Recharging a water softener - Page 2

Water analysis, treatment, and mineral recipes for optimum taste and equipment health.

#11: Post by DaveC »

rfc wrote:That's the article that led me to the test kit I got. I definitely don't have the test strips. I am using the "titration to end point" type noted in the article.

I may be getting hung up on the technicalities. Quite frankly, I have been monitoring my temps at the brewhead, which, prior to using the water softener dropped like a rock after only 5 or 6 weeks of use. Since installing the softener (well over twice that now) temps are consistently at or above 200 degrees, indicating that no liming up is occurring. I may send some water from the unit to a professional water testing outfit to see what they say, but it bugs me that I can't get this to measure properly.

Thanks for the input.
I think the kits you mention test for a conversion of Calcium Carbonate via an acid and when a colour change occurs you know the concentration of carbonate (in your case 150). Resin bead softeners like yours work by converting Calcium Carbonate to Sodium Carbonate (which doesn't form scale). The recharging using NaCl (salt), is to scavenge the calcium from the beads (the high concentration forcing the reaction to "go" the other way) and the resin becomes loaded again with Sodium, ready to exchange calcium for sodium to soften the water.

So for every unit of Calcium Carbonate you get 1 unit of Sodium Carbonate...hence when you use a "titration to end point" test on the "softened" water it doesn't know or care about whether it's Calcium or Sodium Carbonate, just about the amount of Carbonate (which of course is unchanged). I would guess your water is "soft" by virtue of the fact that Sodium Carbonate does not deposit scale like Calcium Carbonate and your softener is working perfectly. You need to get tablets specifically for testing the operation of a water softener (cheap and readily available)

Naturally soft water will of course just have low levels of Carbonate :wink: , but your espresso machine likes's not fussy


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#12: Post by shadowfax »

I have a quick question about this type of ion exchange softener with a resin bed. I have the 8L DVA one pictured above, and I am wondering whether you can put potassium salt in it to charge it. It would seem like you could, as it should be able to feed back potassium carbonate as easily as sodium carbonate, but is that true? The manual is crappy, but quite specific about sodium salt (NaCl).

My interest in potassium salt is just that I feel it might be marginally healthier to consume... So, anybody know if it works?
Nicholas Lundgaard

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#13: Post by Benjammer »

*BUMP* I'd be interested to know as well if you can use potassium instead of sodium for these types of filters, it is better for you, I'm pretty sure. Maybe tastier too.

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#14: Post by yakster »

I use potassium chloride to recharge my ten inch gel type softening cartridge. It's more expensive and I don't specifically know about using it with the system in this thread.

LMWDP # 272