Cation Resin

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What is the main ingredient of the Water Softener?

The main ingredient of the Water Softener is cation resin.  This is a polystyrene material that absorbs the calcium and magnesium ions.  When the cation resin is fully coated it will no longer soften the water.  A little known secret about cation resin is that it removes the chlorine from the water.  The cation resin material absorbs the chlorine from the water.  The chlorine from the water causes the resin to disintegrate.  The resin we utilize will take out 100% of the chlorine.  You do not need several expensive units.  You need one good heavy (high capacity ‘we recommend 64,000 grain capacity’) unit which will remove the hardness ions and also the chlorine ions.  We can provide you a water softener Phoenix, Buckeye, Avondale, Goodyear, Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Maricopa, San Tan Valley, Florence, Anthem, Queen Creek AZ, soft water unit, whole house water conditioning unit that will remove the hardness and also the chlorine.

Because the chlorine causes the resin to disintegrate; in order to keep A+ soft water you will have to <replace , clean, replenish, rejuvenate, recondition> the material periodically.  We have an indication that the tipping point in Arizona is about 5 years (this resin must be changed every 5 years).  If you do not service the cation resin in 5 years your water quality will be less.

Why do I have to change the resin every 5 years?

The resin is a filter.  The filter media will not last forever.  If you want to keep high quality water in your home you will have to give the water equipment the right maintenance.  You must replace <clean, replenish, rejuvenate, recondition> the resin material every 5 years to maintain A+ soft water.

What if I do not change the resin every 5 years?

You will not have A+ water.  The water must have adequate contact time with the resin in order to achieve complete soft water. 
The Water Quality Association says that water is soft at less than 1 grain per gallon.  As the resin disintegrates the contact time will decrease; and cause many other plumbing problems.  If you have no more cation resin you will have no more soft water.

Here is an example of cation resin that is begining to disintegrate.

Cation Resin

This is a view of cation resin – seen through a microscope. The round beads are in good condition. The beads which are not round or fractured are begining to disintegrate. The reason the cation resin disintegrates is because of usage, age and high chlorine levels. The high chlorine content of the incoming water will cause resin to disintegrate much faster.

Can anything bad happen if I don’t change the resin every 5 years?

Bad things can happen.  You go to take a shower and you do not have water pressure.  The resin has escaped and clogged your shower head. You go to your other shower and the same thing happens.  You try to flush your toilet and the toilet is now clogged.  Every single water fixture may clog.

What do I do if I get low water pressure in my house?

Go out to the water softener and put the unit on bypass.  This won’t fix the problem, but it will stop it from getting worse.

What does Boyett’s recommend to solve this resin disintegration problem?

Replace, clean, replenish, rejuvenate, recondition> the resin every 5 years.  Many people are renting the automatic water softener for 99 cents a day.  Because of tough economic times the rental program is very popular. This area of our business grows at the rate of 1% per month.  The rental soft water and reverse osmosis programs spread out the investment over time (like leasing a vehicle).  It takes advantage of the time value of money.  For a small installation fee ($75.00 – on a loop) we provide you all the soft water service and maintenance for $30/month + tax; and we guarantee to keep you in A+ water 100% of the time.  We utilize sustainable methods that help our environment and keep our rental and service fees low. We change the rental unit out every 5 years.  This service is included in the monthly fee. We also include our ResinTrapTM invention to prevent the cation resin from ever escaping the water softener.  When you look at the face plate of our whole house water softener and water conditioner there is a sticker that says ‘screen in bypass’.  Cation resin escaping the water treatment equipment is a common industry problem; our company is providing a solution by adding a specific sized screen in the bypass valve to catch any resin that escapes.  By inventing this ResinTrapTM device we have solved an industry wide problem and we are protecting each of our water softener customers from experiencing loss and inconvenience.  To our knowledge, we are the only company in the United States which has invented this device; we are the only company which provides this as a standard feature – to protect our client’s assets.

Should I rent or purchase my water softener?

