A water softener is a mechanical device used to convert hard water (water having mineral impurities like calcium and magnesium) into soft water. Even though the consumption of hard water is considered safe, the high proportion of mineral impurities present in the hard water react with pipes, water-heaters and cooking appliances; clogging them and damaging them over a period of time. Hard water also reacts with the chemicals present in soap and washing powder, making it hard to actually clean dishes. Resultantly hard water makes daily human activities like bathing and washing clothes, more tedious and time consuming.
Most modern water softeners soften water by replacing the mineral impurities present in the hard water with softener salt, potassium or even hydrogen; using the concept of “Ion Exchange”. Most of these share common nearly identical water softener parts comprising mainly of a resin bed, a brine tank and a central processing unit.
The American water softener market is crowded with a large number of manufacturers offering various water softener solutions suited to both residential and industrial use.
The Morton Salt Company is a recent entrant to the crowded water softener market. The company was established in 1889 by Joy Morton and was largely involved in the production of common salt. In 1951, the company expanded into the water-softening market by introducing a line of water softener salts called “Morton Salt Pellets”. The product often also called water softener pellets, was meant to replenish the softening salts in a water softener, proved to be very popular. In 2002, the company directly entered the water-softener segment by introducing its own line of softeners aptly called Morton “System Saver”.
Since their recent debut in the American market, Morton water softeners have gained immense popularity. This is mainly due to Morton’s patented “Look Ahead” technology which has revolutionized residential water softening.
The above mentioned technology works by acting as a behavior prediction system; it basically collects and analyzes data on water usage in the household where the system is employed. It then uses this information to determine the approximate amount of softened water and the time at which it is required on a daily basis. This leads to less use of softening salts and electricity, thereby making Morton water softening systems significantly cheaper than the competition.
Morton water softeners are designed to fulfill the needs of an entire household; the process of regeneration (replenishing diminished softening salts) is also carried out very efficiently, as the amount of salt used is strictly based on daily consumption of soft water. Though the whole process is automated, a manual override function is present in every model.
The Morton water softener line consists of four different models, designed to satisfy the complete spectrum of water softening needs. They are detailed below.
Morton Water Softener models
1. MSD30D: It is ideal for large households as it is designed to soften a large quantity of very hard water. It has a capacity to remove 30000 grains of mineral impurities per gallon of water.
2. MSD34C: It has the largest grain removal capacity (34000 grains per gallon of water) among all models of Morton water softeners. It manages to efficiently soften a large quantity of hard water in spite of having a sleek light design. It is recommended for large houses and small manufacturing units.
3. MSD27B: It is a medium capacity water softener with a softening capacity of 27000 grains per gallon of water. It is ideal for detached houses and large condos.
4. MSS20B: It is a low capacity water softener with average softening capacity (22000 grains per gallon), it is also among the cheapest and most efficient water softeners ideally meant for apartments and smaller homes.
Each of the above Morton water softener models come in a very sleek and attractive design and take up very little space. They are available across America and Canada and are considered value for money.
Recently, there are two types of water softeners available in the market- sodium chloride water softeners (water softener systems that use salt) and potassium chloride water softener (which are often called water softener potassium). They differ both in economical and health aspects. For the people who are more apprehensive of their health, water softener potassium systems are known to be a healthier choice in terms of healthier drinking water.
Nowadays, lots of people are getting a bit anxious about the usage of salt for softening water. The reason behind this is that many reports revealed the excess of sodium in the diet of American people and excessive sodium can be dangerous for health. If you have problems with excessive sodium, potassium water softeners are the perfect solution and one of the best no salt water softener solution.
Potassium- a beneficial element
A big advantage of using potassium chloride water softeners is that potassium is regarded as a very advantageous constituent to the body and people often need this mineral. What’s more, if you are taking low-sodium diet, then using these softeners is the best alternative.
