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  1. Can You Drink Softened Water?

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    Water naturally contains a variety of mineral compounds, such as calcium and magnesium. The amount of these compounds contained in a sample of water determines whether it is considered “hard” or “soft”. Hard water has high levels of minerals, while soft water has low levels of minerals.

    The term “softened water” refers to hard water that has been processed through a water softener. The water softening process reduces the amount of minerals in water, which can alter its taste, smell, and look. These obvious changes, among others, lead many to wonder whether it is safe to softened water. Below, we address this commonly asked question as well as a few others.

    Safety of Drinking Softened Water

    water softener

    Generally, softened water is safe to drink. However, the water softening process can lead to elevated sodium levels in the water, which can be detrimental to the health of people with high blood pressure.

    Elevated sodium levels can occur because sodium is used in the softening process. Water softeners use an ion-exchange process that employs polystyrene beads charged with sodium chloride ions. As hard water moves across the beads, the mineral ions and sodium chloride ions trade places, resulting in lower mineral levels but higher sodium chloride levels in the processed water. Additionally, sodium is used to cleanse the resin that catches the unwanted minerals. Any residual sodium left behind after the cleansing stage can be swept into the processed water. The amount of sodium that ends up in the water depends on the hardness of the unprocessed water; extremely hard water will require more sodium to soften it, resulting in higher sodium levels in the processed water.

    Given the highest limit on recommended levels of salt in drinking water is 200 PPM (mg/L), if the water hardness was below 400 ppm before it was softened, there is little to no risk in drinking the softened water. If the water hardness was above 400 ppm, then it may be necessary to purify the processed water further to reduce its sodium levels before drinking it.

    Additional FAQs About Water Softeners

    Why Is Hard Water Bad?

    Hardness and softness don’t just impact drinking water. The more calcium and magnesium present in the water, the more likely scale and residue will build up in pipes, which can restrict water flow and require additional maintenance and repair. Additionally, soap doesn’t lather well in hard water, so you may find you’re using more soap and shampoo than you would if you had soft water.

    How Do Water Softeners Work?

    Water softeners remove minerals via an ion-exchange process. The polystyrene beads are charged with sodium chloride ions, which exchange places with the mineral ions when the water passes through the beads. The minerals are left behind, though the water takes on that bit of salt.

    What Benefits Do Water Softeners Offer?

    There are many benefits to integrating a water softener into a facility’s water-based systems, such as:

    • Extended equipment life: Water softeners extend the life of water-handling equipment by minimizing mineral buildup that can cause damage or degradation.
    • Reduced maintenance: Unlike soft water, hard water leaves behind minerals. This buildup needs to be removed to ensure equipment continues to work well.
    • Increased energy savings: Since soft water does not cause mineral buildup, there is little risk of mineral deposits restricting water flow, resulting in higher equipment efficiency and lower energy usage.
    • Enhanced cleaning efficiency: Softened water decreases the amount of cleaning solution needed when cleaning equipment, resulting in lower cleaning costs, water usage, and energy costs. Soft water can also save between 50-70% on soap products and efficiency of water heaters.

    Water Softeners From Reynolds Culligan

    Looking for water softeners for your facility? Reynolds Culligan is here to help!

    Equipped with over 70 years of designing and manufacturing water treatment systems, we have what it takes to deliver a water softening solution that fully meets your needs. By offering free quotes, water analysis capabilities, and after sales services, we ensure you get the best system and service for your facility. Our application engineers are available to help you with everything from equipment selection to maintenance to repair. To learn more about our water softening solutions, contact us today.

  2. Distilled vs Deionized Water: What Makes Them Different?

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    While both distilled and deionized water are both forms of very pure water, they are produced using distinctly different methods. Depending on the water source, distilled water could be purer than deionized water. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean distilled water is better than deionized water. Each method has advantages and disadvantages, and the ultimate choice depends upon factors like cost and intended use.

    Water Distillation

    During the water distillation process, water is boiled which causes steam to form. The steam is collected in a separate container where it is allowed to reform as a liquid. Water distillation offers an effective way to remove solids, such as minerals, bacteria, and other organic compounds, making it an excellent method for purifying water systems and tap water.

    Distilled water is the most common form of purified water and is often confused with deionized water. While both forms of water are safe to drink, deionized water is the purest of the two. However, distilled water is capable of conducting electricity, making it ideal for applications such as laboratory experiments. Its purity also makes it suitable for sterilizing medical equipment and for use in cosmetic products.

    Water Deionization

    Water deionization involves an ion exchange process that works to remove solid materials from water. During the process, untreated water flows through two oppositely charged resin beds. As this occurs, electrically charged ions are removed, leaving only hydrogen and oxygen molecules behind. The result is highly purified water that is ideal for applications requiring extreme water purity, such as automotive, pharmaceutical, biochemistry, immersion cooling, and more.

    Deionized water does not contain charged ions, meaning it is resistant to electricity. This makes it the preferred form of water in many instances. For example, many machining and other processes involving high temperatures benefit from deionized water’s low electrical conductivity, as it helps to lower temperatures during manufacturing.

    Water deionization offers an effective, cost-efficient, and consistent method for purifying water systems.

    Effective, Safe Water Treatment From Reynolds Culligan

    We understand that it is not always easy to get quick answers when researching water purification systems. With a vast amount of information on the internet, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Hopefully, you now have the essential information to understand the distinctions between distilled and deionized water to help you determine which method may be right for your needs.

    Since 1948, Reynolds Culligan has been the only water treatment company in the Mid Atlantic that offers a comprehensive, single-source water treatment technology platform that works for virtually any industry and application. We are proud to offer cost-effective solutions for residential, commercial, and industrial applications, with a modular platform that allows our customers to customize our solutions to their specific needs.

    Our team has over 200 years of combined experience serving diverse industries such as:

    To learn more about Reynolds Culligan and our water purification systems, please contact us today.