If you invest $1,695.00 plus tax to purchase an adequate water softener (64,000 grain) and have the entire unit rebuilt ever 5 years (because of the cation resin disintegration caused by the high amounts of chlorine in the Phoenix Metro area on the resin and valve components); and the rebuild fee is $1150.00 (every 5 years); the total investment is $3,000.00. In our opinion; renting the water equipment for $30.00/month + tax makes the most financial sense (because this total investment is $1,800.00 compared with $3,000.00 ‘to own’).  Over a five year period; you save $1,200.00 by renting.  When you rent the water softener; on the fifth year we replace the cation resin tank/ and valve at no charge.

If you purchase a good water softener for $1,695.00 plus tax and have the unit rebuilt in 5 years for $1150.00

Total investment to Purchase and maintain a water softener for 5 years is $3,000.00.

If you rent a high capacity (64,000) water softener over 5 years; we change out the water softener every 5 years at no cost.  If we need to change the unit sooner there is no charge for any service calls.

Total investment to Rent a water softener for 5 years $1,800.00

By renting instead of buying a soft water unit – you save $1,200.00 within a five year period

We guarantee you A+ water all the time if you rent the water equipment.

Click here to schedule the installation of a Rental Water Softener and/or a Rental Reverse Osmosis Purified Drinking Water System

Feel free to e mail me at HAYDEN@AZH2O.COM

This is  information which is provided by our chemical engineering customer (whom utilized our service 9 years ago and recently called us to install a rental water softener).  R.A.D was nice enough to collect this information on ‘Causes of Irreversible Resin Degradation’.  It is because of clients like R.A.D that we have been a strong and successful company for over 46 years.

Check this.

then almost towards the end, GE talks about chlorine adverse effect on polystyrene-divinylbenzene resins. Below is the excerpt. It not only destroys the resin, the mechanical and dynamics aspects deteriorate, i.e., channeling and water pressure drop. It recommends carbon filtration or sodium sulfite to consume the chlorine.

Causes of Irreversible Resin Degradation

Oxidation. Oxidizing agents, such as chlorine, degrade both cation and anion resins. Oxidants attack the divinylbenzene cross-links in a cation resin, reducing the overall strength of the resin bead. As the attack continues, the cation resin begins to lose its spherical shape and rigidity, causing it to compact during service. This compaction increases the pressure drop across the resin bed and leads to channeling, which reduces the effective capacity of the unit.

In the case of raw water chlorine, the anion resin is not directly affected, because the chlorine is consumed by the cation resin. However, downstream strong base anion resins are fouled by certain degradation products from oxidized cation resin.

If chlorine is present in raw water, it should be removed prior to ion exchange with activated carbon filtration or sodium sulfite. Approximately 1.8 ppm of sodium sulfite is required to consume 1 ppm of chlorine

On another site:

However, exposure to significant amounts of free chlorine, hypochlorite ions, or other strong oxidizing agents over long periods of time will eventually break down the crosslinking. This will tend to increase the moisture retention of the resin, decreasing it s mechanical strength, as well as generating small amounts of extractable breakdown products.

Why is the chlorine so much higher now than before?

When my family founded our company in 1966 there were less than 439,999 people in the Phoenix area.  In 2006 there was about 2.6 million.  Now there is about 4.2 million people in the Phoenix Area. (source: Because we live in the desert the water officials are having to utilize more source water from the Central Arizona Project (CAP Canal).  Why do they call it a canal?  Because it is a canal.  Here is my definition of a canal: A ditch lined with concrete in which water flows.  In the case of the CAP Canal; the water flows from Colorado.  This canal is open most of the way.  Dirt can fall in this canal; insects can fall in this canal; fish swim in this canal; fowl deficate in this canal.  When the water arrives to Arizona it is awful.  This is why our water is awfully hard.

…..So why is there so much chlorine?

If you want to see how much chlorine is present in your water; go to a swimming pool store and buy an over the counter chlorine test kit (OTO Solution).  Let the water run and test your water.  Call us and tell me what you see.  In many cases the reading will be the same as a swimming pool.  Let’s be honest with eachother; this is shocking.  This is all I am going to say about this subject for now.

09.13.10  THE OTHER DAY I RECEIVED A CALL from our 15 year client (Account # 46557).  He owns a gun shop and his gun smith told him he had to pay $5,000 to have the cation resin removed from his plumbing.  The distributor tube in his water softener failed and allowed the cation resin material to evacuate into the plumbing supply.

