Do you have hard water in your home? So-called “hard” water is rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and aluminum, which, although generally harmless, don’t taste great. In some cases, this metallic-tasting water can also irritate your skin and hair, create scale buildup on your fixtures, leave behind deposits on your laundry and dishes, and even break down your plumbing system faster. If you are dealing with hard water in your home, you may be considering either a water softener or a water filter to get rid of it. But which one of these systems is right for your needs? Keep reading to find out what the difference is between water softeners and water filters, and make sure to check back with Carter Quality Plumbing’s blog for more helpful tips and tricks.
Water Softeners vs. Water Filters: What’s the Difference?
A water softener is designed to take the minerally taste out of hard water, literally making it “softer.” This process can be done through salt-based water softeners, ion exchange softeners, magnetic softeners, and reverse osmosis softeners.
Water softeners are technically a kind of water filter. The main difference is that while a water softener specifically removes minerals from your water, a water filter can be any product designed to remove contaminants from your water. Common water filtration systems include iron and sulfur removal filters, sediment filters, back-washing carbon filters, and fluoride adsorption filters.
Determining which system is right for your home depends on a few factors. For one, it’s worth noting that salt-based water softeners, while less prone to damage, require more maintenance. Whole-house water filtration systems, on the other hand, require little maintenance, but can be very expensive to install. Most importantly, you should consider your needs. If you want something mainly to improve your hard water, you should go with a water softener. However, if your water tastes bad for another reason, or you want protection from contaminants beyond minerals, a filtration system is probably the right call for you.
Do I Need a Water Softener or Filter?
If you have been on the fence about installing a water softener or filter, or unsure of whether you need one, Carter Quality Plumbing may be able to help! We offer free water analysis, so you can know for sure whether your water has any contaminants, and what steps you need to take if any to protect yourself. Call today to schedule your free water analysis, and make sure to hire our experts for all your other plumbing needs!