Water hardness is removed by a non-electric process called ion-exchange
Ion exchange is a well established technology that was first discovered in
1845 by an English scientist called Thompson. The process used a natural
material called zeolite. Today the modern successor to zeolite is used
throughout industry worldwide. In recent times products have entered domestic life in homes across the United Kingdom using this process, products such as:
Essentially, water is simply passed through a bed of plastic beads known as
ion exchange resin, rather like a jug filter. Softening is instantaneous and it emerges as
artificially softened water, mimicking the properties of natural soft water.
Nil scale formation
Dissolves existing scale
Enhanced soap suds, meaning that much less can be used
Unlike naturally occurring soft water, softened water has exactly the same
amount of dissolved solids as hard water. All we have done is exchanged calcium
and magnesium ions that cause scale and soap scum for sodium ions that do not.
This continues until the resin bed is exhausted and need recharging. Typically
the resin bed will be recharged 2 or 3 times a week automatically using a brine
solution. It is important to note that brine made from salt does it soften the
water, it is just used to recharge the ion-exchange resin bed media inside the
water softener. Modern installations typically have a third hard water mini tap
fitted as part of the installation.
Salt is added to the water softener about once per month and the Ensign water
softener will alert the user when salt is running low and requires refilling
within about 7 days.