Good for environment
Further, when we think about the environment, the water generated by these softeners is known to be more environmentally friendly. For nourishing your plants, always use water softened with potassium chloride water softeners. That’s because plants require a lot of potassium in contrast to the damage sodium causes to your plants and land. In fact, for this reason water softener systems that use salt have been banned in some states or at least frowned upon.
Absorption in water
When we talk about performance, a potassium chloride water softener work similar to sodium chloride softeners. The process of ion exchange is also very similar in both softeners. The main difference between them is that unlike with salt, potassium is easily immersed in water.
Potassium chloride softeners are highly recommended by experts and can easily be found online at amazon
. However, despite all of these benefits, it should be noted that potassium water softeners are more expensive than if you use a salt based system. However, with the several advantages that you will get from potassium water softeners, you might find them work the extra expense. In the end, by using them you will not just protect your health but also help protect the environment as well.
Generally, hard water contains strenuous deposits of magnesium and calcium and there are many troubles linked with hard water. It obstructs pipes and it becomes very difficult to soften soap in hard water. Therefore the hard water is needs to be converted into soft water. There are lots of water softeners available in the market and it is based upon the requirements of the user to decide what sort of water softener would be appropriate for his needs.
If you are thinking of buying a water softener, it is important that you choose it keeping your requirements and budget in mind. Fleck water softeners have modernized the techniques of water softening. The variety of models provides any home landlord the benefits of properly handled water systems. Fleck has “environmentally friendly” models of many of the following brands and they say you can expect up to a 50% reduction in salt usage over other water softener salt models. Of course this comes at a higher price, often $100-200 over the normal price tag but you will probably make up for this over time. Most of the following price tags for these models were taken from http://www.qualitywatertreatment.com which is an online retailer that sells pre made water softeners and ships them to you using UPS. Once you receive it you only need to charge up the resin beads by following the instructions.
Fleck water softeners possess a wide range of characteristics. Each water softener in their collection focuses on one essential feature of water softening and they come in a big range of sizes. They also offer many interesting add-ons such as a media guard KDF 55 and 85 that you can attach to your water softener so it can filter water and remove chlorine, heavy metals and prevent bacteria growth.
Fleck 2510 water softener series assert an on-demand position. Water softeners in this series are generally residential softeners and help in regulating the quantity of water utilized at home. They feature ‘on-demand’ meter so that if you don’t need the machine to work at full output you can minimize salt and water waste. It is priced starting at around $500 for the 24k grain capacity models all the way to $1200 or so for the 110k model. With these softeners, the user can preserve water as well as limit the quantity of water wasted. However, they are regulated by simplified electronic components. The size of the tanks determines the prices of these softeners.
Fleck 5600 Ecominder is a series of environmentally friendly softeners and are promoted as being able to still count your water usage even in the event of a power failure! You can find these models starting at around $450 for the 24k grain model all the way to $800 for 96k grains. Most of the other models also have “Ecominder” and “SXT” models. You can find the main differences between the “Ecominder” and “SXT” models here.
Fleck 7000 is a series of water softeners that are made for commercial use. They possess all the characteristics of all other series except that they have a supplementary capability of running 35 gallons per minute.
Fleck 9000 Series: It is a dual tank, high capacity water softener. It is designed to work even when regeneration is being carried out. Its two tanks allow the control valve to switch the water supply to the second tank when the first tank is being backwashed. It can soften up to 21 gallons of water every minute and has a variable grain capacity from 24000 grains to 110000 grains depending on which model is chosen. It is an extremely efficient and economical option for large residences and small manufacturing establishments.
Purchasing a water softener will surely help with hard water problems. However keep in mind that water softener systems using salt can be banned in many states and countries because they have a bad impact on the environment. That’s why some people try to go for a saltless water softener or other water filtration from other companies such as kinetico water softeners that mainly use the “kinetic” energy of water to filter it (no electricity) and you can choose non salt using water softener models.
