What is a water softener?


Make text smaller Make text larger



Photos



  • Andy Ball



What is a water softener?

A water softener reduces the dissolved calcium, magnesium, and to some degree manganese and ferrous iron ion concentration in hard water.

These “hardness ions” cause three major kinds of undesired effects. Most visibly, metal ions react with soaps and calcium-sensitive detergents, hindering their ability to lather and forming a precipitate—the familiar “bathtub ring”. Presence of “hardness ions” also inhibits the cleaning effect of detergent formulations.

Second, calcium and magnesium carbonates tend to precipitate out as hard deposits to the surfaces of pipes and heat exchanger surfaces. This is principally caused by thermal decomposition of bi-carbonate ions but also happens to some extent even in the absence of such ions. The resulting build-up of scale can restrict water flow in pipes. In boilers, the deposits act as an insulation that impairs the flow of heat into water, reducing the heating efficiency and allowing the metal boiler components to overheat. In a pressurized system, this can lead to failure of the boiler.[1]

Third, the presence of ions in an electrolyte, in this case, 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. However the sodium (or Potassium) ions released during conventional water softening are much more electrolytically active than the Calcium or Magnesium ions that they replace and galvanic corrosion would be expected to be substantially increased by water softening and not decreased. Similarly if any lead plumbing is in use, softened water is likely to be substantially more plumbo-solvent than hard water.

Andy Ball
862-354-7698


Make text smaller Make text larger

Comments

Pool Rules



MUST READ NEWS

Sherry R. Estok of Milford, Pa., dies at age 69
Sherry R. Estok of Milford, Pa., died on Wednesday, July 5, 2017, at Newton Memorial Hospital, Newton, N.J. She was 69.
Daughter of George Meckle and Ruth Freiermuth, she was...
Image Delaware Valley High School Honor Rolls
Delaware Valley High School Principal Brian Blaum announced that 474 students earned High Honor awards for the Fourth Marking Period and 328 earned Honor Awards.

HIGH...
Image Natural gas development in Pike is subject of Thursday seminar
— Allen Fore, vice president of public affairs for Kinder Morgan, will give a presentation on the Orion Project, an approximately...
Image Honoring fallen police officers
The second annual Blue Ribbon Walk to honor police officers who died in the line of duty was held July 22 at Ann Park in Milford (Photo provided by Natasha Smolinski)

VIDEOS



Sign up to get our newsletter emailed to you every week!

  • Enter your email address in the box below.
  • Select the newsletters you would like to subscribe to.
  • Click the 'SUBSCRIBE' button.



MOST COMMENTED



Click on the ad above to print your coupon!
Weather in Milford, PA