Installing a water softener at home can be useful in areas where the water is particularly hard, or called “hard”. Lime and scale help to clog pipes and household appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers or even boilers and can even damage them. Having the softest water possible at home is also a guarantee of respect for the linen and the skin of the people present in the home. From the best water softener consumer reports best options are there.
What is a water softener used for?
A water softener makes it possible to reduce the hardness of the water that arrives at your home’s tap that is to say to limit, or even eliminate, its concentration of calcium and magnesium that is to say in limestone. The installation of a water softener thus transforms hard water into soft water, better for the skin and health on the one hand, and on the other hand which helps to preserve all the sanitary equipment in the house from scale. The presence of limestone has the effect of clogging the water pipes, in particular those of the heated sanitary equipment. Scaled up, this equipment (washing machine, dishwasher, boiler, etc.) is less efficient in the long run and can even be damaged. In addition, by limiting lime deposits on this equipment, their operation is optimal and their energy consumption reduced.
Description of the different models of water softeners
The main model of water softener available for individuals is the “resin” one. The latter may have different characteristics of the water filtration mode and the number of tanks.
With the installation of a water softener, city water arrives at your home and passes directly into the softener tank filled with grains of resin. These grains have the ability to retain the calcium and magnesium ions present in the water and at the origin of lime deposits. The resin is then recharged with sodium ions to obtain soft water. When the resin grains are saturated with the ions responsible for the lime scale, the water softener rinses them using a brine solution, that is to say concentrated in salt, present in the softener. This process, after which calcium and magnesium ions from the water are removed through the home’s sewage system, is called “regeneration”. The different modes of regeneration of water softeners:
Chronometric water softeners
The resin grains regenerate at regular, manually predefined intervals. The problem with this system is that it does not take into account the actual water consumption and can therefore start up when the resin grains have not reached saturation or, on the contrary, not start up when, due to a particular water consumption, the latter needs to be softened. Consequently, despite the presence of a water softener, it is water loaded with limestone that flows from the taps until the next regeneration.
Volumetric mechanical water softeners
With this control system, the water softener is triggered according to the amount of water consumed in real time. Thus, the resin grains are regenerated when they are effectively saturated and only when the water in the house needs to be softened.
Electronic volumetric water softeners
These systems for starting the regeneration process are the most efficient because they can measure very precisely the moment when the softener must regenerate the resin grains.