He explained that the plumbing company had to cut holes in the drywall to remove pipes which were so clogged with resin (this section of the plumbing) had to be replaced.

Our company has invented a process in which we install the water softener that will prevent this from occurring.  Brian Hayden Boyett


The following is an excerpt from the article Point of Use: The Final Barrier (By John McEncroe)

My wish is that this content will serve as an indicator to the involvement in maintaining a protected water source, adequate treatment, and proper design and operation of the distribution system.  It also addresses the purpose of chlorine (and some of the challenges) in a distribution system.

This article indicates that Traditionally, a residual concentration of chlorine- the most commonly disinfectant  is used to limit bacterial growth or regrowth in the distribution system and that Once water leaves the treatment facility, it may flow through many miles of piping..  As our population continues to grow our cities are drawing more water from the Central Arizona Project (CAP).  This is the water that flows through an open canal from Colorado.  This water picks up a lot of algae in the transportation process.  Algae is not a bad thing; when we learn to harness energy resources from Algae; we will further enhance our energy reserves.  However, algae does not belong in our water.  Therefore, to kill the algae in our water; before it travels from the water treatment plant to our homes  the water treatment plant adds tremendous amounts of this chlorine to the water .  By the time this water reaches your home; the residual content of chlorine may be as high as a swimming pool (7 ppm).  Our cation resin removes this chlorine; however, in the process this disintegrates the cation resin.  We have discovered in all areas of the Phoenix metro area of Arizona, Buckeye, Goodyear and Avondale that the tipping point on the cation resin is 5 years.  If some action is not taken on this resin material every 5 years; something bad may happen and you will not gain adequate soft water.

Because of this information we feel that our clients are better served by renting an automatic water softener for $30.00/mo plus tax. There is no contract.  Every 5 years we preemptively change out the cation resin column.  This is included in the rental service; there never are extra fees for this service.

It is because of these factors that the chlorine residual is so high in the Phoenix, Chandler, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Higley, Queen Creek, Cave Creek, Buckeye, Goodyear, Avondale and Litchfield Park.  Based upon our service records; depending on where your home is located on the pipe; you may receive a higher dose of chlorine; because of the location of your home; your resin may disintegrate faster than others.

In the past, drinking water utilities focused their treatment efforts at the plant, implementing chlorination, filtration, coagulation/sedimentation, and other processes. Because of growing concerns about water quality integrity, the multiple-barrier approach to water treatment became even more important.  The multiple-barrier approach consists of maintaining a protected source, adequate treatment, and proper design an operation of the distribution system.

If all of these approaches are not successful in removing contaminants from water, utilities do have options. These options include :

investing in complex and/or expensive centralized treatment processes,

promoting the use of bottled water, or

embracing a paradigm shift to point-of use (POU) devices (Siegrist,2004)

This article focuses on problems that can occur within the distribution system and the POU devices that can be used to address these problems.

Cause of Distribution System Degradation

As drinking water flows through the distribution system from the treatment plant to the consumers tap, its aesthetic, microbial, and chemical qualities may deteriorate significantly (Baribeau, 2001).  Increases in bacterial counts, decreases in disinfectant residuals, or changes in taste and odor characteristics are often related to distance from the treatment plant or increase in water residence time.  Causes of contamination include formation of disinfection byproducts (DBPs), distribution systems repairs and replacement, hydraulic surges, power outages, fire flow, and backpressure.

Traditionally, a residual concentration of chlorine- the most commonly disinfectant is used to limit bacterial growth or regrowth in the distribution system.  However, chlorine dose must be limited because it reacts with organic matter to form halogenated DBPs, some of which are of concern because of potential health risks (USEPA, 1994; NCl, 1976). Treatment processes, disinfecting conditions at treatment plants, and varying distribution system characteristics influence the residual disinfectant stability as well as DBP formation or decay.


Repairs and replacement. Distribution systems can be quite complex.  Once water leaves the treatment facility, it may flow through many miles of piping that are subject to contamination intrusion or back flow/backpressure.

