What does a water softener do?

Many people want to know what does a water softener do?  The simple answer is soften your water.  Of course, that’s not the answer you’re looking for when you ask that question.

Water softeners use a technology called ion-exchange to take the hardness out of water.  Hard water is currently classified as water that has Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) grains present in it.  These grains of hardness are usually minerals such as calcium or magnesium, but can be other trace elements as well.

Water softeners use this ion-exchange technology along with a brine solution (usually made up of sodium chloride or potassium chloride) to “exchange” the hard grains for soft ones.  These hard grains then get rejected by the softener during it’s backwashing process.

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