon not only results in higher domestic
heating costs, but it gradually destroys pipes and household machinery
such as laundry machines as well.
Water softeners can remove the calcium and magnesium from water, and they
are used in various industries, as well as in many homes.
Conventional water softeners for home use consist of zeolite or an iron
exchanging resin in a tank in which "hardness" ions trade places with
sodium and chloride ions. When the zeolite or resin becomes
exhausted, washing with a strong salt water solution may regenerate
it. A water softener can last for many years, and it is often a
worthwhile investment for protecting water pipes and machinery.
Water softeners should be installed by a water treatment systems
professional, and they should be located in an easy-to-reach area
where salt can be added without difficulty.
Water Softener Suppliers
- Star Water Systems manufactures
water conditioning products, including water softeners and reverse osmosis water filters.
- CAI Technologies Water Systems Division
supplies commercial, industrial, and residential water treatment systems
ranging from home water softeners to small municipal water purification systems.
- Culligan delivers a wide range
of water treatment products for consumers, including water filters,
water softeners, bottled water, and water purification systems.
- Safewater offers innovative
catalytic water softeners that operate without salt or electricity.
- EcoWater Systems manufactures
residential and commercial water treatment systems and drinking water systems.
- SpectraPure features
single-bed and twin-bed softeners for household and commercial use.
- EasyWater offers a no-salt
water conditioning system that physically changes the minerals in water
to prevent them from forming scale.
Water Softening Process
- This informative article about
water softening treatment systems, published by the North Dakota
State University, describes the science and technology of water softening.
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