We all need clean water for daily activities like cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene. Many Edmonton homeowners wonder which is better—a water filter or a water softener? Examine the primary differences between inline water filters and whole-house water softeners, the advantages they provide and how to figure out 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 filters water as it goes into your residence. It’s installed directly on your main water line, removing sediment, chlorine, bacteria and other contaminants 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 wonder why you might need an inline water filter. After all, the water is already treated at a water treatment plant. The problem is, many local water supplies barely meet EPA standards, and water may be contaminated with harmful particles between the treatment plant and your residence. Here’s how installing a water filter can assist you:
- Healthier water: Water filters remove unhealthy microorganisms, carcinogenic materials and other potentially harmful particles for safer, better-tasting drinking water.
- Reduced sediment: Water filters reduce sediment collection in your pipes, appliances and fixtures, protecting them from harm.
- No plastic waste: Inline water filters reduce the need for bottled water, adding to a greener environment.
- Cost-effectiveness: Access to clean, safe tap water saves you from spending extra cash on bottled water and decreasesthe 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 quality drinking water. Here are some telltale indicators that you might need to get a whole-house water filter:
- Discoloration, strange taste or nasty smell: If your tap water is anything but totally clear, clean-tasting and odor-free, it may be contaminated. Consider adding a filter for your health and well-being.
- Repeated plumbing issues: A whole-house water filter helps alleviate blocked pipes, low water pressure and other problems.
- Skin discomfort: If you experience redness, rashes or other skin issues attributed to poor water quality, a whole-house water filter may be beneficial.
- Past history: Does your local water supply have a background of possible contamination? Installing a whole-house water filter provides peace of mind against potential problems.
What Is a Water Softener?
A water softener eliminates calcium and magnesium from water. A process called ion exchange acts somewhat like a chemical magnet, replacing these “hard” minerals with sodium ions to “soften” the water.
Benefits of Water Softeners
If you have hard water, here is what you’ll observe once you set up a water softener:
- Longer plumbing life span: Soft water reduces scale buildup on faucets, showerheads, dishwashers and washing machines, lengthening their life span and improving 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 easily.
- Better soap lathering: Soft water is a good way to make sure cleaning products lather more effectively, which results in cleaner dishes, brighter laundry, and softer skin and hair, even if you use a smaller amount of soap and detergent.
- Energy savings: A water softener helps your plumbing appliances operate effectively for lower electricity charges.
How to Determine if You Need a Water Softener
Most water reserves in North America are characterized as moderately hard, hard or very hard. A good way to find out about the quality of water in your home is by reading your local municipality's water quality report. In the meantime, here are some signs that you could benefit from a water softener:
- Scale buildup: A white, chalky film on your fixtures and appliances is a sign of hard water, as are the white spots on your dishes, glass shower door and coffee maker. A water softener can help.
- Low water pressure: Showerheads and faucet aerators frequently become significantly clogged by mineral deposits within 18 months of use. Watch for this because it is a sign of hard water.
- Dry skin and hair: Hard water hinders soap from rinsing properly, causing irritated skin and brittle hair.
- Repeated appliance repairs: If your dishwasher or water heater fails often due to scale buildup, a water softener may be a worthwhile investment.
Should You Buy Both a Water Filter and a Water Softener?
Inline water filters and water softeners are two tools that supply valuable benefits, but they perform different operations. An inline water filter eliminates contaminants and boosts overall water quality, while a water softener specifically addresses the problem of hard minerals. Sometimes, utilizing a water filter and a water softener is appropriate. Assess your specific needs and water quality to determine the best solution for your household.
Schedule Water Filter and Water Softener Installation in Edmonton
Rob's Albertan Service Experts is a trustworthy provider of water treatment products and solutions in Edmonton, carrying high-quality water filters and water softeners from Excalibur. Our team can help you determine if one or both solutions are necessary to help you enjoy the best water quality in your Edmonton home.