The total hardness level may need to be addressed by including a water softener as part of the total treatment system. The water softener uses an ion-exchange resin to remove the hardness from the water. There is a finite amount of this resin in the unit. The unit contains 1.5 cubic feet of resin and is referred to as a 48,000-grain capacity unit. That means that the unit will remove 48,000 grains of hardness from the water that passes through the unit before the media would be totally exhausted. Before that occurs, the softener control valve will cause the unit to regenerate. Regeneration of the softener is slightly more complicated than regeneration of the neutralizer. The first part of the process is the “backwash” cycle when the accumulated hardness and debris collected by the resin beads will be driven off the resin beads and flushed to drain. Then the resin beads that are sitting there naked (for lack of a better descriptive phrase) will be bathed by a saturated brine solution drawn from a brine/salt storage tank that is part of the softener. This part of the regeneration process is aptly referred to as the “brine-draw cycle.” The purpose is to reload the resin beads with positive ions of sodium that is the vehicle for removing hardness from the water. After this part of the regeneration process is completed, a “fast rinse” and a “slow rinse” are used to ensure that all vestiges of salt are flushed to drain.
The water softener brine tank will be filled with approximately 280 pounds of salt when the unit is installed. We will bring 600 pounds of salt with the installation. The most critical owner function is to ensure that there is always salt in the brine tank. The suggested ritual is to remove the top from the brine tank (similar to a trash can) every four to six weeks. If the container will hold a forty pound bag of salt, pour it in. The “golden rule” is that when you remove the top from the container that there is salt in the tank. Salt necessary for regeneration of the water softener will cost approximately $90.00 per year. If there is no salt in the brine tank, it is impossible for the unit to produce the saturated brine necessary to regenerate the softening media.
Robert L. Feezer Co.
6321 Barnett Ave
Sykesville, MD 21784
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