Water Filter vs. Water Softener: Which One Do You Need?
Hard water won’t harm you, but it’s still a hassle. Your first guess might be to purchase a water filter, but is that the right choice? How do you know if a water filter or water softener is what your home needs? Don’t worry; we have all the information you need to make the right decision. Let’s discuss whether water filters or softeners are suitable for you.
Water Filter vs. Water Softener: Not the Same Thing
All water filters and softeners have in common is they help with the annoyance of hard water. Many people may have issues deciding between the two because they’re unsure what filters and softeners do.
This blog post will help clear up the confusion. First, we’ll discuss water filters and explore softeners and their uses.
What Water Filters Do
Filters remove contaminants to improve your home’s water quality. A filter can remove the minerals inside the hard water, resulting in a better flavor and odor. It depends if your water filter and also functions as a softener.
A water filter’s proper function is removing harmful chemicals from your drinking water, including:
You may consider purchasing a water filter if you live in an area with high amounts of hard water – like Chicago. People living in areas with contaminated water should especially look into buying filters.
What Water Softeners Do
Here’s a handy way to distinguish water filters from softeners: filters disinfect and softeners clean. You cannot clear contaminants like lead, copper, or chlorine with a water softener.
A water softener gives you improved water quality by removing calcium and magnesium. Softeners greatly benefit your appliances and plumbing. Your water heater may warm water faster after you clean mineral build-up.
Softeners help remove calcium build-up, stopping clogging. You can expect extended functionality and longevity from appliances and piping that’s not blocked by calcium and magnesium deposits.
Hard water leaves stains on dishes and keeps your laundry from getting clean. It also causes dry skin and hair. You might notice cleaner clothes and better-hydrated skin and hair once you start using water softeners.
Water Softener vs. Whole House Filter: Which One Should You Get?
You’d want a water softener if you’re worried about poorly laundered clothes, spot-covered pots, and dry skin. Water filters are the best choice if you have legitimate concerns about your and your family’s health.
We mentioned that some water filters could soften water. If you live somewhere hard and contaminated water is an issue, consider a dual water softening and filtration system.
Water Filtration System vs. Water Softener: Conclusion
Water filters and softeners can remove hard water. However, filters go the extra mile and clear your water of other threats. Which one you get depends on your household and location.
Before purchasing, you should understand the differences between a water filter and a softener. It may help to remember this: A water softener is a type of filter, but not all filters soften water.
Frequently Asked Questions
Knowing what to ask about water softeners can be challenging. We have you covered with this handy FAQ section.
How Does a Water Softener Work?
Water softeners use sodium to change the chemical structure of minerals in your water. The transformation allows the softener to remove the calcium from your plumbing.
However, there are “salt-free” alternatives that use potassium. Saltless water softeners chemically transform the scale, allowing it to detach from your plumbing.
How to Maintain a Water Softener?
You have to refill your water softener’s brine tank every two months. Wet salt means you don’t need a refill. Dry salt means it’s time to swap out the salt.
It’s good practice to check your brine tank more often to ensure it isn’t damaged. Using high-quality evaporated salt pellets will help ensure your water softener lasts a long time.
Technically you can use any salt. However, block salt is not advisable unless its manufacturing specifications.
You should learn how to clean the brine tank to maintain your softener. Once the salt is almost gone, clean the remaining pellets. A filthy tank will look sludgy. You can pick caked-on sludge away with a stick. Next, wash the brine tank with detergent or mold cleaner if any fungus has grown.
How Long Does a Water Softener Last?
The average life expectancy for a water softener is a decade. Well-maintained water-softening systems can last longer.
How to Filter Water at Home?
You can still filter without a water filter, but the effectiveness of the method varies. Activated charcoal filters remove toxins from contaminated water while keeping essential minerals and salts. Certain fruit peels can remove contaminants from water. Banana peels were shown to remove lead and copper from river water. Apples and tomatoes absorb metals, dyes, and pesticides.
Ultraviolet light removes microorganisms from potentially dangerous water sources. You can add lime juice to speed up the process. UV light won’t remove things like heavy metals, salts, or other particulates.
How King Can Help
King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing has over 50 years of experience with HVAC and plumbing issues. You can trust our team to quickly and competently install your water filter. Contact us when ready to supply your home with safe, clean drinking water. We’ll be out as soon as possible to install your new whole-home water filtration system.