What's Inside your Water Softener: A Closer Look at Resin
Author: Claire Beaureagard - Technical Representative
What Is Resin?
How Long Does it Last?
What are the Failure Mechanisms?
Water Hammer (Hydraulic Shock)
Oxidation (Chlorine Attack)
What Can You Do?
- Log Books: Daily hardness levels, water meter readings, flow rates and inlet/outlet pressure readings should be recorded on a regular basis for each softener. Monitoring these trends is a great way to identify when the system performance is declining and additional testing, cleaning, and/or replacing resin should be considered.
- Resin Testing: Core samples can be obtained from the resin bed and analyzed for total capacity, moisture content, percent broken and more.
- “Topping Up”: Some degree of resin attrition and resin loss is to be expected in any system. Oftentimes, a simple “top-up” of the tank is advisable to increase overall capacity.
- Chemical Additive: In extreme cases, a chemical additive such as Klenzoid's Resinklenz Fe should be considered. This regeneration aid prevents iron from precipitating into iron oxide, improving performance and extending the life of the resin significantly.
- Chemical Cleaning: In heavily fouled systems, resin can be cleaned using a low pH solution such as Citric Acid. In chemical cleanings, uniform exposure and contact time is critical.
- Filtration: Pre-filtration can be considered in cases to remove iron and other foulants from entering the softener system and fouling the resin.
- Resin Replacement: Though the initial cost for higher strength, higher crosslinked resin is greater, it may be the better option in the long-run and the economics should be considered.
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Claire Beaureagard has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Western Ontario. As a Technical Representative, she works with our clients to achieve the lowest operational costs for their heat transfer systems through well-maintained water treatment programs. Claire has a collection of unicycles she enjoys riding in her spare time.
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Water softeners are commonplace in industrial and institutional settings. These units utilize salt to ideally eliminate the hardness of the incoming water. Since salt usage is essential for softener function and has associated environmental and financial costs,