How Do Water Softeners Work UK

If you’re asking the question ‘How do water softeners work (UK)‘, then you probably know a little about water softeners but you’re curious to know more.

You want to know how they work, and how well they work to improve your water. In other words, how good are they at fixing your hard water?

That’s what we’ll answer in today’s post. We’ll examine the technology employed by current water softeners, that is the ones available to you in 2022, in the UK.

how do water softeners work UK

Introducing ‘How Do Water Softeners Work UK’

Let’s get right to it!

What do water softeners do?

Well, as the name suggests, they ‘soften’ your water.

That means they remove the hardness from water that is too hard.

And what exactly is ‘hard’ water?

It’s water that has high mineral content. It’s good to have minerals in the water for a variety of reasons, but when the amount of minerals is too high, it causes problems.

What kind of problems?

  • Limescale on your taps and other metal surfaces in your home that water touches
  • Scale on pipes causing your central heating to work less efficiently, increasing your power bills
  • Poor lathering of soap, which increases your spend on washing up liquid, bath soap etc.
  • Appliances failing quicker due to limescale buildup
  • Skin tightening and more severe problems for those with sensitive skin
  • Hair becoming drier and losing lustre

Sure sounds like something you don’t want, right?

Water softeners are highly effective in resolving this problem, as long as you get a good quality one and the right one for your home.

So how do they actually do this? Let’s talk about…

How do water softeners work?

1) Resin beads attract the harmful minerals, removing them from the water

The water passes through a chamber of the water softener that is filled with millions of these tiny resin beads.

The unwanted minerals, magnesium and calcium, are positively charged. The resin beads carry a negative charge due to the presence of sodium ions. These sodium ions attract the magnesium and calcium ions, thus removing them from the water.

This process is called an ion exchange.

And it’s through that process that the minerals are removed from the water, and the water is no longer hard water.

2) The water softener regenerates (cleans itself) sending the calcium and magnesium down the drain.

The sodium ions have strong enough charge to attract the calcium and magnesium ions but are not so strong that they bond permanently to the resin beads.

So in the regeneration process, the sodium is used to remove the hard minerals from the resin beads.

Block salt is dissolved, creating a brine solution. When the magnesium and calcium are removed from the beads, they are flushed down the drain. This highly effectively cleans the resin and keeps it operating most efficiently.

Most modern water softeners have sophisticated electronic control systems that automatically detect when regeneration is required and do so at a time when it won’t affect you, such as during the night.

Other water softeners even have a dual cylinder system so that if one cylinder is regenerating, the other one is still available to soften the water. Meaning you’ll have access to softened water 24/7, no matter what.

3) Enjoy softened water.

That’s it, it all happens automatically.

Your water will come out of the taps softened. People are very often surprised by how quickly it works and how much better their water is after it’s been softened.

4) Every now and then: top up the salt

The only maintenance needed is to occasionally top up the block salt.

That’s a simple process and won’t take you long.

That’s how water softeners work! If you want to check them out, we’ve reviewed the best water softeners in the UK in 2022.

FYI, here are the various methods for softening hard water.

Summing Up ‘How Do Water Softeners Work UK’

Well, then. Now, we’ve answered your question about ‘How do water softeners work (UK)?’. We looked at what water softeners do and what problem they solve.

We then analysed exactly how they work to fix the problems caused by hard water. The ion exchange process is very clever and highly effective at removing the harmful minerals, calcium and magnesium.

All water softeners need regeneration quite regularly. The good news is that modern softeners (that we recommend on this site) do this automatically.

They work really well to soften the water, and people can finally enjoy limescale-free taps, scum-free cookware, as well as healthier, shinier skin and hair. And they can even save you money on heating and bathroom and kitchen products.

That’s how water softeners work. Enjoy your newly softened water!