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Understanding Your Water Softener

Water Softeners

To understand how a water softener works you first must understand the difference between “hard” and “soft” water. Hard water contains certain minerals that are not found in soft water, such as calcium and magnesium. You can tell you have hard water if your dishes are always spotty or if your shower leaves a film on everything that it touches. A water softener is a tool that you can use to soften your to eliminate these minerals that cause damage to pipes and plumbing appliances. If hard water is a problem in your Virginia home, Powell’s Plumbing will be delighted to install the perfect water softening system.

A water softener usually works through a process of ion exchange; hard minerals such as calcium and magnesium are essentially traded for a softer mineral like sodium. The typical water softener is a mechanical appliance that is plumbed into your house’s water supply system. At the heart of every water softener is a mineral tank, inside the mineral tank there are small polystyrene beads known as resin or zeolite. These beads carry a negative charge while the calcium and magnesium found in most hard water carries a positive charge.  The  negatively charged beads attract the calcium and magnesium with a positive charge and the unwanted minerals end up clinging to the beads.

The minerals are replaced with sodium, which also has a mild positive charge, but not nearly as prevalent as the calcium and magnesium minerals. The water that has the magnesium and the calcium, called brine, is then flushed out and replaced by softer water that only has sodium in it. This is the process that a water softener uses to give you clean, soft water.

If you are looking to install a water softener in your Virginia home contact the professional staff at Powell’s Plumbing at (504) 665-8196.

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