The water-softener resin plays an important part in the ion exchange process. Most people need to realize that there are different types of water softener resin with their own merits. We will discuss these different types of water softener resin and in what conditions they work best.
What are Water Resin Beads?
Water softener beads are media used in salt-water-based water softener systems, such as traditional water softeners, twin tank water softeners, and cabinet-style water softeners to help soften hard water.
The tiny, spherical water softener resin beads are packaged in a resin bed within the water softener tank. The resin beads are coated with positively-charged sodium ions before being packaged into the water softener bed.
The ion exchange process is the name of the way hard water is softened using water resin beads. The substance that makes water hard, such as calcium and magnesium ions, are positively charged. The softener resin beads, which are negatively charged, attach with the hard water minerals in the water softening process. This process tends to make the minerals stay within the water softener resin tank, avoiding sediment or scale buildup in pipes.
A water softener system has two tanks. The ion exchange process occurs in the water softener tank containing the resin beads. The second tank is called the brine tank. The brine tank contains concentrated sodium chloride to create the brine solution to facilitate regeneration.
The water softener process requires maintenance because of the need to eliminate the calcium and magnesium captured to maintain its effectiveness. This process is called regeneration. During regeneration, sodium chloride, or salt, is added to the water softener. The positive charge of the resin beads is strong enough to smash the sodium chloride compound as the salt water solution flows through the system. The process replenishes the sodium layer back on the resin bead to make it ready to help facilitate the ion exchange process of water hardness mineral ions efficiently again.
What are The Different Water Softener Resins Available for You?
The two of the most popular types of water softener resin available for wide consumption are the following:
Fine Mesh Resin
As the name suggests, fine mesh resin beads are small-sized beads that can remove dissolved iron up to 10 ppm. If you have a home with a private well, water softener models using fine mesh resin are an excellent option.
However, fine mesh resin is more expensive than other alternatives. Moreover, super-fine mesh resin beads are even more costly. They are very effective because of having a wider total surface area exposed to ion exchange. Sodium ions attach to more bead surfaces when these are in use. However, these get fouled up more quickly than other options and will require more frequent backwashing.
Standard Cation Resin
Standard cation resin, also known as 8% standard resin, has a cross-linked structure designed to give the resin the strength it needs when they contract during the ion exchange and regeneration cycle. Standard cation resin lasts longer than other options depending on the water quality coming into the system. These resin beads are best for water with less than 3 to 5 ppm of dissolved iron.
Other Water Softener Options
Aside from water softener systems that use water-softener resin beads, certain water softener models use citric acid to soften water. The process of water softening using citric acid is called chelation. Because of the absence of salt in the process, the result is less salty water. Saltless systems are typically available in smaller tank-size systems.
What is the Best Water Softener Option?
Among saltwater softener systems, fine mesh resin beads may provide the best option if your water source is your own well. Standard cation resin systems are best for municipal water treatment facilities where the supply of water has less dissolved iron.
The drawback for fine mesh resin is the frequency of maintenance because more surface area of the beads is exposed to the ion exchange process.
For The Best Specific Water Softener Option for Your Home in Gilbert: Call P&L Plumbing
The hard water level in Gilbert is high. Fortunately, P&L Plumbing can help you choose the best water softener system for your home. If you need to learn how to deal with the water hardness issue in your home, call us. We provide free estimates and consultations to ensure you get the best help for the appropriate water softener system. To learn more about our water softener and filtration system service, call (480) 649-4400 or request a quote by filling out our contact form.