Mechanical water softeners, or Ion Exchange Softeners, as they are often referred to, are real water softeners. Chemical and physical conditioners though sometimes called softeners, don't remove the hard minerals from water. They simply hinder them from precipitating or sticking to the surface. The only method for softening hard water is to get rid of the magnesium and calcium minerals that cause it to be hard. Only ion exchange resin in Australia as well as some methods for filtering can do this.
Ion exchange softeners operate by swapping ions of negative hardness in water that are hard with positive sodium atoms inside the resin inside the softener. The resin is periodically required to be replenished to get rid of the accumulation in hardness mineral deposits. This is accomplished by flushing the resin using brine. In the process of regeneration, the water from your home is diverted to the softener, and there is only hard water available. It is usually timed to happen at night. Alternately two resin tanks could be utilized, with one of them regenerating while the second is operational.
Ion exchange softeners provide all the benefits of soft water for your entire home.
Carbon resin filters make use of Ion Exchange resin that is used to take hardness mineral out of water, in a similar way as mechanical water softeners. The activated carbon filter removes chlorine as well as other chemicals to improve the taste of the water and eliminate any unpleasant odors.