We know that hard water occurs when water mixes with certain minerals that can make the water become destructive to your home. Hard water can make fabrics dull and brittle and can make home appliances easy to break. The advantage of the calgon water softener unlike other water softener systems is that you can usually buy it in a bottle at a low cost around ~$10 at Amazon
or your local Wal-Mart. Its goal is to help your detergent clean your laundry by limiting the effects of hard water while washing and rising your clothes.
Calgon water softener was launched in 1956. Back then, its original aim was to soften water. It is very successful in its craft and most of the people do prefer Calgon to other water softeners that are available in the market. There are other companies that rivaled Calgon in beauty products and others but most people still choose Calgon over the other products being sold in supermarkets due to their years of expertise and low cost.
The active ingredient in Calgon water softener is the polycarboxylates which prevents the minerals that are mixed in the water to penetrate the washing machine or the fabrics being washed. This ingredient also prevents the formation of lime scale. Calgon water softener softens hard water which helps your detergents job while washing and rising clothes. You simply add it to the dispensing compartment of your washing machine. It is important to know that Calgon does not use phosphates to make sure that no harm will befall your appliances and clothing.
There are three kinds of water softeners that are available now. These are: Calgon powder water softener, calgon water softener tablets and calgon liquid gel softener.
The Calgon powder water softener is fairly easy to use. It was actually one of the first water softeners that first time users use to clean their washing machines and bathtubs.
The Calgon water softener tablet is the preferred water softener of people on the go because you just have to put it in the washing machine and you are good to go.
The Calgon Liquid gel softener is the choice now of many consumers because even though it might seem messy, the softener can protect the washing machine from build ups of suds and other stuff that can hurt the appliance. It can also make the fabric of the clothes become whiter or brighter.
Though, take note that there are recommended dosages of water softener that should be used for washing clothes or just cleaning the machine. It is important that the proper dosages are used to make sure that the product will work well without any harmful effects.
Water softeners help reduce calcium and magnesium levels in hard water by using softener salt which ends up softening the water. A water softener is comprised of several parts, the most important being the central processing unit, the mineral tank which contains the very important resin filter, and the brine tank.
The central processing unit acts as the brain of any water softener. The CUP is comprised of three main parts: a timer, a water meter, and a valve assembly. Each of its individual segments must work together to soften water effectively. The timer controls when the water softener activates and begins work. This can either be set to a strict schedule or done on notice. The meter evaluates the ion level in the softener’s resin filter and will automatically start a brine wash when levels are low. The valve assembly is in charge of adjusting and regulating water flow to the other water softener parts.
The mineral tank is the home of the water softener resin filter. As the filter draws the minerals out of the water, it becomes permeated with mineral ions. These mineral ions, calcium and magnesium, are displaced and then swapped with sodium ion. After this process the water that passes through is “soft water” which has all the hard metals taken out in exchange for a higher density of sodium.
The brine tank is very important in order to cleanse the resin filter of the accumulated hard water minerals after a while. This is important for the water softener to self-maintain itself by cleaning the resin beads of all the hard water minerals who get pushed from the mineral tank to the brine tank. Also, the brine tank will effectively recharge the resin beads with more sodium ions as it pulls the hard metals from the mineral tank. The mineral ions segregated by the filter stick to the sodium ions in the brine, and the water is rinsed out of the softener.
Water softener parts require regular maintenance, as preservation of the water softener’s inner workings will result in prolonged use gleaned from it. Keeping tabs on the levels inside the brine tank and making sure it’s filled frequently is a must. The resin filter won’t usually provide problems, and stays in working order for the duration of the water softener’s life. The resin filter may only need to be changed in cases of forgetfulness or negligence. However you do have to “recharge/regenerate it” every so often using salt of course, but the actual resin should last a long time. If water was left sitting for an extended period of time, bacterial buildup can occur, and if the mineral tank is exposed to sunlight, algae growth may crop up, which can cause damage to the water softener. You should regularly check, maintain and replace any water softener parts that require support.
