It’s important to have clean and soft water for drinking, washing, and grooming. Clean water keeps you and your loved ones safe and healthy, and soft water leaves your home looking nice by eliminating soap scum and mineral deposits on your fixtures. You know you need help cleaning up the water in your Denver home, but where do you begin? There’s so much information available on water softeners and purifiers that it can be overwhelming. Here at High 5 Plumbing, we want to help simplify this for you by explaining the difference between filtration for purification and treatment for softening.

Water Softening Versus Water Filtration

A whole-house water filter removes unwanted compounds from your water, such as dirt, sediment, and sand. Depending on the model you choose, it could also remove pesticides, fluoride, sulfur, iron, and chlorine. Among the many options available, you’ll discover specific filters for specific substances. For example, a carbon filter reduces odors and unpleasant tastes by removing chlorine and volatile organic compounds.

Water filters range from small reverse osmosis systems that are installed in your kitchen to whole-house water filtration systems that ensure every tap in your home provides you with contaminant-free water. Whole-house systems are installed at the water’s point of entry into your home. The water entering your residence goes through a pre-filter that removes large contaminants and impurities, such as sediment. The water is also filtered for organic chemicals and chlorine, which affect the air quality in your home as the water evaporates. Next, the water passes through activated carbon, where pesticides, herbicides, and copper are removed. Last, the water goes through a polishing filtration phase, where sediment and organic particles are removed.

A water softener is different from a filtration system in that it is used to soften hard water. It’s ideal if you have large amounts of calcium and magnesium in your water supply. A water softener uses several different processes to remove the ions causing the hard water or to change how they interact with surfaces in your home. Hard water will come into your home from the main water pipe and travel directly to the water softener. Resin beads inside the water softener tank will attract and hold onto the minerals that cause hard water. The newly softened water can then exit the tank and flow through your plumbing to all areas of your home.

Which Do You Choose?

When deciding which products are most suited to your needs, you first have to figure out what is in your water. Check your consumer confidence report to find out what chemicals are present in your public water supply. You can also have the water in your home tested. The results will help you make your final decisions.

If you have hard water but few contaminants, a water softener might be sufficient. If your water is soft but has contaminants in it, you’ll need a water filtration system. When the results of your home’s water tests show both hard water and contaminants, you’ll want to have both systems installed.

Do You Really Need a Water Softener With a Water Filter?

If you’ve discovered that your water is both hard and filled with contaminants, you may question whether or not you truly have to purchase both systems. After all, if a water filter removes contaminants, won’t it also remove the magnesium and calcium that cause hard water as well? The answer is no. The average water filter is rated at 30 to 50 microns. This means that it will remove particles as small as a piece of dust. Unfortunately, magnesium and calcium particles can be much smaller than that. Your filter will allow those unwanted minerals to pass through, and you’ll still be experiencing all of the issues that come along with hard water.

You may choose to only have a water softener. Many homeowners only want to correct the problems that can be seen. No one wants soap scum to build up in their sinks, showers, and tubs. While a water softener eliminates this problem, it will do nothing when it comes to making that water safe to drink. If the test results for your home’s water indicate that you have bacteria, protozoa, or viruses present, you’re putting yourself and others at a health risk by not having a water filtration system installed along with your softener.

Water Softener Alternatives

You may not want to invest in both a whole-house water filtration system and a water softener, but you may still want a way to stop scale buildup caused by hard water. An alternative system that may be more affordable is a salt-free water conditioner. This product won’t strip water of the minerals by chemically removing them. Instead, it’s an environmentally friendly option that won’t put additional salt or chemical waste into the environment. Salt-free water conditioners come equipped with scale-control media technology that naturally reduces buildup in your pipes. You still need the filtration system as well to remove harmful contaminants.

Water Filtration System Benefits

Again, be sure to have your water tested. If your water doesn’t contain harmful contaminants, a water softener is sufficient. That being said, if your water isn’t safe to drink, focus on a whole-house filtration system first.

Water softeners provide you with soft water that’s much more pleasant to use, but it’s most important to have quality water you can safely drink. Nothing beats a water filtration system for treating all of your specific health concerns. Once you have a water filter installed, you’ll know you’ve made a good investment. If you can only buy one system, water filtration is the way to go.

Final Thoughts

While a water softener or a salt-free water conditioner solves your problem with scale buildup, remember that it isn’t purifying your water the way a quality water filter can. By investing in a whole-house filtration system, you know you’re removing harmful bacteria and chlorine, and you won’t be bothered by iron stains on your clothing and hard surfaces.

This is why so many homeowners purchase both systems. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts when it comes to having pure, clean water. With both systems installed in your home, your water will be at its best. You’ll enjoy soft water that’s clean and pure enough for safe drinking, and you’ll be thoroughly protecting your home from health risks and hazardous chemicals.

Your Water Purification Experts

When you need a reliable plumbing service in Denver, reach out to us at High 5 Plumbing. We can help you with your drains, sewer lines, water heater, or any other part of your home’s plumbing system. Call us when your drain is blocked, your pipe bursts, or your toilet clogs. We can even help you upgrade any of your existing water fixtures or water heaters. Our highly qualified plumbers are efficient at installations, repairs, and ongoing maintenance. When you enlist us for help, you’ll find that every member of our team is focused on customer satisfaction and outstanding results. We provide award-winning results. Call the team from High 5 Plumbing today to learn more about our water purification and other services available throughout the Denver area.

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