The idea behind the Water-Mark portable Boat, RV water softener is simple. The calcium and magnesium ions in the water are replaced with sodium ions. Since sodium does not precipitate out in pipes or react badly with soap, both of the problems of hard water are eliminated. To do the ion replacement, the water runs through a bed of small plastic beads or through a chemical matrix called zeolite. The beads or zeolite are covered with sodium ions. As the water flows past the sodium ions, they swap places with the calcium and magnesium ions. Eventually, the beads or zeolite contain nothing but calcium and magnesium and no sodium, and at this point they stop softening the water. It is then time to regenerate the beads or zeolite.
During the backwash cycle, water flows up at a fast rate to flush iron minerals, dirt and sediments from the resin bed. The resin bed expands and lifts for cleaning.
1-Unscrew the water supply hose from the pre-filter.
2-Unscrew the hose from the outlet.
3-Re-attach the water supply hose to the outlet of the unit.
4-Unscrew the canister from the pre-filter and remove the filter (if you have one installed). You can leave the canister off during the backwash if you don’t care if the water spills on the dock, or ground right there. You will need another hose if you want to route the water somewhere else.
5-Turn water supply on full to backwash unit. This won’t take long and depends on how much iron minerals, dirt and sediments you have in your water supply, and if you use a filter in the pre-filter. Remember, your house doesn’t usually have a per-filter before the water softener, and depending on your water supply, you may not have to use one. You will have to use the canister to hold the salt though during regeneration. Run the water until it comes out clear. Use a glass to see any sediment still in the water. Run until the water comes out clear. Now if your water supply is that bad that it isn’t clear out of the supply hose, you will have to determine how long to backwash the unit.
6-When your done backwashing, un-screw both hoses and attach the water supply hose to the pre-filter for normal operation.
Regeneration involves soaking the resin beads or zeolite in a stream of sodium ions (salt). Salt is sodium chloride; Regeneration flushes it through the resin. The strong brine displaces all of the calcium and magnesium that has built up in the zeolite or beads, and replaces it again with sodium. The remaining brine plus all of the calcium and magnesium is flushed out during the brining process.
7-Fill the pre-filter canister with salt. Salt pellets work best because they dissolve slower. Use the same salt you buy for your home water softener. Screw the canister that’s full of salt back on the pre-filter. Don’t fill it to the top with salt or you will not get it back on. See picture for brining step 2. This takes about 2 ½ pounds of salt pellets.
8- Screw the canister back on the pre-filter top. Turn the whole pre-filter upside down. This is one half of a turn. Why do you do this? You do this so the salt will stay in the water flow during the brining step. See picture for brining step 3.
9-OK, how long does this take and how fast should you run the water. Turn on the water so it takes at least twenty minutes to fill a 5-quart ice cream bucket. The slower the better.
10- Run the water about 20 minutes. You can check the water with a glass. At first, the water will be very cloudy and of course, very salty tasting. Once the water clears up, and doesn’t taste salty, the salt is gone.
11- That’s it, you’re done. You have now regenerated your Water-Mark portable Boat, RV water softener and its ready to use. Just screw on your hose to your boat or RV supply connection, or your hose you use for washing. See picture for step 3.
Check your water hardness on the map showing hard water levels throughout the US. You can also get your hardness checked at any store that sells water softeners. The Water-Mark is now ready to use.