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The Principles of Water Softening

The hard water is contaminated with many types of ions such as calcium, magnesium etc which are present in considerable concentration in the hard water. It is very important to reduce the reduction of all such ions present in water and the entire terminology is known as hard water softening.

Foul odor or smell, improper action of soap, build up scale interference etc are some of the major side effects of hard water that are to be overcome. It is not easy for the soap to form lather with hard water during its action which then reduces the productivity of the soap and the purpose for which it is being used.

Hence to overcome all such problems the softening of hard water is necessarily required. Well hard water can be softened in many ways or using many techniques such as ion-exchange method, regeneration method, lime softening, by use of chelating agents, by action of physical conditioners etc. Better the ability of the method to reduce the concentration of calcium and magnesium ions, stronger is the process. Well in normal cases we make use of the sodium ions to replace the calcium and magnesium ions that are mainly responsible for the hardness of water.

In the ion-exchange method the water containing magnesium and calcium ions is implemented or passed through a pipe which contains the sodium ions in it. Once the water falls on the bed called zeolite the calcium and magnesium ions present in that hard water are immediately replaced by the sodium ions ultimately leading to the softening of hard water. The main principle involved behind this is that sodium ions because of their non precipitating nature are not clogged into the pipes and are known to react better with soap.

During ion-exchange water softening technique one has to replace or regenerate the zeolite bed every time as the zeolite bed after replacement of sodium ions is left with magnesium and calcium ions deposited on its surface. Regeneration is an effective step or step forward in this target. In regeneration process any brine solution such as sodium chloride is passed over the bed of Zeolite to remove the magnesium and calcium ion deposits.

Well the other basic and minute process included in softening of water is the use of chelators. Chelators enable the softening of water during chemical analysis. Shampoos, preservatives, citric acid etc are some of the commonly used chelators. Last but not the least in some cases with involvement of radio waves or magnetic field it is believed that even physical conditioners can soften the better but to add to your knowledge I would like to say that with use of these conditioners the water only seems softened but it is not so in reality.

Well one of the most convenient and easiest methods for softening of water is ion-exchange method which main principle involves replacement of calcium and magnesium ions by sodium ions for water softening.


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