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vintage water softener control panel 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 softener salt 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.

hard water mineral deposits 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 offers 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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