Your best bet if you’re trying to find how to replace a part of your system is to contact the manufacturer. You don’t want to order a part not made for your model that breaks everything else after a short period of use right? There’s also the advantage that the manufacturer will probably give you a warranty as long as everything you’re using is provided by them.
There are many reasons why you might want a saltless water softener. This page has information on other alternatives and some of the possible downsides that people attribute to using a water softener system that uses salt to soften your hard water problem.
One of the first problem and sometimes major problem with a water softener system that uses salt is that of course your water will have a very high amount of sodium which for some people can be hazardous, highly dependent if you have a particular medical situation or if you have a particularly strong hard water system which of course means more sodium overall in your water. Another drawback is that certain regions ban softener systems that use salt due to possible environmental damage.
So what are the alternatives?
The first one is a water softener potassium chloride system which does practically everything the same without requiring salt. Most modern water softener systems that are meant to be used with salt can also be used with potassium chlorine but make sure to read your manual first of course to confirm that it can indeed be used as a salt free water softener. Potassium chlorine basically simply replaces salt when recharging the resin beads while being healthier for you and the environment. Some nutritionists say we can use more potassium in our diets in general so unlike salt, which is usually something we should reduce, there’s actually a health benefit in making the change. Of course, this switch comes at a cost because a “saltless water softener” will cost much more than a traditional system that uses salt since potassium is more expensive
There are many alternatives that are often proposed when you want a saltless water softener but keep in mind to always double check if the system seems that it can work and if they have a warranty or other such promotions. There are many systems out there that many vendors claim are a “salt free water softener” but simply do not remove the hard water minerals as effectively! So after installing one of these systems make sure to double check if the hardness of your water is actually decreased.
Finally another alternative are systems that are based around a reverse osmosis system (sometimes called an electronic water softener) that basically uses magnets to remove minerals such as those that create your hard water problem. A problem that has been put forward at times with this salt free water softener system is that if you drink the resulting water it’s lacking in essential minerals you should be getting from water. Ideally, you probably want to turn your water softening system into a potassium chloride water softener so that the water is drinkable and not harmful to the environment! Their are other proposed solutions by different companies but while some of them might work, if you decide to go this route make sure to double check after installation how well the hard water problem Is actually being filtered.
Getting the right kind of drinking water is really a problem. There are many drinking water systems and this is an option, out of many, if you want to consider a salt free water softener (also called a saltless water softener). On top of needing a water softener for your hard water problem we all know that there are possible bacteria’s in water which can cause diseases and be really very dangerous. One of the worries of a water softener salt system is that when you have a very hard water problem you might need to put too highly of a concentration of sodium in your drinking water.
This is one of the advantages of the Kinetico water softeners, not only do they soften your water but they also filter it making them a great overall drinking water system.
First of all if you know that your water is carrying impurities than you need to check it before it causes any damage to you. By using Kinetico water softeners, you are going to get rid of the all major impurities like bicarbonates, magnesium and others. One of the cool things about the kinetico water softeners are that they power themselves with the moving water’s kinetic energy so while providing clean and healthy water it also doesn`t up the cost of your electricity bill. Apart from this, its novel feature helps you to use these softeners efficiently and saving your money. Its twin resin tank design (see water softener parts) helps it not go offline at any time especially when it has to regenerate the water softener resin unlike other water softeners that sometimes automatically shutdown in the early hours of the morning in order to regenerate.
You can choose from the numbers of softeners being available online. All you have to do is to identify your priorities and then choose the softeners. Keep in mind one of the disadvantages in the Kinetico models is that they are quite expensive; kinetico water softeners can cost at least $1000 to $4000. This is most likely due to their twin tank design which most of the other water softener systems do not have. You might have trouble finding the right kind of softener for you. It`s important to mention that they offer free water analysis if you contact them so a professional might help you find what`s best for you. Here`s a list of some of the top softeners currently being sold and used.
