This Beginners Guide to Water Softener parts explores the different components of a water softener. While you may have researched about the best softener system you can use, you may have limited knowledge about the components of a standard unit of a water softener.
Water is mainly used for drinking. But, there are many other uses of water. Water can be used in transferring things from place to place since it can be used to hold things.
But, there are no guidelines on the way water is used. There may be some effects caused by water on utensils and household appliances if you use tap water. In this case, getting a water softener is advisable.
What are Water Softener Parts?
Getting a water softener will also allow you to know about how the unit is installed. You will also be aware of the different brands of water softeners in the market when you buy one. It will also make you aware of the different components of the unit. Knowing something about the system will allow you to know deal with any issues you may have to deal with in the future.
A water softener has two tanks. The first tank is a resin tank while the second tank is a brine container. The main process is performed in the resin tank of the water softener. On the other hand, the recharge process happens using the brine solution.
We will list down all the components of a water softener and the function of each component.
- Inlet valve where hard water enters – The inlet valve is a hose where hard water passes before entering the processing chamber. The processing chamber is also called the mineral tank or the resin tank.
- Outlet valve where the softened water passes – The outlet valve is the next component in the unit. Its name shows its purpose. Softened water passes through this valve so you can use it for the house.
- Drain tube – Once the water is softened, magnesium and calcium ions are sent to the resin beads. It will be necessary to remove them so the regeneration process can start. Brine solution goes into the mineral tank. The magnesium and calcium ions are taken out of the beads and drained using the drain tube.
- Valve and timer component – An electric water softener has a timer. This component is connected into the valve before linking with the softener. The timer allows you to complete the process of regeneration.
- Mineral tank or resin tank – The mineral tank or resin tank is the main container of the unit. It is where the entire softening process happens. This tank contains polystyrene beads. These beads are also called zeolite or resin. The container is where the ion exchange process happens. This makes it important to make sure the system is properly maintained.
- Outlet Manifold inside the Mineral Tank – A manifold structure can be found inside the mineral tank. This manifold is a pipe or tube that features smaller channels or pipes. It is also connected inside the machine.
- Resin or plastic beads – These beads can be found inside the mineral tank. The ion exchange process happens inside the tank. The beads have an opposite charge that allows them to attract the magnesium and calcium ions found in hard water. Once the softening process is completed, the brine solution regenerates the beads.
- Brine container– The brine container is where the brine solution is stored. It is a simple solution made of salt and water. The brine solution passes through the mineral tank so the beads are recharged. These beads are covered with magnesium and calcium ions.
- Softening Salt – this component is the salt used in the brine container.
- Float and valve assembly of the Brine tank – This is the assembly you can find inside the brine tank.
These are the different parts that each standard water softener. This list shows nearly all the parts of a water softener.
How a Water Softener System Functions
In this part, we will show you how a water softener function. The different components of the system were already discussed in the previous part of the guide. We will now look into how a water softener works.
The first part will see hard water entering the inlet valve of the water softener. It then goes into the mineral tank. The resin beads inside the mineral tank attract the magnesium and calcium ions in hard water. This removes the materials that make the water hard when they are processed inside the softener.
The negatively-charged ions of the resin beads attract the magnesium and calcium ions. Weak sodium ions cover these beads. They pass through the water. The weak sodium ions in the resin beads replace the hard minerals in the water while they are inside the softener.
In this instance, the minerals of hard water remain inside the resin beads. You will note that the water is not yet softened properly because magnesium and calcium are still on the beads. A regeneration process is needed to remove them.
We will now deal with the restoration process that happens inside the water softener. A salt water solution is added into the mineral tank. This will remove the magnesium and calcium ions. Salt will cover the resin beads. This will allow the beads to recharge. After this the beads are ready to be used again.
Things To Consider
Hard water contains minerals you need, which makes them safe to drink. But, it is not ideal to use hard water on electrical appliances. It is advisable to use a water softener is your appliances can be used for a longer period of time.
Hard water is treated with water containing salt. It is not harmful to humans. But, people with low sodium diets should not consume it. Other people with no health concerns would have no problems in consuming it. The water will be somewhat salty.
Potassium chloride can be used for the softening process instead of using salt. But, these systems are more expensive compared to regular softener systems.
We hope you appreciate this article and allow you to understand how softener systems work. If you have any comments on the concepts in this article, you can write your comments below.