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What Does Salt do in a Water Softener?
Why does my water softener need salt?
People who are new to water softeners often have questions about the salt they put into their machines, what is it for and where does it go?
Salt is used within the water softener to make brine, the softener adds a few inches of water to the bottom of the salt container to do this, where it stays untill it is needed.
Your Water Softener can contain 1 or 2 cylinders of resin, these little beads of resin capture and hold onto hardness minerals as water flows through the cylinders. This is called ion exchange.
Resin has a limit to how much potential scale it can hold, and will periodically use a small amount of brine to clean the resin beads, this releases the accumulated hardness minerals so they can be rinsed away down the drain. At no time does the salty water come into contact with the water that flow through your pipes, during the cleaning process (regeneration) the resin is isolated from the water supply ensuring that the two never mix.