To prevent limescale from building up in your domestic pipes and appliances you can remove the Calcium Ions in the hard water by a process called ION EXCHANGE. This process is what happens in a water softener.
By putting SALT (NaCl) or SODIUM CHLORIDE as chemists call it into the water softener, the ions of Calcium Ca++ are EXCHANGED for ions of SODIUM Na++ such that the Calcium Ions are flushed down the drain and the Sodium Ions remain in the water. This EXCHANGE takes place on a column of RESIN. The water becomes SOFT but unfortunately should not really be drunk because Sodium Ions are not good for you. Calcium ions are good for you and are the building blocks of teeth and bones. Calcium is also a vital element in the metabolism of all cells so without Calcium they cannot function properly.
If you have a WATER SOFTENER fitted then you are required by law to have a dedicated COLD WATER drinking tap, which must have water coming straight from the mains and must not pass through the SOFTENER.
On the whole, SOFTENERS are expensive to buy and costly to maintain. There is also the necessity to fill the SOFTENER up with salt regularly.
Our Little Plumber range of Electronic Water Conditioners:-