Water Filtration vs Water Softening System

by stevensplumbingac on January 2, 2013

Know the difference between water filtration and water softening systems?  Or water filtration and reverse osmosis?  If not, you’re not alone!  Many homeowners find these terms confusing.

Water filtration typically refers to a whole-house water filter – a system designed to improve certain aspects of the water supply throughout the entire house. While there are many types of whole-house filters, the most commonly installed is the basic charcoal filter, a one-stage system designed to remove heavy particulates like sand and floating minerals, which might clog toilets and faucet aerators, as well as some contaminants which might cause the water to have an unpleasant odor or bad taste.  Depending on your water supply, you might benefit from installation of a simple, whole house filter.  However, a water filtration system does not remove calcium or magnesium, which are the cause of hard water, and therefore will not soften your water.  Nor will it provide you with purified drinking water.

If your concern is hard water, you’ll want to purchase a water softening system (water softener).  Water softeners, like water filtration systems, are designed to improve the water throughout your home.  Water softeners use resin to trap the calcium and magnesium causing the hard water, removing them from the water supply.  Water softeners also use either salt or potassium to regenerate the resin.  Many people prefer the use of potassium over salt, due to concerns about adding salt to their drinking water, but it can be considerably more expensive, as either salt or potassium must be added on a regular basis.  But whichever you choose, both types are effective in softening your water.

A reverse osmosis (RO) system purifies your drinking water, removing up to 99% of contaminants like heavy metals (such as arsenic, chlorine, mercury, lead, and more), as well as organics and pesticides.  It will also remove salt added by a water softener.  A reverse osmosis drinking water system is designed to be installed at your kitchen sink, including the line running to your refrigerator icemaker and water dispenser.  Your RO will give you pure, great-tasting water right from your tap and/or your refrigerator, eliminating the nuisance and expense of purchasing bottled drinking water.

So which system is right for you?  If you have any questions or would like help making that decision, give us a call.

Stevens Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. 
602-273-7473
Providing plumbing services, including water filtration, water softeners, and reverse osmosis drinking water systems,
to homes in Phoenix, Scottsdale and the entire Phoenix metro area.

 

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