How Water Softeners Work?
Just about every water softeners on the market today use a process called ion exchange. Water softeners that use ion exchange take the hardness ions (calcium and magnesium) and exchanged it for salt (sodium or potassium) ions. The water softeners resin tank uses ion exchange as the water passes through it.
When water flows through the tank of the water softener it is exposed to the small resin beads that are covered with salt ions. As water flows through the resin beads of the water softener, hardness ions trade places with salt ions, hence the higher salt content in softened water.
As the water softener produces soft water the beads become exhausted and contain nothing but hardness ions . The beads are regenerated or cleaned by adding bags of salt to the brine tank. Water softener regeneration works the same as softening but in reverse. The hardness ions swap places with the salt ions in the brine tank and excess minerals are rinsed into the wastewater drain. This is what happens when water softeners regenerate.
The best types of water softeners to use are demand initiated regeneration (DIR) water softeners. Most water softeners sold by Ottawa Water Filters Co are demand initiated. Water softeners that use demand initiated regeneration use less water and salt over time and only regenerate when needed.