What is hard water?
Hard water refers to water that has a very high mineral content (calcium and magnesium). This mineral content can lead to several problems which include:
- Difficulty to keep dishes looking sparkling clean: water spots will continue to appear;
- Dull-looking laundry; and
- An increase in soap scum and limescale build-up around the home.
Hard water varies in severity and is measured as follows:
- Slightly hard: 1 to 3.5 gpg
- Moderately hard: 5 to 7 gpg
- Hard: 7 to 10.5 gpg
- Very Hard: 5 and higher gpg
Is it possible to treat hard water?
Yes, it is. Usually, a water softener that relies on ion exchange is used to effectively treat hard water, regardless of the degree of severity.
Do I need to use more or less soap when working with softened water?
By now, you will likely be used to using a lot of soap to get dishes and laundry clean. The good news is that, with softened water, a lot less of the product is required to achieve even better results. Start off using as little soap as possible and increase it if it seems necessary.
How does a water softener work?
When an ion exchange water softener is used, the calcium and magnesium minerals that are present in hard water are exchanged for sodium ions. The mechanical appliance works with the help of a mineral tank which is filled with tiny beads, often referred to as zeolite or resin. These beads carry a negative charge, whereas calcium and magnesium carry a positive charge, causing them to hold onto the beads as the hard water passes through the tank, effectively removing all minerals from the liquid. Each type of water softener will vary in terms of flow rates, regeneration, and salt capacity.
What is regeneration?
Regeneration is the process of “recharging” the resin beads when they are “full” of nothing but calcium and magnesium. Depending on the type of water softener installed, regeneration can be:
- “Triggered” by a specific time of day due to the presence of a time clock;
- metered: It will be triggered once a specific amount of water has flown through the system;
- It can occur based on demand with the help of aqua-sensor® technology.
If you have any further questions about water softeners and the processes associated with these products, do not hesitate to get in touch with the team at Hydro Solutions.