Water Softeners, The Hidden Side

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The softener with traditional salt is an anti-limestone chemical treatment system widely used on the market. Although its effectiveness, to eliminate limescale, is a fact, too little information is available to users on the major drawbacks inherent in this technology.

The water softener is a chemical process based on ion exchange to remove dissolved elements in the water responsible for the formation of limestone. Its chemical mechanism makes it possible to capture the calcium and magnesium ions and to exchange them with sodium ions stored on ion exchange resins.

Although the problem caused by limestone is solved, in the short term, salt softeners generate new ones: the released sodium is a highly polluting and detrimental component, both for the health of people and for installations.

Ion exchange water softener: Understanding how it works

Traditional softeners use a resin to perform an ion exchange. This resin is in the form of a bed of small beads made of synthetic polymers. This resin is known as cationic resin and contains a negative charge essential to their operation.

As opposing charges attract, negatively charged resins will capture positive ions such as calcium (Ca2 +) and magnesium (Mg2 +).

The operation of a softener with salt is composed of two phases, one of service and the other of regeneration.

Phase of service

The water from the network passes through a tank that contains an ion exchange resin. Upon contacting this resin, an ion exchange occurs. Calcium (Ca2 +) and magnesium (Mg2 +) ions are captured and replaced by sodium ions (Na +).

The water is softened and dissolved elements, responsible for the formation of limestone, are removed (calcium and magnesium) but significantly increase sodium levels.

Water not drinkable and unfit for human consumption

This process is an important health issue since softened water contains much higher levels of sodium than the water in your system.

Water treated with salt softeners is no longer drinkable or fit for human consumption. The softener with traditional salt  modifies the chemical characteristics of water , sodium levels often exceed the limits allowed by the  French regulations : 200 mg / liter .

The water softener releases sodium ions in the same proportions as it captures calcium and magnesium ions. More water will be softened, more sodium will be released in your facilities.

Sodium source of corrosion for your installations and your appliances

Water that contains a high sodium content is very highly  corrosive  and extremely detrimental  to the life of your facilities and fixtures . This corrosion also has an insidious effect on your health.

Corrosion promotes the release of  dissolved heavy metals  in contact with your facility, the toxicity of which will depend on the nature of the exposed materials and the contact time.

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