The Drinking Water Dictionary defines a water softener as a pressurized water treatment device in which hard water is passed through a bed of cation exchange media for the purpose of exchanging calcium and magnesium ions for sodium or potassium ions, thus producing a softened water that is more desirable for laundering, bathing, and dishwashing. A water softener is a whole house solution for hard water, it is not a water filter.
The benefits of using a softener include keeping all fixtures from scaling or corrosion, using less detergents in the washing machine and keeping clothes soft and bright, eliminating steaks and spots on glassware and dishes, prolonging the life of the water heater and the refrigerator ice maker by preventing any calcium and magnesium carbonate deposits. A water softener can be used for the whole house or may be connected to the water heater only, thus saving in the operation cost.
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