How does a water softener work?

Hard water is mentioned a lot in todays life. However, not everyone understands what hard water is. How does a water softener work ? So let us find out in the following article!

How does a water softener work

1. What is hard water?

Water containing many metal ions Ca2 +, Mg2 + is called hard water. Based on the concentration of these metal ions, it is possible to assess whether the water is soft or hard and whether water softening devices are needed.

In daily life, drinking hard water feels uncomfortable and horizontal. Too much calcium in the water makes the digestive process worse, causing a feeling of fullness. The body will eliminate this amount of calcium in the urine.

Many people believe that high amounts of calcium in water can cause kidney stones, not really. Not everyone has kidney stones. In one family, there was one person with kidney stones, but many others did not, despite the same diet and drinking habits. Hard water makes the soap less foam when washing clothes. Hard water heating will cause more sediment. To deal with these problems, people often use devices to soften water.

However, if water does not contain calcium, then the water is ultimately not good for the body. Calcium is an essential mineral for the normal functioning of many different intracellular and extracellular processes, including muscle contraction, neurotransmission, hormone release, and blood clotting. Lack of calcium in the blood, the body will regulate itself to get calcium in the bones to healthy circulation. It can lead to long term osteoporosis.

Drinking water is best to contain the amount of calcium minerals necessary for the body and does not exceed the above standards. When boiling water containing calcium, calcium loss will occur due to interaction with CO2 to create sediment in the kettle even if the amount of calcium is within the allowed level.

Read more: Instructions on how to clean domestic water for families

2. The principle of softening hard water

The water softener will remove calcium, magnesium, and some metal cations (positive ions) from hard water. Water softening is usually achieved using lime or ion exchange resins; some of the other methods increasingly implemented are using nanofiltration or reverse osmosis membranes.


softening hard water

Soft water helps extend the life of plumbing by reducing or removing deposits in pipes and fittings. Using soft water will also make washing easier because the soap is not affected by calcium ions.

3. Reason for softening water

Some metal ions, such as calcium and magnesium, mainly bicarbonate, chloride, and sulfate, are present in water, resulting in the buildup of lime, which can cause water pipes and promote electrical corrosion.

Besides, several studies conclude that there is a link between water hardness and cardiovascular disease in men (when hard toxicity reaches 170 mg of calcium carbonate per liter of water). However, the World Health Organization has examined inadequate data evidence and conclusions to allow recommendations for this hardness limit.

Read more: Berkey Water Filter: Pros and cons

4. Some methods of water softening

4.1. Heat treatment method

The basis of this method is to use heat to evaporate the dissolved CO2 in water to soften the hard carbonate water in the pool, but the amount of dissolved CaCO3 still exists in the water.

Water distillation can also be considered as a method of water softening using heat. The liquid obtained after distillation is entirely pure. However, this is a high-cost method. The water softener is very expensive and energy-consuming.

4.2. Using Nano filter and R.O (reverse osmosis)

By allowing water to flow through special filters (Nano or R.O), the calcium and magnesium salts in the water can be removed. R.O. membrane It allows complete purification of calcium and magnesium, but post-filtration water will be a mineral loss that is unhealthy if used for a long time. Nanomembranes can partially handle Calcium and Magnesium, but not radical treatment.

4.3. Ion exchange resin method

This is the most straightforward, most effective and most commonly used method based on the properties of exchangeable cation ions. Ion exchange resins are organic polymers that contain anionic functional groups to which divalent cations (Ca ++) are more strongly bound than monovalent cations (Na +). Thus Ca2 + and Mg2 + cations are ion-exchanged with Na +, K + cations to help soften the water. The water softener using the ion exchange method is the most affordable on the market.

Besides, inorganic materials called zeolites also exhibit ion-exchange properties to soften water. Plastics also have features to remove absorbed carbonate, bicarbonate, and sulfate ions and liberated hydroxide ions from the resin.

5. Description of water softening device system by ion-exchange method

water softening device system

5.1. Structure water softener by ion-exchange method

Water softeners by ion-exchange way usually have a simple construction, including:

  • Composite filter column: designed with sizes suitable to the needs and operating capacity, made of composite glass fiber with high durability composite, resistant to corrosion
  • Control unit: simple structure, compact, automatic operation
  • Filter material
  • Reclaimed salt container: made from high-quality plastic material, immune to the salt corrosion
  • Magnetic valve system to open and close the water source.

The operating system is based on a straightforward principle. The stable metal cations of Ca2 +, Mg2 + in water passing through the filter column, will be absorbed by the filtering materials and release cations capable of creating soluble carbonate compounds, thereby helping to remove calcium and magnesium from the water.

Read more: How long does the water heaters last?

5.2. Operation process of water softener system by ion-exchange

Source water is pumped into the filter column containing the filter media as ion exchange particles with pressure from 1.5 to 2.5 bar. In the filtration column, ion exchange occurs, removing the cations of Ca2 +, Mg2 + present in water. After the ion exchange process, the plastic particles that are saturated with mineral ions will be washed and regenerated by saturated salts. The saturated salt solution will help add Na + caption to the filter material and remove Ca2 +, Mg2 + cations and drain out through the drain.

water softener system by ion-exchange

Currently, Sunny-Eco is providing several complete filtration systems and nano water filters for households and businesses. Customers can also refer to several system filtration options from Sunny-Eco to make the most reasonable choice.

5.3 Properties of output water

  • The water is naturally alkaline like green vegetables, helping to eliminate excess acid in the body, the cause of many dangerous diseases.
  • Rich in hydrogen inhibits oxidative reactions, keeping the body young and healthy.
  • Especially mineral-rich water is beneficial for the body because the moderate levels of Ca2 +, Mg2 + ions are extremely necessary for the body; they participate in the metabolism, osmosis of nourishing nutrients cell. Only vast quantities can cause hard water. Electrolyte water retains the beneficial minerals mentioned above, thanks to the smart filter built into the device.
  • Micro molecular structure, only 0.5 nanometer in size, quickly penetrates cells. Suitable for quick mobilization, water supply, and electrolyte.

Thus, water softeners are incredibly diverse, but depending on the quality of the output water, you should choose water softening devices that are safe and beneficial to health. Axiosreview hopes to provide you with useful knowledge about how does a water softener work

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