We all need clean water for everyday routines like cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene. Many Rochester homeowners wonder which is right for them—a water filter or a water softener? Discover the primary differences between inline water filters and whole-house water softeners, the benefits they provide and how to determine which one is best for your needs.
What Is an Inline Water Filter?
An inline water filter is a point-of-entry filtration system that treats water as it goes into your house. It’s installed on your main water line, removing sediment, chlorine, bacteria and other impurities from the municipal water supply before entering your plumbing fixtures and appliances.
Benefits of Water Filters
If your water comes from a municipal company, you may question why you might need an inline water filter. After all, the water has already been cleaned at a water treatment plant. The problem is, many local water supplies barely meet EPA standards, and water may be contaminated with pollutants between the treatment plant and your residence. Here’s how setting up a water filter can improve the water in your home:
- Healthier water: Water filters take away unsafe microorganisms, carcinogenic materials and other potentially harmful particles for safer, better-tasting drinking water.
- Reduced sediment: Water filters minimize sediment collection in your pipes, appliances and fixtures, defending them from damage.
- No plastic waste: Inline water filters diminish the need for bottled water, adding to a greener environment.
- Cost-effectiveness: Access to clean, safe tap water saves you from spending extra money on bottled water and reducesthe stress on your plumbing system.
How to Tell if You Need a Whole-House Water Filter
About one-third of American households depend on home treatment systems for safe and healthy drinking water. Here are some signs that you need a whole-house water filter:
- Discoloration, strange taste or undesirable smell: If your tap water is anything but crystal-clear, clean-tasting and odor-free, it may be contaminated. Give consideration to installing a filter for your protection.
- Constant plumbing concerns: A whole-house water filter helps decrease plugged pipes, low water pressure and other problems.
- Skin discomfort: If you notice anyone in your household suffering from redness, rashes or other skin issues connected to poor water quality, a whole-house water filter may be helpful.
- Past history: Does your local water supply have a record of contamination? Using a whole-house water filter offers peace of mind against potential problems.
What Is a Water Softener?
A water softener takes away calcium and magnesium from water. A process called ion exchange acts similar to a chemical magnet, replacing these “hard” minerals with sodium ions to “soften” the water.
Benefits of Water Softeners
If you have hard water, this is what you’ll observe once you install a water softener:
- Longer plumbing life span: Soft water decreases scale buildup on faucets, showerheads, dishwashers and washing machines, extending their life span and enhancing their appearance.
- Clog-free plumbing: Soft water doesn’t leave a hard mineral coating to adhere to your plumbing system, keeping your pipes and faucets flowing efficiently.
- Better soap lathering: Soft water ensures cleaning products lather more effectively, producing cleaner dishes, brighter laundry, and softer skin and hair, even with less soap and detergent.
- Energy savings: A water softener helps your plumbing appliances work efficiently for lower power charges.
How to Tell if You Need a Water Softener
Most water resources in North America are considered moderately hard, hard or very hard. You can learn about the quality of your local water by reading your city’s water quality report. In the meantime, here are some clues that you could use a water softener:
- Scale buildup: A white, chalky substance on your fixtures and appliances is an indication of hard water, as are the white spots on your dishes, glass shower door and coffee maker. A water softener can help eliminate this problem.
- Low water pressure: Showerheads and faucet aerators often become significantly blocked by mineral deposits within 18 months of use. Watch for this because it is another indication of hard water.
- Dry skin and hair: Hard water prevents soap from rinsing correctly, causing irritated skin and brittle hair.
- Repeated appliance repairs: If your dishwasher or water heater fails frequently due to scale buildup, a water softener may be a worthwhile investment.
Should You Use Both a Water Filter and a Water Softener?
Inline water filters and water softeners are two tools that offer valuable benefits, but they perform different operations. An inline water filter takes away contaminants and boosts overall water quality, while a water softener specifically removes hard minerals. In some circumstances, using a water filter and a water softener is required in order to make sure you have high-quality water. Assess your specific needs and water quality to determine the best solution for your household.
Schedule Water Filter and Water Softener Installation in Rochester
Strogen's Service Experts is a trusted provider of water treatment solutions in Rochester, carrying high-quality water filters and water softeners from Excalibur. Our experienced professionals can help you determine if one or both solutions are necessary to help you achieve the best water quality in your Rochester home.