The modern water softener is a system which contains a material called ion exchange resin, to remove hardness minerals from the hard water supply. The removal of the minerals eliminates scale in the hot water system, bathroom and shower fittings, and puts a stop to scum forming when soap is used in sinks, baths and with washing and laundry.
The water softener consists of three basic components:
- The resin tank, containing the ion exchange resin;
- The brine tank, containing salt which is dissolved from brine;
- The control head, containing the mechanisms which determines when regeneration is to take place and which controls the operation of the valves during regeneration.
In modern units the resin tank is usually located inside the brine tank, with the brine tank being the “external cabinet” of the softener. The dimensions of the cabinet may vary, but usually the cabinet can be conveniently installed under the kitchen sink.