Water is one of the four necessities that humans cannot survive without. While hard water doesn’t have any major health effects, it can be the cause of soap scum buildup or stains on your pots or pans fresh out of the dishwasher. Hard water interferes with almost every cleaning task, from laundering and dishwashing. Unfortunately, many home water purifier systems make you pick between filtration and softening, both of which are essential parts of whole water purification. Our knowledgeable team at Quality Plumbing of Gainesville Inc. is here to teach you about water purification, filtration, and softening solutions for your water’s impurities.
What Is Water Purification?
Water purification focuses on removing impurities from water that can make it unsafe to drink, such as biological contaminants, viruses, chemicals, and other unseen materials. Water purification systems use a chemical process using either iodine or chlorine to remove these harmful contaminants. Still, it is important to remember that purifying the water cannot always altogether remove other impurities found in the water.
What Is Water Filtration?
While similar to water purification, water filtration uses homemade filtration systems, chemicals, or biological agents to remove impurities. However, water filtration only removes impurities like sand and living organisms, leaving chemicals and potential viruses behind in a household’s water. These systems can either be a permanent whole house water filtration system or a portable home water filter, depending on how much water the homeowner would like to filter.
Should I Get A Water Filtration System?
One of the most common methods of water purification for public water systems is chlorine. While chlorination effectively removes bacteria from water, it can change the taste of a home’s water and affect the dryness of a person’s skin and hair. Chlorine levels can vary based on where a homeowner lives, as not every local water system provides the same level of quality. However, a homeowner will no longer have to worry about whether there is too much or too little chlorine in the water with a water filtration system.
What Is A Water Softener?
A water softening system is a solution to hard water. This handy device is a whole-house filtration system designed to remove calcium and magnesium, which are the two most common minerals found in water. Hard water leads to scale build-up that can cause clogged pipes, decrease water pressure, and dramatically shorten the lifespan of water-based appliances.
If hard water is left untreated, it can damage fabrics that will demand extra detergent to stop them from looking dingy. Showers are designed to get people clean, but with a filmy soap scum that can build up on the shower curtain or soap that won’t lather, you won’t feel clean. In addition, hard water can leave your skin feeling itchy or dry and with your hair feeling lifeless and sticky.
Hard Water Vs. Soft Water
Whether a home’s water comes from a private well or a local municipality, there will be hardness minerals in both sources of water, which may make some water “harder” than others. As groundwater dissolves rocks like limestone or metals like iron, the remnants are carried along with the flow of water. Therefore, it is common for private wells to have “harder” water than public water. Some hardness minerals are taking out of the water through their standard filtration are treatment process, but most municipalities do not treat hard water directly.
How Does A Water Softener Work?
Water softeners use ion exchange to take out calcium and magnesium from the water. As hard water enters the water softener’s mineral tank, it flows through a bed of polystyrene, spherical resin beads charged with sodium ions. The positive charge that the minerals have is attracted to the bead’s negative charge. As the hard water passes through this, the beads grab onto the mineral’s ions and remove them from the water, leaving only the softened water to flow through the house.
How Do I Know If I Need A Water Softener?
Even though water from private wells can be extremely hard, some people assume that they don’t need a water softener, but once your soap doesn’t lather, it may be time to treat the home’s hard water problem. Unfortunately, hard water isn’t removed by the city before it provides water to its residents. While municipalities are required to treat the water for impurities, they typically do not remove hardness minerals from the water because they don’t impact their residents’ health.
How Does Water Softener Regeneration Work?
Water softener regeneration is when the hardness minerals are flushed out, so the device can continue to do its job. During this cycle, the resin beads in the softener are flooded with a highly concentrated brine solution that washes the calcium and magnesium ions off the beads, which become recharged and reprimed to eliminate hardness minerals. There are two methods to this regeneration cycle, being co-current and counter-current regeneration.
- Co-current regeneration cycle. In co-current softener regeneration, the cycle flows in the same direction as the water being treated.
- Counter-current regeneration cycle. For water softeners that use counter-current regeneration, water enters the mineral tank from the bottom, which is usually where the water exits.