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Home Water Softener

How a water softener can transform your hard water into safe and healthy drinking water.

Hard water in the United States

More than 85% of the homes in the United States have hard water with the softest water occuring in parts of the New England, South Atlantic-Gulf, Pacific Northwest, and Hawaii regions.

Moderately hard waters are common in many of the rivers of the Tennessee, Great Lakes, Pacific Northwest, and Alaska regions.

Hard and very hard waters are found in some of the streams in most of the regions throughout the country. Hardest waters (greater than 1,000 ppm) are in streams in Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Arizona, and southern California.

A home water softener is a treatment system designed to soften hard water. Hardness is caused when water contain high concentration of dissolved calcium and magnesium.

These work by reducing the dissolved calcium, magnesium, and to some degree manganese and ferrous iron ion concentration in hard water. This is achieved through a process known as ion exchange when calcium and magnesium exchange ions resulting in a harmless salt solution. The resultant softened water will be safe to drink and gentle on home appliances and laundry.

How do I know I need to soften my water?

Hard Water Hardness is measured in parts per million or grains per gallon. Soft water range between 0 – 1 grains/gal; a very hard water is 10.5 grains/gal and over. 

Water will begin to show signs of hardness when the level is over 1 grains/gal.

You can test your water with test kits which are very inexpensive.

You can buy one for $10- $15 and then compare with the chart provided with the test kit. Unless you are looking for a precise measurement these inexpensive tests will give you the information that you need to know.

 Three major kinds of undesired effects of hard water.
  • Scum...Most visibly, metal ions react with soaps and detergents, hindering their ability to lather and forming the familiar "scum" or "bathtub ring". Presence of "hardness ions" also inhibits the cleaning effect of detergents.
  • Scale...Calcium and magnesium ions tend to deposit to the surfaces of pipes and heat exchanger surfaces. This build-up of scale can restrict water flow in pipes. 
  • Corrosion...Hard water can also lead to galvanic corrosion, in which one metal will preferentially corrode when in contact with another type of metal, when both are in contact with an electrolyte.
How does a water softener work?
How water softner works
  • The body of a water softener is a tank filled with resin beads covered with sodium ions. As hard water passes through, the resin beads act like a magnet, attracting the calcium and magnesium ions in exchange for the sodium ions.
  • Eventually the resins beads become saturated with mineral ions and have to be “re-charge”. This process is called regeneration and is conducted by the control valve on the top of the tank.
  • During regeneration, a strong brine solution is flushed through the resin tank, bathing the resin beads in a stream of sodium ions which replace the accumulated calcium and magnesium ions.
  • The brine solution, carrying the displaced calcium and
    magnesium ions, is then flushed down the drain by
    fresh water. The regenerated resin beads can be used
    again and again.
Recomendations

A Crystal Quest Water Softener is engineered for maximum performance with minimum maintenance. All components are the highest quality in the industry and NSF approved. Our Water Softeners deliver trouble free operation for many years with reliable service.

If you need a water conditioner that does not add any sodium to your water then my recomendation is a Crystal Quest Anti-Scale Water Conditioner.


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