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

Emilia M. Crowe of Milford, Pa., dies at age 84
Emilia M. Crowe of Milford, Pa., passed away at home on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. She was 84.
Cremation was to take place at convenience to the family at MacLennan Hall...

Read more »

William W. Roberts of Matamoras, Pa., dies at age 85
William W. Roberts of Matamoras, Pa., passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, in Port Jervis, N.Y. He was 85.
Son of the late Henry G. And Minnie Romer Roberts, he was born on...

Read more »

Jean V. Swingle of Port Jervis, N.Y., dies at age 84
Jean V. Swingle of Port Jervis, N.Y., passed away Monday, Feb. 12, in Milford, Pa. She was 84.
She was born on Sept. 30, 1933, in Port Jervis.
Jean married Chester...

Read more »

James S. Cunningham of Milford, Pa., dies at age 55
James S. Cunningham of Milford, Pa., died on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, at Bon Secours Hospital, Port Jervis, N.Y. He was 55.
Son of Frederick Cunningham and Barbara (Fanner), he...

Read more »

VIDEOS



* indicates required
Community Newspapers


MOST COMMENTED



Weather in Milford, PA