You need clean water for day-to-day tasks like cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene. Many Tulsa homeowners wonder which is better—a water filter or a water softener? Examine the important differences between inline water filters and whole-house water softeners, the perks 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 enters your house. It’s installed directly 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 provider, you may wonder why you could use an inline water filter. After all, the water is cleaned at a water treatment plant. Unfortunately, many local water supplies barely meet EPA standards, and water may be contaminated with pollutants between the treatment plant and your residence. Here’s how installing a water filter can improve the water in your home:
- Healthier water: Water filters remove unsafe microorganisms, carcinogenic materials and other debris for safer, better-tasting drinking water.
- Reduced sediment: Water filters minimize sediment buildup in your pipes, appliances and fixtures, safeguarding them from wear and tear.
- 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 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 signals that you need 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. Give consideration to installing a filter for your protection.
- Repeated plumbing problems: A whole-house water filter helps reduce clogged pipes, low water pressure and other troubles.
- Skin irritation: 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 record of possible contamination? Getting 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 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’s what you’ll find once you set up a water softener:
- Longer plumbing life span: Soft water reduces scale buildup on faucets, showerheads, dishwashers and washing machines, extending their life span and bettering their appearance.
- Clog-free plumbing: Soft water doesn’t create 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 efficiently for lower power bills.
How to Determine if You Need a Water Softener
Most water reserves in North America are deemed moderately hard, hard or very hard. Learn more by reading your city’s water quality report. In the meantime, here are some indicators 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 film on your fixtures and appliances is evidence 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 badly 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, resulting in irritated skin and brittle hair.
- Frequent appliance repairs: If your dishwasher or water heater fails regularly 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 provide valuable benefits, but they perform different jobs. An inline water filter takes away contaminants and elevates overall water quality, while a water softener specifically addresses the problem of hard minerals. In some circumstances, utilizing a water filter and a water softener is appropriate. Consider your specific needs and water quality to determine the best solution for your household.
Schedule Water Filter and Water Softener Installation in Tulsa
Jack Nelson Service Experts is a respected provider of water treatment solutions in Tulsa, such as water filters and water softeners from Excalibur. Our skilled specialists can help you evaluate if one or both solutions are necessary to help you achieve the best water quality in your Tulsa home.