Are you wondering whether or not you should have a water filter or a water softener? Or are you wondering if you should have both? You are not the only one, and this article is going to clear things up.

A water filter is a device that takes out impurities from water and makes it healthier and tastier to drink. A water softener is a device that reduces the amount of magnesium and calcium in the water. In some cases you may need both, in other cases only one of them should do depending on where you live.

Let’s see in which case you need a filter and in which case you need a softener.

WHAT IS HARD WATER?

What is commonly called hard water is water that contains high quantities of minerals. Those minerals can be calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, and sulfate, to name a few. When the water contains high concentration of minerals, it is called “hard water.”

In many U.S. cities, water is found to be hard. If that is the case, there can be some adverse effects of using the water without a water softener.

water

WHAT EFFECTS HAS HARD WATER USAGE?

Typically, water is used for drinking and general household needs like cleaning and washing.

One of the most harmful effects of hard water is the corrosion of pipes, requiring replacement atadditional costs. Other consequences of hard water are:

The deposit of calcium carbonate and other minerals in pipes (limescale), water heaters, and other appliances reduces water flow or requires costly maintenance. Your pipes get clogged often.
Leaks from broken pipes
Soap and detergents become less effective, requiring a higher quantity or resulting in poor cleaning.
Reduced efficiency in water heaters and higher energy consumption
You may also find stains in your bathtub or sink. Sometimes, even white spots in your dishes.
Clothes can lose their color due to coming in contact with hard water.

Regarding health: Hard water can be beneficial due to its higher minerals concentration. Besides the taste, which can be liked or not, hard water has not been associated with health risks.

However, you may experience dry skin symptoms and constant itching.

WHAT DOES A WATER SOFTENER DO? ADVANTAGES OF USING WATER SOFTENERS

If you are experiencing any of the effects of hard water, you may want to use a water softener.

A water softener has the purpose of removing mineral content. A water softener doesn’t clean or decontaminate water.

Removing contaminants and water pollution is done by water filters since they are designed to do this specific job.

In the long run, not using a water softener can be more expensive. If you have to pay the plumber to come in and fix your clogged pipes, it is way better to make a one-time investment in a water softener.

Other advantages of using a water softener are:

Keeps your pipes clog-free and thus the plumber away
Reduces water bill
Reduces energy bills
Reduces the need to replace appliances often
Keeps your clothes softer
Allows you to use less soap, detergent, and shampoo

 

CAN I DRINK TAP WATER OR I NEED A WATER FILTER?

There are annual reports issued by city water suppliers reporting contaminants’ levels in the water provided.

Water usually goes through several processes and treatments to be delivered safely to people. But, sometimes, there are still too many contaminants, heavy metals, and pollutants when it reaches your home.

Also, even if the level of contamination is below what’s considered dangerous, the water may taste too much like chlorine and thus is hard to drink anyway.

You can find out if your water is contaminated using the EWG’s National Tap Water Database.

If you are not sure about your water quality you can also call your water supplier and ask them where you can check their annual report.

If you find your water to contain too many contaminants or the water in your area simply tastes terrible, you may want to use a water filter. The benefits in terms of health and illness prevention are, of course, priceless.

WHAT DOES A WATER FILTER DO?

Water filters are built to remove contaminants and pollution from water. These contaminants can include bacteria, viruses, sediments, heavy metals (lead and mercury), nitrates, chlorine, microplastics, pharmaceutical byproducts, pesticides, etc.

drinking water

Furthermore, water filters remove odors and improve the taste of water. Some filters are better than others; in fact, there are various water filters available in the market.

WHICH IS BETTER: A WATER FILTER OR A WATER SOFTENER?

Water filters and water softeners have two different purposes; they do not replace each other. It is essential to understand this.

Hard waters and their effects are resolved with a water softener, and clean water is obtained through filters.

DO I NEED A WATER FILTER OR A WATER SOFTENER OR A COMBO?

A household may only need a water filter, a water softener, or a combination of both. It all comes down to where you live and the quality of water supplied.

Here are some of the instances when you may need one or the other, or both:

If you live in an area where you have hard water but clean water simultaneously, you could only use a water softener.
If you live in an area where you have hard water and clean water, but you do not like its taste, you can use both: a water softener and a water filter.
If you do not have hard water in your area, but the water is still dirty, you can get away with just a water filter.

A water filter is always a good move due to the deterioration of the environment and increasing pollution levels worldwide.

There are reasonable solutions in terms of water filters and water softeners for daily use.

Additionally, you can buy a filter-softener combo that can resolve both problems in one go.

CONCLUSION

The Challenge of Maintaining Clean Water in Areas of Heavy Industry

It is essential to inquire into the quality of water provided to you and evaluate if you are facing the effects of hard or contaminated water.

Once you have the information regarding the water conditions in your area, you can act and get a softener/filter or a combination of the two.

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