What is Better for My Home, a Water Softener or Water Filtration?
If you are concerned about having good quality drinking water for your family, you may have considered a domestic water treatment solution. The good news is that the marketplace has plenty of options to choose from, but how do you decide which is best suited to your needs? Most systems can be categorized as a water softener or a water filter. So, to choose which is the best solution, you need to understand the differences between the two and the limitations each system may have.
Generally, the term water filter is used to refer to a method or system that removes contaminants such as iron, copper and arsenic from your water. Water filters vary in quality and price, but high quality filters can also remove pharmaceutical or industrial byproducts such as hormones and pesticides, sediments, and other organic contaminants. Water filters can vary in size from a smaller reverse osmosis point of use device at your kitchen sink all the way to more sophisticated reverse osmosis whole of house systems.
Small devices such as filter jugs can be used to purify drinking water, while a whole house system can ensure that there is no exposure to contaminants through bathing, cooking and drinking water. A whole house system can also be useful if water contaminants are compromising the efficiency and performance of your water using appliances and plumbing.
Water softeners generally refer to devices that remove the particles of hardness causing minerals such as calcium and magnesium from water supplies. The term water softener is used to cover a wide range of products, but there are typically fewer devices compared to those considered water filters. Water softeners often use salt as the main chemical agent to modify the water properties, but there are other salt-free options that use potassium or other soft minerals to remove water hardness.
Which Is Best for You?
Since both water softeners and water filters offer a solution for different water issues, the decision of which is best for your needs depends greatly on your circumstances. To determine which is the best option, you need to assess what issues are compromising your water. For example, if you have found a lime scale deposit being problematic with your appliances and plumbing, this is an indication that your water is hard and a water softener could offer the best solution. A whole house water softener system would minimize lime scale deposits in your water using appliances and reduce the risk of lime scale accumulating in plumbing, causing blockages. On the other hand, if your water has a strange taste or smell, a better solution would be a water filter. A water filter is likely to be the most effective option to remove potentially harmful contaminants from your water supply.
If you are unsure about the specific nature of your water problems, it is a good idea to consult a professional water specialist. Trained water technicians are able to perform onsite water testing to check for the presence of a variety of contaminants. Once the water testing has been completed, the technician will be able to advise whether a filter, softener or a combination of the two offers the best solution to meet your needs.
About The Author:
Greg Scott is President of Valparaiso based Miracle/EcoWater Systems, the premier water conditioning company in Northwest Indiana serving the Lake, Porter and LaPorte County areas. A 3rd generation water treatment professional, Greg grew up in the family owned business started by his grandfather in the late fifties. He has made water treatment his life and under his direction and high-standards, the company’s water treatment experience, knowledge, and products are unrivaled in region.