Ant Man hit theaters July 17th with Paul Rudd playing hero Scott Lang. Ant Man is a character from the Marvel Universe who can shrink to the size of… you guessed it - an ant. Along with his ability to shrink, he has super human strength. He truly is the tiniest protector of the Marvel Universe. The tiny protector in the “Boiler Universe” is called resin.
Resin is a collection of tiny beads that are negatively charged and are located inside a water softener. Their purpose is simple: to protect your boiler. They do this by filtering the water before it enters your boiler. If these tiny protectors were not present, the minerals in the water would cause pitting and scaling in your boiler which greatly reduce heat transfer efficiency.
Resin plays a pivotal role in keeping your water clean. It is something that you typically don’t see but is at the heart of your water softener. Without it, the feedwater to your boiler would be filled with impurities that would significantly reduce the useful life of your boiler.
How does it work?
Water enters the water softener “hard”. “Hard” is another way of saying that it is full of minerals and dissolved solids. These minerals are positively charged. When they flow through the water softener and across the negatively charged resin beads, an ION exchange occurs and the minerals attach themselves to the beads. This allows clean soft water to pass through to your boiler system.
Is there a process to maintain your resin?
The short answer: Yes. Over time the resin collects enough minerals to the point where it becomes ineffective. At that point, it needs to go through a regeneration process. The first cycle in the regeneration process is called a back flush. During the backflush cycle, water flows through the softener in the opposite direction. Running the water through the softener in the opposite direction fluffs the bed and carries away heavy particulate.
After the backflush is complete, the softener reverses cycle and draws brine in over the beads. The brine draw is responsible for removing the minerals from the resin. Not only does the brine draw remove the remaining minerals from the beads, the sodium in the brine returns the negative charge to the resin bed.
How Often Should You Replace Your Resin?
Resin does have an expiration date. If your water quality is average it will last between 10 and 15 years before needing replacement. There are solutions you can run across your resin beads, however, it is recommended that the resin be replaced entirely.
Water quality is the most important element of extending and preserving the life of your boiler. The resin that resides within your water softener plays a critical role in ensuring only the best water enters your boiler. To learn more about WARE’s water softener systems call us today! 800-228-8861.
You can also view a Boiling Point video on our YouTube channel, where Ritchie Ware and Steve Duval discuss Resin.