How a Water Softener Works
The performance of a water softener is dependent on two key components; a resin bed that cleans the water and precision equipment that cleans the resin. The two most significant elements that differentiate one softener from another is the volume of resin and the type of control valve.
The resin tank: contains media called resin. The resin attracts and collects minerals from hard water. Once the resin is saturated with hardness minerals it must be cleaned and regenerated. Once regenerated, the resin is ready to remove more minerals from the water.
The control valve: routes the water flow through the system and controls the operating cycle. Hard water passes through the resin bed to become soft. During regeneration, water flow is reversed to clean the resin bed. Brine is pulled in and then rinsed out to regenerate the resin, preparing it to soften more water. The brine tank is then refilled with fresh water for future cycles.
The brine tank: stores salt and water to make brine which is used for regenerating the resin. Resin can be regenerated with sodium from salt or potassium from potassium chloride.