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How the heck do water softeners work & why do we need them?

If your not sure what your water softener is doing, how it works or why you need one .

In Woodstock, Ingersoll and Oxford County we know we may need a water softener but why, and how do they work?

Why do we need a water softener?

Water naturally has a variety of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Hard or soft water depends on how much of these minerals are in your water. Soft water contains lower levels of calcium and/or magnesium than hard water.

Softened water is better for your skin and hair, gives you softer clothes, and better-tasting water. Prevents build-up of minerals (scale) on the inside of pipes, fixtures, and hot water heaters. Lengthens the life of some appliances. Reduces or prevents mineral spots on glassware. And finally it prevents or reduces soap films and detergent curds in sinks, bathtubs, and washing machines.

The decision to soften is a personal choice that can affect your home. If your water's hardness is greater than 7 grains per gallon, then you might need a water softener to ensure your appliances run well and to improve the taste, smell, or look of your water.

How do we measure hardness?

Water hardness can be measured in Grains Per Gallon or gpg.

Between 1 and 3.5 gpg is considered slightly hard. Between 3.5 and 7 gpg is considered moderately hard. Between 7 and 10.5 gpg is considered hard. More than 10.5 gpg is considered very hard.

The county of Oxford reports yearly on the water hardness levels. Last year Innerkips water was measured at 55, Embro was 28, Sweaburg & Woodstock were 24 and Ingersoll was 19.

So, How The Heck Does a Water Softener Work?

A water softener removes hardness minerals (calcium and magnesium) through a process called ion exchange.

Raw water runs through a bed of sodium charged softening resin contained in a pressure tank.

Hardness ions attach to the resin (usually located on the softener under the control valve), exchanging with the harmless sodium ions

Eventually the resin contains only hardness minerals that come from the main water supply after your main water valve and has to be regenerated.

The control valve monitors water usage and determines when to regenerate

The resin is backwashed (down the drain) to rinse away impurities.

A strong brine solution (comes from the salt we add to our water softeners salt tank) is then drawn through the resin bed and hardness ions are exchanged for sodium ions

The hardness ions are then rinsed to the drain and the softener is now ready to soften again.

We have been supplying and installing water softeners for over 30 years and are currently working with Water Group water softeners as they use less salt and water than other units and nobody likes wasting water or hauling salt bags down to their water softener every month.

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