Water Filter or Water Softener – What Does Your Home Need?

Water Filter vs. Water Softener – What’s the Difference?

Using tap water for drinking and cooking is common in many cities across the US, including many cities in California. But not having the luxury of clean tap water doesn’t have to translate into a high drinking water bill every month. Water filtration and softening are the two most popular methods to clean tap water and expand its usage. 

While their result is similar in that both methods are used to clean water, their process and purpose differ greatly. If you want to know which method is suitable for your home, let’s first understand what water filter and water softener methods involve:

Water Filter

A water filter removes chemicals and pollutants from water, such as chlorine, herbicides, pesticides, and bacteria. The chemicals and pollutants can be naturally present in the water, such as bacteria, absorbed in the water due to pollution of water bodies, such as pesticides, or a result of water treatment plants, such as chlorine.

There are three kinds of water filters commonly installed in homes. These include:

  • UV Filter – It utilizes ultraviolet light to remove germs, i.e., bacteria and viruses, from the water
  • Carbon Filter – It uses an activated carbon filter to cleanse the water passing through it of chemicals and minerals
  • Reverse Osmosis – It filters the water through a fine membrane to result in the cleanest and purest water

Water Softener

Tap water often contains high amounts of minerals. While mineral tap water is generally suitable for drinking and cooking, it can contain lead and chlorine by-products. Moreover, high levels of magnesium, calcium, and potassium in mineral water damage the water and sewage pipes and require large amounts of soap and cleaning products for bathing and washing.

A water softener is a water treatment that uses ion exchange to convert harmful chemicals into less harmful ones, often salt. Water softener also effectively removes dirt and debris that can be produced in the water due to mineral crystallization.

Water Filter vs. Water Softener – Which One Do You Need?

Water filter vs. water softener isn’t the correct question. You must analyze if you need a water filter, water softener, or a combination of water filter and softener. Use the guide below to take the right decision:

Your home needs a water filter if:

  • Tap water is discolored
  • Tap water tastes funky
  • You and other household members often suffer from gut health issues
  • Clothes appear discolored after washing

Your home needs a water softener if:

  • Soaps, detergents, and cleaning products don’t produce much lather
  • Clothes appear dull after washing
  • Dishes and fixtures have white residue on them
  • Your hair or skin feels dirty after a shower

Your home needs a combination of a water filter and water softener if you suffer from issues in both the lists above.

Contact Bay Water Plumbing for the Right Solution

Once you have decided what your home needs, or even if you cannot decide what your home needs, contact Bay Water Plumbing.

At Bay Water Plumbing, our expert plumbers and technicians can figure out your home water purification needs so you can enjoy the cleanest and healthiest water. Click here or call 510-930-3312 for a FREE estimate.