How Your Water Softener Uses Salt

3 November 2015
 Categories: , Blog


If you have hard water and use a water softener on your water, there is a large chance that your water softener uses salt to make your water soft. Here is a quick rundown of how your water softener uses salt to improve your water.

Understanding How Hard Water Works

The first thing you need to understand is what hard water is and why you would want to change it into soft water. Hard water is a general term that refers to water that has high amounts of dissolved minerals inside of it, such as manganese, magnesium carbonate, and calcium.

These minerals can be rough on your pipes and can lead to build-ups inside of your pipes and corrosion. Hard water also leaves behind residue due to the high level of dissolved minerals in the water. For example, when you wash your dishes with hard water, they will never look quite clean. It will take more soap for you to wash your dishes, your clothes, and yourself when you have hard water.

The Basic Job Of Your Water Softener

The job of your water softener is to remove the dissolved minerals inside of your water. By removing these minerals, you will be able to clean your dishes and clothes without leaving a mineral residue behind. It also helps keep your pipes clean and helps protect any appliance you have that uses water. Hard water can wreak havoc on appliances that use water, such as washing machines, dishwashers and refrigerators by leaving behind mineral deposits.

How Salt Removes The Minerals In Your Water

In order to remove the minerals in your water that make it hard, the minerals have to be filtered out. These minerals are very small and have to be pulled out of the water.

Salt is used to pull the minerals out of your water through an ion exchange process. The water goes through the water softener and comes in contact with resin beads. Then the water comes in contact with the salt. During this process, the ions of the minerals in the water are exchanged with the salt ions. The water that eventually comes out of your faucet has a small amount of salt in it instead of a high amount of dissolved minerals, which produces a gentler type of water.

Once all the salt ions have been replaced with mineral ions, your water softener rinses the salt through the resin beads and strips away the mineral ions and disposes of them. The ions on the salt are then replaced, and the entire process can start over again.

If you want your water to be soft on your plumbing, skin, dishes and clothes, you need to soften it with a water softener through an ion exchange.

For professional plumbing help, contact a company such as Ideal Plumbing & Heating.