A water softener is a device that, by mechanical or chemical means, treats water to reduce the content of mineral salts and their incrustations in water pipes and tanks.
Water with a high content of calcium or magnesium salts (hard water) tends to form mineral incrustations on the walls of pipes. In some cases they block almost the entire pipe section.
The salts most often adhere to hot water pipes as well as to the surfaces of machines that work or produce hot water. An example of this is coffee machines and water heaters. Calcium and magnesium when adhering to heating elements form a layer that prevents the water from coming into contact with the elements, causing overheating and element breakage.
Hard water, when it comes into contact with soap, reduces its capacity to create foam, forcing an increase in the time of use. Detergents are also affected, forcing them to use a higher concentration of the product to fulfill their washing mission.
Galvanic corrosion worsens in the presence of the ions of these metals. The walls of a heater corrode more quickly, forcing more frequent replacement of the sacrificial anodes.
Water hardness (the lime ions in the water) can be measured in French degrees, ºHf, so it is understood that it is soft water when we talk about 0ºHf to 12ºHf, from 18ºHf it is understood that the water is hard (with a lot of lime).