Understanding Water Softening Systems

Posted on: 28 June 2023

Water is one of life's most fundamental elements. You use it every day for cooking, cleaning, and staying hydrated. However, many homeowners don't know that the water flowing from their taps can be full of minerals that can cause a host of issues, including limescale buildup, appliance damage, and dry skin. Fortunately, water softening can help solve these problems. Here's what you need to know.

What Is Water Softening?

Water softening is a process of removing minerals, like calcium and magnesium, from hard water. Hard water is the nickname for water with a higher-than-normal concentration of these minerals.

Why Do You Need a Water Softener?

Hard water can cause a range of problems, including:

  • Spots on your dishes and glasses
  • Drying out your skin and hair
  • Decreasing the lifespan of your appliances
  • Reduced lather for soap and detergents

By installing a water softener, homeowners can improve the quality of the water they use in their homes and protect their plumbing and appliances.

How Does Water Softening Work?

Water softening works via two main methods: salt and salt-free.


In this method, a brine solution made of salt briquettes is used to attract the minerals in the water, leaving the water soft and free of mineral deposits. Eventually, the salt briquettes have to be replaced, though how often depends on the location and overall water hardness.


On the other hand, a salt-free water softening system uses an ion exchange resin to absorb the minerals in the water, leaving it soft without the need for salt. When all the charged ions in the resin bed have been exchanged for minerals, the softener regenerates itself, flushing the minerals down the drain and recharging the resin bed with newly charged ions.

What Equipment Do You Need?

The most important piece of equipment for water softening is a water softener unit. The size of the unit needed will depend on the hardness of the water, the size of your household, and how much water you use. While it is possible to install a water softening system yourself, it is best to have it professionally installed to ensure it is done correctly and safely.

Where Do You Get Water Softening Equipment?

Water-softening equipment is available to buy or rent. While big box home improvement stores have some equipment, you can get the best selection from your local water-softening equipment supplier.

Water softening is essential for improving water quality and protecting plumbing and appliances. By understanding how water softening works, homeowners can make informed decisions about whether a water softening system is right for their homes. If you're tired of dealing with hard water problems, consider installing a water softener today. Your appliances and skin will thank you.