You need clean water for day-to-day activities like cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene. Many Grand Island homeowners consider the question of which is better—a water filter or a water softener? Discover the important differences between inline water filters and whole-house water softeners, the advantages they provide and how to decide 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 home. It’s installed right on your main water line, removing sediment, chlorine, bacteria and other impurities from the municipal water supply before flowing to your plumbing fixtures and appliances.
Benefits of Water Filters
If your water comes from a municipal company, you may ask yourself why you might need an inline water filter. After all, the water is cleansed at a water treatment plant. However, many local water supplies barely meet EPA standards, and water may acquire impurities between the treatment plant and your residence. Here’s how setting up a water filter can assist you:
- Healthier water: Water filters remove unsafe microorganisms, carcinogenic materials and other impurities for safer, better-tasting drinking water.
- Reduced sediment: Water filters minimize sediment buildup in your pipes, appliances and fixtures, protecting them from harm.
- No plastic waste: Inline water filters cut back on 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 minimizesthe strain on your plumbing system.
How to Tell if You Need a Whole-House Water Filter
About one-third of American households use home treatment systems for top-quality drinking water. Here are some signs that you might need to get a whole-house water filter:
- Discoloration, odd taste or undesirable smell: If your tap water is anything but crystal-clear, clean-tasting and odor-free, it may be contaminated. Think about installing a filter for your protection.
- Frequent plumbing issues: A whole-house water filter helps decrease blocked pipes, low water pressure and other troubles.
- Skin discomfort: If you experience redness, rashes or other skin issues linked to poor water quality, a whole-house water filter may be helpful.
- Past history: Does your local water supply have a track record of pollution? Installing a whole-house water filter provides peace of mind against long-term problems.
What Is a Water Softener?
A water softener removes calcium and magnesium from your water supply. 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 discover 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 enhancing their appearance.
- Clog-free plumbing: Soft water doesn’t leave a hard mineral coating to adhere to your plumbing system, which keeps the water in your pipes and faucets flowing effortlessly.
- Better soap lathering: Soft water is a good way to make sure 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 operate efficiently for lower energy charges.
How to Determine if You Need a Water Softener
Most water resources in North America are categorized as moderately hard, hard or very hard. Learn more by reading your local government's water quality report. In the meantime, here are some signs that you could see a real difference in the quality of water in your home by installing 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.
- Low water pressure: Showerheads and faucet aerators commonly become badly obstructed 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 stops soap from rinsing thoroughly, resulting in irritated skin and brittle hair.
- Continual appliance repairs: If your dishwasher or water heater stops functioning frequently due to scale buildup, a water softener may be a worthwhile acquisition.
Do You Need Both a Water Filter and a Water Softener?
Inline water filters and water softeners each provide valuable benefits, but they perform different functions. An inline water filter removes contaminants and improves overall water quality, while a water softener specifically addresses the problem of 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 Grand Island
McElroy Service Experts is a trustworthy provider of water treatment products and solutions in Grand Island, including water filters and water softeners from Excalibur. Our team can help you decide if one or both solutions are necessary to help you enjoy the best water quality in your Grand Island home.