Because distribution systems are buried over large areas, the intrusion risk from structural deficiencies will never be completely overcome and can only be managed through rigorous maintenance programs including inspection, repair, and replacement (Lindley & Buchberger, 2002).  Depending on the circumstances, a distribution contamination event may overpower the residual disinfectant and result in a serious disease outbreak.

Baribeau, H. et al, 2001. Changes in Chlorine and DOX Concentrations in Distribution Systems. Jour. AWWA, 93:12:102.

Lindley, T. & Buchberger, Sl, 2002. Assessing Intrusion Susceptibility in Distribution Systems. Jour. AWWA, 94:6:4.

Siegrist, R.,2004.  Presentation at the 2004 Ann. Conf. Rocky Mountain Sec. AWWA, Grand Junction, Colo

Siegrist, R., Nov. 12, 2004, e-mail communication.

USEPA, 1994. Proposed Disinfectants/Disinfection Byproducts Rule. Fed. Reg., 59:145:38668

Click here to schedule the installation of a Rental Water Softener and/or a Rental Reverse Osmosis Purified Drinking Water System

Please contact us for more information

05.13.12 5:50 PM

An ion-exchange resin or ion-exchange polymer[1] is an insoluble matrix (or support structure) normally in the form of small (1–2 mm diameter) beads, usually white or yellowish, fabricated from an organic polymer substrate. The material has highly developed structure of pores on the surface of which are sites with easily trapped and released ions. The trapping of ions takes place only with simultaneous releasing of other ions; thus the process is called ion-exchange. There are multiple different types of ion-exchange resin which are fabricated to selectively prefer one or several different types of ions.

Ion Exchange Resin Beads


Ion exchange resin beads

Ion-exchange resins are widely used in different separation, purification, and decontamination processes. The most common examples are water softening and water purification. In many cases ion-exchange resins were introduced in such processes as a more flexible alternative to the use of natural or artificial zeolites.

Most typical ion-exchange resins are based oncrosslinked polystyrene. The required active groups can be introduced after polymerization, or substituted monomers can be used. For example, the crosslinking is often achieved by adding 0.5-25% of divinylbenzene to styrene at the polymerization process. Non-crosslinked polymers are used only rarely because they are less stable. Crosslinking decreases ion- exchange capacity of the resin and prolongs the time needed to accomplish the ion exchange processes. Particle size also influences the resin parameters; smaller particles have larger outer surface, but cause larger head loss in the column processes.

Besides being made as bead-shaped materials, ion exchange resins are produced as membranes. The membranes are made of highly cross-linked ion exchange resins that allow passage of ions, but not of water, are used for electrodialysis.


Water softening

In this application, ion-exchange resins are used to replace the magnesium and calcium ions found in hard water with ions. When the resin is fresh, it contains sodium ions at its active sites. When in contact with a solution containing magnesium and calcium ions (but a low concentration of sodium ions), the magnesium and calcium ions preferentially migrate out of solution to the active sites on the resin, being replaced in solution by sodium ions. This process reaches equilibrium with a much lower concentration of magnesium and calcium ions in solution than was started with.

The resin can be recharged by washing it with a solution containing a high concentration of sodium ions (e.g. it has large amounts of common salt(NaCl) dissolved in it). The calcium and magnesium ions migrate off the resin, being replaced by sodium ions from the solution until a new equilibrium is reached. The salt is used to recharge an ion-exchange resin which itself is used to soften the water.


Few ion-exchange resins remove chlorine or organic contaminants from water – this is usually done by using an activated charcoal filter mixed in with the resin. There are some ion-exchange resins that do remove organic ions, such as MIEX (magnetic ion-exchange) resins. Domestic water purification resin is not usually recharged – the resin is discarded when it can no longer be used.


Our company utilizes a 10% cross linked cation exchange resin.  We utilize this ingredient because it is the best for our client.  If you type in “does cation resin remove chlorine” in your web brouser; our web page comes up first.  We have determined that the cation resin that Boyett Family Water is utilizing in our water treatment equipment removes chlorine.  Brian Hayden Boyett

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Cation Resin Exchange

Water softener service Phoneix, Arizona. water softener service Buckeye, Arizona.


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