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

Black, green, or white, tea offers health benefits
Did you know that you can lower your body mass, simply by sipping tea?
Tea has antioxidants and other compounds that may protect against cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis,...

Read more »
Image

Turn your walk into a mindful moment
Walking has been practiced as a meditative technique for thousands of years, and is a great way to integrate mindfulness into your everyday life. But it’s easy to slip into...
Read more »
Image

Local students help produce 'A Doll’s House' at ESU
MILFORD — The East Stroudsburg University Theatre Department will present the 1879 Henrik Ibsen play "A Doll’s...
Read more »
Image

Let's celebrate the 50th observance of Earth Day in the produce aisle
To the Editor:
April 22 marks the 50th observance of Earth Day. Each of us can celebrate by reducing our driving, use of electric energy, and consumption of animals.

Read more »
Image

VIDEOS



Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Community Newspapers


MOST READ

Local News
Turn your walk into a mindful moment
  • Apr 21, 2018
Where in clues
Pike's Peek
  • Apr 20, 2018
Where in answers
Pike's Peek
  • Apr 20, 2018

MOST COMMENTED



Weather in Milford, PA