The Best Way To Soften Hard Water – Three Effective Ways

Insoluble salts of calcium and magnesium cause water hardness. Hard water has undesirable effects like mineral deposition (scaling) in water pipes and plumbing works, boilers, and kettles. It can lead to blockage of water pipes. Scaling caused by water hardness in boilers and heating systems reduces their efficiency and lifespan. Soap takes longer to produce lather when used with hard water. This eats into your budget.

So How Can You Soften Hard Water?

Water hardness comes in two types: temporary hardness and permanent hardness. Removing water hardness depends on the type of hardness present in the water. Temporary hardness results from calcium hydrogen carbonate dissolving in water. You can quickly get rid of the temporary harness by just boiling the water. Permanent can’t be removed through boiling. Here are 3 ways you can use to soften hard water.

1. Ion Exchange Method For Water Softening

In this method, you need to install an ion exchange resin unit. This unit consists of industrial salt (sodium chloride) in a brine tank. It’s the source of sodium ions required to charge the resins. In this system, sodium ions are exchanged for calcium and magnesium ions. Hardness ions remain in the resin. This is one of the most common water softener systems used in industries. 

When the efficiency of the resin reduces, you’ll have to recharge it with sodium ions – a process called regeneration. A solution of common salt is used in the regeneration process. During regeneration, the reverse happens; sodium ions replace magnesium and calcium ions on the resins. The displaced calcium and magnesium ions are washed into the drain. 

The frequency of regeneration cycles depends on the level of water hardness. If the water is very hard, then you can carry out regeneration twice a week. 

2. Softening By Using Sodium carbonate 

You can also use sodium carbonate (washing soda) to reduce water hardness. When you treat hard water with washing soda, the soluble salts of calcium and magnesium present in hard water form insoluble carbonates. To make life easier for you, put washing soda into your washing machine together with clothes and soap/detergent. 

3. Softening With Permutit Process

This method of softening hard water uses permutate (sodium zeolite) to react with calcium and magnesium ions. The result is the formation of insoluble calcium and magnesium zeolites. You simply pass hard water through a vessel containing sodium zeolite. The ions causing hardness, i.e. magnesium and calcium are replaced with sodium ions. Water coming out of the system is soft. In the process, the strength of permutate reduces until its exhausted. You’ll need to regenerate it by using 10% solution of common salt.

How To Soften Hard Water To Soft one

Final Words

All the above methods are suitable for softening water for domestic and industrial use. The good news is that you can get any of the water softener systems from reliable suppliers. Maintenance of a water softener isn’t much of a challenge. You may have it serviced by a water softener a professional as well. 

It’s important to note that hard water doesn’t pose any health hazard. The disadvantages of hard water including deposition (formation of hard scales) on heating systems affects the life and efficiency of such systems. You should consider getting a water softener. This will save you money in the long run. 

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