You need clean water for everyday activities like cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene. Many Hurricane homeowners ask themselves which is right for them—a water filter or a water softener? Explore the key differences between inline water filters and whole-house water softeners, the advantages 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 filters water as it comes into your residence. It’s installed on your main water line, removing sediment, chlorine, bacteria and other pollutants from the municipal water supply before it moves into your plumbing fixtures and appliances.
Benefits of Water Filters
If your water comes from a municipal company, you may ask yourself why you should get an inline water filter. After all, the water is treated at a water treatment plant. Unfortunately, many local water supplies barely meet EPA standards, and water may pick up impurities between the treatment plant and your residence. Here’s how installing a water filter can benefit you:
- Healthier water: Water filters get rid of unsafe 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, safeguarding them from damage.
- No plastic waste: Inline water filters diminish the need for bottled water, helping create a greener environment.
- Cost-effectiveness: Access to clean, safe tap water saves you from spending extra money on bottled water and minimizesthe 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 telltale indicators that you might need to get a whole-house water filter:
- Discoloration, unusual taste or undesirable smell: If your tap water is anything but totally clear, clean-tasting and odor-free, it may be contaminated. Give consideration to installing a filter for your protection.
- Repeated plumbing problems: A whole-house water filter helps alleviate clogged pipes, low water pressure and other problems.
- Skin irritation: If you have redness, rashes or other skin issues attributed to poor water quality, a whole-house water filter may be helpful.
- Past history: Does your local water supply have a background of pollution? Using a whole-house water filter can give you peace of mind against potential problems.
What Is a Water Softener?
A water softener takes away calcium and magnesium from your water supply. A process called ion exchange operates 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’s what you’ll notice once you install a water softener:
- Longer plumbing life span: Soft water minimizes scale buildup on faucets, showerheads, dishwashers and washing machines, lengthening their life span and improving their appearance.
- Clog-free plumbing: Soft water doesn’t cause a hard mineral coating to adhere to your plumbing system, which helps keep your pipes and faucets flowing effortlessly.
- Better soap lathering: Soft water is a good way to make sure 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 run properly for lower energy bills.
How to Determine if You Need a Water Softener
Most water reserves in North America are characterized as moderately hard, hard or very hard. You can learn about the quality of your local water by reading your local government's water quality report. In the meantime, here are some signs that you could use a water softener:
- Scale buildup: A white, chalky residue 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 commonly become severely 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 correctly, resulting in irritated skin and brittle hair.
- Frequent appliance repairs: If your dishwasher or water heater malfunctions frequently due to scale buildup, a water softener may be a worthwhile acquisition.
Should You Buy Both a Water Filter and a Water Softener?
Inline water filters and water softeners both offer valuable benefits, but they perform different operations. An inline water filter eliminates contaminants and improves overall water quality, while a water softener specifically targets hard minerals. Sometimes, having 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 Hurricane
Teays Valley Service Experts is a trustworthy provider of water treatment solutions in Hurricane, 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 get the best water quality in your Hurricane home.