Ion exchange water softening. How do I find out if the installation functions properly?
If you have a water softener at home or you have to work with Na-softener, and it is not possible to make a chemical analysis for hardness, then there is an easy way to find out whether the softener installation functions properly.
To do this, it is necessary to measure the electrical conductivity of the source and softened water during the operation of the softening unit. In the vast majority of cases for fresh water, the value of the electrical conductivity of softened water will always be greater than the value of the source water .
A bit of theory.
During the process of ion exchange water softening, the multivalent ions contained in the source water are replaced by the monovalent sodium ion contained on the ion exchange resin. Multivalent ions of the source water are the hardness ions (calcium and magnesium).
Thus, the number of ions in water does not change, but their type changes. In this case, one sodium ion can transfer more electric charge than one calcium or magnesium ion in the presence of sulfates. Accordingly, softened water almost always has a higher electrical conductivity than the original non-softened water. Only if there are no sulfate ions in the water (which is practically impossible for natural water), the softened water will have a lower electrical conductivity than the source water.
The approximate sequence of actions for measuring the electrical conductivity of water should be as follows:
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