Water Expert Andy Ball: Water Softner


Make text smaller Make text larger



Photos



  • Andy Ball



What is a water softener?


A water softener reduces the dissolved calcium, magnesium, and to some degree manganese and ferrous iron ion concentration in hard water.

These “hardness ions” cause three major kinds of undesired effects. Most visibly, metal ions react with soaps and calcium-sensitive detergents, hindering their ability to lather and forming a precipitate—the familiar “bathtub ring”. Presence of “hardness ions” also inhibits the cleaning effect of detergent formulations.

Second, calcium and magnesium carbonates tend to precipitate out as hard deposits to the surfaces of pipes and heat exchanger surfaces. This is principally caused by thermal decomposition of bi-carbonate ions but also happens to some extent even in the absence of such ions. The resulting build-up of scale can restrict water flow in pipes. In boilers, the deposits act as an insulation that impairs the flow of heat into water, reducing the heating efficiency and allowing the metal boiler components to overheat. In a pressurized system, this can lead to failure of the boiler.[1]

Third, the presence of ions in an electrolyte, in this case, hard water, can also lead to galvanic corrosion, in which one metal will preferentially corrode when in contact with another type of metal, when both are in contact with an electrolyte. However the sodium (or Potassium) ions released during conventional water softening are much more electrolytically active than the Calcium or Magnesium ions that they replace and galvanic corrosion would be expected to be substantially increased by water softening and not decreased. Similarly if any lead plumbing is in use, softened water is likely to be substantially more plumbo-solvent than hard water.

Andy Ball
862-354-7698




Make text smaller Make text larger

Comments

Pool Rules



MUST READ NEWS

5 ways to find your workout motivation
Health and fitness is top of mind for people setting resolutions for a healthy new year. Yet many who embark on fitness resolutions struggle to stick with their new habit, and as...
Read more »
Image

Artists celebrate the four seasons
— The four seasons have inspired the music of Vivaldi, the artwork of Van Gogh, and the poetry of Shakespeare. For some of us, the...
Read more »
Image

John Beardman exhibit now at Chant Realtors
— Artist John Beardman's latest work "About Faces" is now on display at the office of Davis R. Chant Realtors, 106 East...
Read more »
Image

Search for Eagles report, Feb. 10
This season’s third Brandwein Institute Search for Eagles took place in the Delaware Valley on Sunday, Feb. 10, from 12 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. The temperature at the start was...
Read more »
Image

VIDEOS



Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Community Newspapers



MOST READ

Letters to the Editor
Search for Eagles report, Feb. 10
  • Feb 15, 2019
Entertainment
John Beardman exhibit now at Chant Realtors
  • Feb 15, 2019

MOST COMMENTED



Weather in Milford, PA