How do water softeners work?

A water conditioner has millions of poppy seed sized beads made of poly styrene plastic which naturally attract positively charged ions like potassium or sodium.  Water flows through the beads (mineral/resin bed) and exchanges sodium or potassium for the iron or harness (calcium and lime) present.  The water will then go to a collection point at the bottom of the resin bed and is soft and free of iron.  This process does add a small amount of sodium or potassium to your drinking water so further treatment may be desired usually in the form of a reverse osmosis drinking water system.

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