You need clean water for everyday tasks like cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene. Many Oklahoma City homeowners consider the question of which is better—a water filter or a water softener? Examine 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 goes into your home. It’s installed directly on your main water line, removing sediment, chlorine, bacteria and other contaminants from the municipal water supply before flowing to your plumbing fixtures and appliances.
Benefits of Water Filters
If your water comes from a municipal supplier, you may question why you should get an inline water filter. After all, the water is treated at a water treatment plant. However, many local water supplies barely meet EPA standards, and water may be contaminated with impurities between the treatment plant and your faucets. Here’s how using a water filter can assist you:
- Healthier water: Water filters take away unhealthy microorganisms, carcinogenic materials and other potentially harmful particles for safer, better-tasting drinking water.
- Reduced sediment: Water filters decrease sediment accumulation in your pipes, appliances and fixtures, defending them from harm.
- No plastic waste: Inline water filters diminish the need for bottled water, contributing to a greener environment.
- Cost-effectiveness: Access to clean, safe tap water saves you from spending extra your hard-earned cash 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 rely on home treatment systems for top-quality drinking water. Here are some signs that you should use a whole-house water filter:
- Discoloration, unusual taste or unpleasant 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.
- Constant plumbing concerns: A whole-house water filter helps decrease blocked pipes, low water pressure and other problems.
- Skin irritation: If you notice anyone in your household suffering from redness, rashes or other skin issues linked to poor water quality, a whole-house water filter may be useful.
- Past history: Does your local water supply have a track record of possible contamination? Installing a whole-house water filter can give you peace of mind against future problems.
What Is a Water Softener?
A water softener removes calcium and magnesium from water. A process called ion exchange works 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 notice once you set up a water softener:
- Longer plumbing life span: Soft water minimizes scale buildup on faucets, showerheads, dishwashers and washing machines, prolonging their life span and enhancing 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 smoothly.
- Better soap lathering: Soft water ensures cleaning products lather more effectively, resulting in 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 properly for lower electricity expenses.
How to Know if You Need a Water Softener
Most water supplies in North America are characterized as moderately hard, hard or very hard. Learn more by reading your local government's water quality report. In the meantime, here are some indicators that you could use a water softener:
- Scale buildup: A white, chalky substance 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 commonly become badly blocked 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 completely, resulting in irritated skin and brittle hair.
- Repeated appliance repairs: If your dishwasher or water heater malfunctions 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 each offer valuable benefits, but they perform different operations. An inline water filter eliminates contaminants and boosts overall water quality, while a water softener specifically removes hard minerals. In some instances, having a water filter and a water softener is necessary. Evaluate your specific needs and water quality to determine the best solution for your household.
Schedule Water Filter and Water Softener Installation in Oklahoma City
Gordon's Service Experts is a trustworthy provider of water treatment products and solutions in Oklahoma City, such as water filters and water softeners from Excalibur. Our experienced professionals can help you decide if one or both solutions are necessary to help you enjoy the best water quality in your Oklahoma City home.