If you are keen on getting some small softeners then you can use the kinetico compact water softener which is a bit small in size but they deliver very soft water even in smaller living areas.
If you are using well water then you will have to look into their well water softener for good quality clean water. If you’re on this website you probably know about hard water and especially well water carries a lot of unneeded substances like iron and magnesium.
While using tap water, there is a very strong chances that you will get the previously mentioned minerals that cause hard water and also other pollutants like chlorine and other organic materials.
The Kinetico water softeners price varies depending on your region and installation fee but you can expect to at least pay $1,000 and probably more. They definitely have some noticeable advantages such as not needing any electricity and the advantages of their twin resin tank design that will always be on unlike other water softeners. Of course, if you have no need for a system that is on 24/24 than you can save a lot of money by going for a single tank unit from another supplier. Apart from their unmistakable features, Kinetico home water softeners also carry a warranty usually. Since they offer free water evaluations if you live near a dealer make sure to contact one and he will probably have important clarifications in explaining which model you need including the price and warranty provided. Some final food for thought is that maybe the electricity saved can make up most of the price difference over a long period of time?
The water softener resin is very important for the overall functioning of your water softener. The resin is responsible for replacing the magnesium and calcium ions with sodium ions from the salt. When you setup your water softener salt after choosing the salt you want to use in your system the resin should be full of sodium ions if you recharged the water softener resin beads properly by following the instruction manual. As water is diverted and passes in the mineral tank the sodium ions are slowly removed and over time the resin beads will lose its effectiveness.
This is when you want to use water softener salt which will basically recharge the resin by replenishing it with sodium irons that can attract and “soften” magnesium/calcium. You will have to divert the water to a “brine tank” that will contain the previously trapped magnesium and calcium ions. If you’re not clear on the many different water softener parts make sure to read on them!
The water softener resin should last 15+ years so when the water softener is starting to not properly do its job it’s most likely because the resin needs to be recharged with salt. If you notice the resin is starting to last less and less long before it needs to be recharged it’s a good sign that it might be time to change it.
There are different types of resin that are used in water softener systems currently. Some of the more popular ones are: standard cation and fine mesh resin.
- The standard cation, sometimes called hi-cap resin, is best used with water that has less than 3-5 parts per molecule ( p.p.m.) It has a 8% cross link which is basically a number that explains how “tight” it is in allowing magnesium or sodium to pass. Higher is technically better but 8% should be fine for most users.
- Fine Mesh Resin is even more concentrated and will work better with hard water that has a higher p.p.m. If you live in a rural area and your water does not come from a municipal water system you might be a likely candidate in using a fine mesh resin.
If your looking to change your softener resin than make sure to consult the manual that should come with your system in case it differs from the following general steps. Turn the water off before and unplug the power. You then disconnect the plumbing and remove the resin filter to replenish it with new “resin”/sodium. After you simply put back the control head on top and reconnect everything.
As mentioned on other pages, water softener systems are used as hard water solutions because hard water can damage your plumbing due to the high mineral density in addition to making it harder to actually do simple tasks that require water such as cleaning dishes.
Their are multiple types of water softening systems to deal with this problem and most of these have their own ups and downs. The most used method which is the focus of this website is by using a water softener machine that uses salt. This is widely used because it is by far the cheapest solution. Another often used solution is by using a reverse osmosis water softener which will extract the minerals that cause hard water by basically using magnets. Keep in mind that none of these methods are perfect. While reverse osmosis, sometimes called an electronic water softener, produces drinkable water it is often critiqued that it has a low mineral count. It is also usually the most expensive method and wastes a lot of water while producing drinkable water. On the other hand, a water softener salt system is less expensive but keep in mind you might need a separate cold water line for drinking or cooking water since if you have to use a very hard water softener it might be hazardous to consume water with such high sodium proportions. Another alternative for your drinking water is to simply buy bottled water . Some states in the US also ban certain types of water softeners based around salt so you would have to look into getting a saltless water softener system.
