Ensign The Water Softener Centre Water Softener Specialists
Sales, Rentals, Trade-in's, Repairs
and Salt since 1982
Facts, not fiction Tel 01672 497272
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British Company Established 1982
prices include std delivery and vat
You are here > Home > All about Water Softeners homepage > How do they work

How do water softeners work

The Water Softener Centre - converter 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:
  • Dishwashers
  • Water softeners
  • Jug filters
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.

All water softening is non-electric. No electricity is used to soften water

Only the electronic controller and salt monitor systems use electricity @ a safe 12 volts.

That costs about 15p per month.

Eventually, ion exchange resin will stop working after 10 to 15 years. When this happens Ensign replace the resin beds and return the machine to work for you for another 10 to 15 years.
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Ensign - The Water Softener Centre
Unit 6 Hertford Court, Marlborough Business Park, Marlborough, Nr Swindon SN8 4AW,
United Kingdom
Tel 01672 497272