How Does a Water Softener Work and Why Should I Care?


Water can be divided into “hard water” and “soft water” based on its hardness. Hardness is usually only in water with a high concentration of calcium and magnesium ions in the water. Long-term use of hard water not only affects the taste, but also has potential hazards to human health, such as gastrointestinal discomfort, bloating, diarrhea, and affect the skin. In addition, these minerals are easy to form limescale in the long term, affecting the service life of appliances and blocking pipes.

Installation of softening devices, timely removal of limescale, and other measures can effectively control the damage to the human body and appliances.

Water softener system

What is a Water Softener?

The working principle of a water softener is mainly the use of ion exchange. By using sodium-type cation exchange resin, the sodium ions in the resin enter the water and the calcium and magnesium ions in the water undergo a replacement reaction to achieve softening of the water. This process can be used to prevent boiler scaling, air conditioning, direct combustion engines, and other equipment and systems for circulating make-up water.

What is Water Softener

How Does a Water Softener Work?

The workflow of different water softeners is very similar and includes five processes: water production, backwashing, regeneration, replacement, and fast flushing. The specific system components will have additional processes depending on the actual process requirements. The following is the basic working principle of a water softener:

  • Raw water enters the water softener through a valve that regulates water flow and then passes through a bed of miniature plastic beads called “ion exchange resin”.
  • As the water passes through the resin bed, sodium and calcium and magnesium ions on the surface of the resin undergo a replacement reaction that removes minerals from the water thereby producing “soft” water.
  • The resin bed needs to be “recharged” after becoming saturated with calcium and magnesium ions. This is usually accomplished by flushing the bed with a concentrated sodium chloride solution (salt). The resin bed can be utilized once more since the sodium ions in the salt solution take the place of the calcium and magnesium ions.

How a water softener works

Backwash water is the term for the water used to clean the resin bed. Since it contains a lot of minerals, it is frequently thrown away. The softener can begin treating more hard water once the regeneration phase is finished. Normally installed on the main water line, water softeners can be programmed to regenerate on a regular basis (for example, once per week) or based on the volume of water used. They are an effective way to improve the quality of household water and prevent a variety of problems that can be caused by hard water.

Why You Should Get a Water Softener

By removing extra minerals from hard water, water softeners make it softer and easier to handle for domestic use. You should take into account purchasing a water softener for your residence for a number of factors, including:

1. Improved Appliance Efficiency

In water-using equipment like washing machines, water heaters, and dishwashers, hard water can lead to the buildup of scale. This build-up can reduce the efficiency of the appliance and increase energy costs. A water softener can help to prevent this build-up, ensuring that your appliances are running at their optimal efficiency.

Best Water Softener

2. Better Cleaning Results

The inability of soap and detergent to lather properly in hard water might lead to subpar cleaning outcomes. For cleaner clothes, dishes, and surfaces, a water softener can aid in enhancing the lathering action of soap and detergent.

3. Longer Lasting Plumbing Fixtures

Hard water can leave deposits on plumbing fixtures, such as faucets and showerheads, which can lead to reduced water flow and the need for costly repairs or replacements. A water softener can help to prevent these deposits, helping your plumbing fixtures to last longer.

4. Better Tasting Water

Hard water can have a metallic taste, which can affect the taste of drinks and food prepared with it. A water softener can help to remove these minerals, improving the taste of your water.

5. Softer Skin and Hair

Long-term consumption of hard water can cause dryness and damage to skin and hair because hard water strips them of their natural oils. By softening hard water, water softeners can restore the balance of natural oils in skin and hair, making them feel softer and healthier.

Types of Water Softeners

There are a variety of types of water softeners on the market, each with its own features and benefits. Listed below are some of the most common types:

Ion exchange water softener

· Ion Exchange Water Softeners

The most common type of water softener is the one that uses a bed of resin beads to exchange hard minerals in the water for sodium ions for the purpose of water softening. Typically the resin beads are negatively charged and therefore attract and replace the positively charged calcium and magnesium ions in the water. As the water passes through the resin bed, the hard minerals are exchanged for sodium ions, effectively “softening” the water.

· Salt-free Water Softeners

These water softeners do not utilize salt to soften the water, as their name suggests. Instead, they modify the hard minerals in the water using a procedure known as template-assisted crystallization (TAC), making them less prone to create issues. Salt-free water softeners can nevertheless help to avoid problems like stains on dishes and soap scum buildup even when they don’t actually remove the hard minerals from the water.

· Magnetic Water Softeners

These water softeners change the minerals in the water and make them less prone to create issues by using magnets. While they are not as effective as other types of water softeners, they are a good option for people who are looking for a more natural, chemical-free solution.

· Dual-Tank Water Softeners

These water softeners have two tanks, rather than just one. One tank is used to remove the hard minerals from the water, while the other is used to regenerate the resin beads. This allows the water softener to operate continuously, without the need for frequent regeneration cycles.

Dual-Tank Water Softeners

· Portable Water Softeners

These water softeners are small, lightweight, and easy to move, making them a good option for people who are looking for a more temporary or portable solution. They are typically less effective than other types of water softeners, but they can still help to reduce the negative effects of hard water.

Dual tank water softener

Practices to Help You Get the Most Out of Your Water Softener

Water softeners for home are a terrific method to enhance your water’s quality and safeguard your home’s plumbing and appliances from the harm that hard water can do. The following advice may help you get the most use out of your water softener if you already have one or are thinking about obtaining one:

· Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions

Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the installation, maintenance, and operation of your water softener. This will ensure that your system is functioning properly and providing you with the best possible water quality.

· Regularly Regenerate the System

Most water softeners use a process called regeneration to remove the minerals that have been removed from the water. This process typically involves adding salt to the system, which helps to remove the hard water minerals. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for how often to regenerate your system, as this will help to ensure that it is functioning at its best.

· Use High-Quality Salt

Your water softener’s function may be significantly impacted by the quality of the salt you use. Use high-quality water softener salt to help ensure that your system can efficiently remove the minerals found in hard water.

· Regularly Clean the System

Over time, your water softener can accumulate dirt, debris, and scale, which can reduce its effectiveness. Make sure to regularly clean the system according to the manufacturer’s instructions to help keep it running smoothly.

Regularly Regenerate the System

· Monitor Your Water Usage

Keeping an eye on your water usage will allow you to assess the efficiency of your water softener. Water usage that is higher than usual could indicate that your system is not operating as effectively as it should.

By adhering to these recommendations, you can help make sure that your water softener is operating at its peak efficiency and giving you high-quality, soft water. In addition, regularly maintaining and cleaning your water softener can also help to extend its lifespan and keep it running smoothly for years to come.


In conclusion, a water softener can help your house and family in a variety of ways. From improved appliance efficiency and cleaning results to longer-lasting plumbing fixtures and better-tasting water, a water softener is a worthwhile investment that can save you time and money in the long run.

To accomplish this, get your water softener from NEWater today. We are a prominent and well-known manufacturer of water softeners with years of experience in manufacturing customized water softeners for various fields of applications.


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