Many homeowners look to filtration or softening systems to improve the quality of their home's water. Adding a built-in treatment system to your home can have numerous benefits, but should you ever consider adding them both? And if not, how can you choose between them? This article will help you understand which treatment option is best for your home.
Why Should You Get a Water Softener?
Since water filters and softeners both alter your home's water composition, it may seem as if they serve a similar purpose. In practice, they perform drastically different roles. While filters attempt to improve your home's water quality by removing contaminants, water softeners reduce the water's mineral content to "soften" hard water.
The calcium and magnesium present in hard water are not harmful, and many people subjectively find the taste of mineral-rich water to be pleasant. Unfortunately, hard water can sometimes be detrimental to your plumbing. The dissolved minerals can precipitate out of the water, leaving stains on fixtures and even clogging some pipes.
If you find that mineral scale build-up is an issue in your home, then a whole-house water softener may be a good solution. These appliances soften your water by reducing its calcium and magnesium levels. In general, you only need a water softener if you know you have problems with hard water in your home.
Why Should You Get a Water Filtration System?
Whole-home water filters solve a broader range of quality issues than water softeners. If you have well water, then water filters help remove sediment and other large particles from your water. For city water, filtration systems can improve your water's quality by removing metals or other contaminants that can cause unpleasant tastes or odors.
If you think you may have water quality issues, then the best approach is to test your water before installing a filtration system. Performing a test will help you understand the underlying causes of your water quality issues. A plumber can then work with you to interpret the results and select a whole-home filtration system to suit your needs.
Should You Get Both?
It's essential to remember that both water softeners and filters solve specific problems. Depending on your needs, it may be appropriate to install one or both in your home. A water quality test can provide you with valuable data on your home's water, which will then allow you to choose the most effective options for remedying water quality issues.
Whatever you decide to do, it's always a good idea to consult with a qualified expert before any major appliance installation. An experienced plumber can go over the benefits and drawbacks of specific softener and filtration models so you can choose the best one for your family.
To learn more, contact a plumber.