Maybe 4 years ago we had someone service our water softener, and they
replaced maybe 8-12 gallons of dark gunk that looks like fine grained
black sand. It glistens in the sunlight. The service man said it was
valuable and should be saved, according to my wife. I have no idea why.
I'd like to toss it. Comments?
Most likely those are the ion exchanger granules. Simply put, "hard"
water has too much calcium (and sometimes magnesium) ions in it. This is
what gives that water its undesirable properties. Chemically it is
fairly simple to remove the calcium and replace it with sodium. The
granules have a chemical compound attached to them that likes calium much
better than sodium. However, due to the laws of chemistry, if you soak
the granules in a brine ofconcentrated salt (sodium chloride), the
calcium held by the granules is replaced by sodium. This is the
"regenerating" of the ion exchanger. Once in this state, the
ionexchanger will adsorb the calcium in your water and give up the
sodium, making the water soft.
The expensive (somewhat replaceable) component of a water softener is the
"valuable" granules you have sitting there. I suggest you either throw
them away if local ordinances permit, or have the service guy come and
pick them up (which IMNSHO he should have done in the first place).
Thanks. We have too much K in our water. The material is as dense as
sand. I do believe he mentioned it's expensive. If he replaced it, why
would I ever want to use the old stuff? We get our water from a well.
What are the components of this sandy stuff?
I'm not aware of effects of too much K, but it is certainly possible to
remove K via ion exchange. The granules are mostly a sort of plastic, I
believe. Again ask your local authorities how you should dispose of
this, if the service man's company doesn't want to take it.
What you describe is resin media used in the softener. Likely it is
left-over from the service. Some resin media last for 15 years, so
you may not need to change it again for many years. Some types only
last for say 10 years and needs changing.
DAGS: _water softener resin_ for the cost.
Your call as to tossing it or not.
I've heard no good reason, or any reason, to keep it. DAGS?
I have it stored outside in a plastic container. It takes about 4-5
years for the sun to destroy the container. :-) It's kind of irritating
to have this around.
~ $100 (including shipping) per cubic foot (~50 lbs) new on ebay....
about the same online.
I'd dump them into a heavy plastic bag or bucket and put them on
craigslist for $40.
Don't toss 'em and add to the land fill when you can get some beer (or
wine) $'s and someone can get a bargain.
Chances are it's just resin. If it was removed from your softener and replaced
with new resin, throw it away. If it was surplus resin that hasn't been used,
you can keep it for the next time you have the softener serviced. Resin isn't
Some of it spilled out when I was examining with a shovel. When it
dried, it looked brown. Kinda reminded me of bromine compounds. Ah, to
have a microscope now.
Unrelated question. I have something basaltite that got wet and is very
dense. I have no idea where we got it. Possibly when the house was
built. What would it be used for?
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