The actual softening process is very simple. Water is sent through a bed of Zeolite resin. As the water molecules interact with the resin, sodium ions from the resin replace calcium ions in the water. After a period of time, depending on the hardness of the water and the size of the mineral bed, the sodium ions are depleted and the resin is full of calcium ions. It is at that point that the softener becomes more complicated. The recharging process first requires that water be sent through the resin bed in a reverse flow to flush out foreign matter that was filtered from the water and to “fluff up” the resin bed. Then brine is flushed through the resin to remove the calcium ions and recoat the resin beads with sodium ions. Then water is flushed through the bed to remove the excess brine and finally the system is restored to the service position.