Water softeners convert hard water into soft water. Hard water contains impurities such as carbonates of magnesium and calcium. It can be temporary or permanently hard, in which case softening is necessary. Hard water softening can be done easily by water softeners that come in various styles and specifications. Find useful info here about general information about water softeners.
Different types of water softeners
Water softeners come in different types. For instance, their are those that are based on the reverse osmosis principle. In these water softeners, hard water is forced to pass through a membrane that only allows soft water to pass through. This semi-permeable membrane traps the impurities of hard water such that the water that comes out of it is soft water. This type of water softeners is not effective, as it filters hard water rather than softening it through a chemical reaction. There are, however, water softeners that are both hard water filterers and softners.
Salt-based water softeners
There are also water softeners that work by exchanging the hard water ions with soft water ions in a complex ion exchange reaction. They usually have a tank full of concentrated sodium chloride solution or brine. This sodium chloride solution is the one that is responsible for hard water softening. Precisely, salt-based water softeners replace calcium and magnesium ions in hard water with sodium ions. This means that the softened water may have a lot of sodium ions that may not be good especially for people who are allergic to sodium. Additionally, as more calcium and magnesium ions are being replaced with sodium ions, there is a build-up of these ions and they need to be removed periodically for the systems to continue working well. This process of removing these ions is called regeneration.
Salt-free and magnetic water softeners
With this type of water softeners, water is softened through a Nano-technology. This is a complex process that involves a change in the atomic structure of the water, but it is not as effective as the ion-exchange reaction on which salt-based water softeners are based. Salt-free water softeners just reduce water hardness by a certain degree. They do not work well especially where the water hardness level is quite high. However, these water softeners are still popular because they remove all the scales and hard water matter build-up from the existing pipes. For this reason, when you install salt-free water softeners, you do not have to worry about material build up in the pipes. Magnetic water softeners work in almost a similar manner. They create a strong magnetic field that dismantles the ionic structure of hard water, thereby softening it. One of the major setbacks of these water softeners is that they soften hard water only temporarily.
Top water softeners in the market today
There are several water softeners in the market today. Some of them include the Fleck 5600 SXT and Fleck 7000 SXT, which are both salt-based water softeners and therefore among the best water softeners in the market. We also have the Watts RV PRO-1000, which is salt-based but it is smaller than the Fleck models. Last but not the least, we have the Eddy Electric Water Descaler and Nuvo H2O which are magnetic and salt-free water softeners respectively.