The water softener system should be installed where the water line enters the home.
A water softening system that uses salt will add sodium to the water, specifically by recharging the water softener resin, and reduce/eliminate the concentration of calcium and magnesium that creates the hard water problem.
A more scientific explanation on how do water softeners work is that the calcium and magnesium ions are replaced by sodium ions. As the water passes through a bed of small plastic beads, also called the resin, the magnesium and calcium ions are attracted to these beads and “stick” to it. The sodium ions are then released by these beans and replace the calcium and magnesium as the water passes. Over time the beads will need to be replaced or regenerated by having more salt added to them and cleaning the water softener machine to get rid of all the calcium and magnesium.
Water softener systems work but keep in mind the advantages/disadvantage behind all of them, whether you choose a salt based system or one of the other salt free water softener systems. If your willing to go on the more expensive side of choices you might want to consider a system such as the kinetico water softeners which seem much more environmentally friendly and do not even require any outside electricity to run! Kinetico water softener systems can also be used with potassium chloride so you can then have a saltless water softener system. Another system for those who do not have “very hard” water is using the previously mentionned osmosis/electronic water softener that uses magnets to remove the hard water minerals.
If you think shopping for one of the many options of water softener systems is overkill than you might want to try out a calgon water softener which are not actually a “system” and more of a inexpensive product that you mix with your dishes and detergents so you can actually wash your dishes despite having hard water. The calgon water softener products are most useful if you don’t really worry about your plumbing and simply want to be able to effectively wash your dishes.
Water softener salt is one way to deal with hard water. It’s used to remove the calcium and magnesium that makes “hard water”.
Their are thee water softener salts available.
-Rock Salt, obtained from deposits on the ground
-Solar Salt, obtained from harvested evaporation of sea water
-Evaporated Salt, obtained by mining underground dissolving salt deposits and isolating the salt.
These three types of salt have a point in common, they all use sodium chloride to deal with hard water.
Which water softener salt should I use?
first off, you must consider the hardness of your water. These 3 options have different levels of water solubility.
Rock salt is the cheapest alternative but for a good reason, it is less refined and contains matter that is not water-soluble which will force you to clean your water softening reservoirs more frequently.
Evaporated salt is the “cleanest” of the 3 options while Solar salt is in-between.
You do not necessarily need to choose evaporated salt even if it’s the best option, at a higher price. If you want to use rock salt or solar salt you must consider how much you need to use a water softener salt.
If you use it frequently then rock salt might become a major hassle since you will often have to clean up your water softener system. You must also consider the quality of your water softener system, it might not be able to handle certain types of salt like rock salt.
It might also simply be recommended to be used with a specific type of water softener salt. It might be harmful to try different water softener salts if you so choose but make sure to read the instructions of your model. To avoid any risk simply wait until your unit is empty before trying a new type of salt.
Your water softener should be checked every month and be kept to at least half-full. In the case of rock salt you might have to clean it up to 3 times a year which will be more often than other types of salt.
So in conclusion when choosing your water softener salt you must consider
- What salt is recommended to be used with the water softener system your purchase
- How often you are willing to clean your system ( you will have to clean it more often if you use rock salt)
- How hard your water is (the harder the water the more you should consider solar or evaporated salt over rock salt)
If you have very hard water also consider having another extra cold water line that will not be in the water softener salt system. This is because very hard water will have much more sodium and it can become hazardous over long periods of time. Other options can be to investigate into water softener salt potassium which does practically the same thing but should be better for your health. However it is more expensive than the previously mentioned salt options. Here are additional pages of information if your looking into buying a saltless water softener or other systems that use kinetic energy to power themselves such as the kinetico water softeners.
Theirs some more great information on water softener salt systems here