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Water Softener Vs. Water Filter

We often hear the terms water softener and water filter when it comes to the devices used in monitoring the water that comes into our homes. Some people think they are the same thing, but they are way off the mark with that logic. These two devices couldn't be more different in terms of operation and function.

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We have compiled a list with the differences between filters and softeners for your water. You might be considering purchasing one for your home, or just curious about what each of these products actually does. Keep reading to learn about the different ways water softeners and filters are different!

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10 Filter: Removes the Contaminants

Filters remove the contaminants that are found in our water that can cause us harm if left to build up in large amounts. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) identifies these contaminants in public water systems, but sometimes it can be beneficial to have our own filter.

Filters could be responsible for removing chlorine, bacteria, calcium and more as they are generally focused on certain contaminants based on the customers needs. If you have an issue with something in your drinking water, then this is the product for you.

9 Softener: Removes Minerals

A water softener is used to remove the minerals from the water that are prevalent in hard water. They remove calcium and magnesium ions, which can lead to hard water stains on our dishes or the buildup of scale in our pipes.

Most people recognize if they are at risk of this issue simply by smelling the water coming from their faucet. If your water smells like rotten eggs, then chances are you should look to invest in a water softener for your home.

8 Filter: Covers a Wide Range of Products

Filters are vast and can remove a number of different things from the water, leading to the creation of numerous products. These can be as simple as a pitcher of water with a filter, or something that helps regulate the contaminants in the water throughout the entire house.

They come in all shapes and sizes, which is why it is important for a customer to know exactly what they want before deciding on a specific filter. It can even be beneficial to speak with a professional or have your water tested to see which chemicals you should focus on filtering out of your water.

7 Softener: It is a Single Product

A softener can be considered a filter, but a filter cannot be called a softener. The reasoning behind this is because water softeners all perform the same task. These are usually installed as a whole house system and have a single goal in mind to reduce the hardness of someone's water.

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This minimizes the number of products made available to the public and shows why it is not the same as a filter. The broad term might shelter it under the same roof, but the descriptions are what set them apart.

6 Filter: Uses Advanced Media Beds

A water filter uses a number of advanced media beds to remove the harmful contaminants from the water. The filters could have one or more types of media put to use to take these substances out of the water.

A few of the different media types include gravity granular, slow sand filtration, and direct filtration. These all use different methods to remove different items from the contents of your water, but it also makes them highly customizable to a customer's specific needs.

5 Softener: Use Salt and Ion Exchange Resins

A softener is different from filters because they all use the same method to remove the ions that make water harder than necessary. They employ the use of resins that cause salt and ion exchanges within their products.

The process works by causing magnesium and calcium ions to attract to the resin and become replaced with sodium ions that soften the water. It does not matter what kind of water softener you buy, as it will always use this particular scientific process to remove the water hardening ions.

4 Filter: Need Little Maintenance

Water filters need minimal maintenance in order to do their job correctly. Most filters need to be replaced every six months to a year, but this also depends upon the type of filtration system you have.

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Many of us have filters in our fridges that tell us when it is time to replace the filter, but others we are held responsible for keeping track of time. You should look at your product to see the recommended maintenance times or talk to your technician if you had a household system installed.

3 Softener: Needs Continual Maintenance

Unlike its counterpart, a softener needs continual maintenance throughout the year. If you want your softener to work you have to make sure that the brine tank has salt. You have to check the salt level every month and refill it when it is less than 25% full. You should also clean out your brin tank annually which can be messy and a pain to perform.

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It is also recommended you rinse your tank with certain products in order to keep it running for years to come. These can be a hassle if you are not on top of things, and it can be made worse if you forget to put in the work to care for it.

2 Filter: Protects Your Health

The main thing to remember when thinking about water filters is that they were created to protect your health. The reason people have them installed is so that water in their homes will be safer to drink because it will remove any harmful chemicals.

If you think your tap water is making you or your family sick then you should have it tested, and consider purchasing a water filter. This product can even help your water taste better if it has high levels of certain contaminants within its watery depths.

1 Softener: Protects Your Possessions

The goal of a water softener is to protect your possessions in your home. This will remove the gross water marks left behind on your dishes and keep your showerhead from looking like you never clean.

More importantly though, it will keep your pipes free of scale that could decrease the water pressure as it enters your home. If this problem is left untouched then it can lead to more expensive purchases like the entire demolition of your home's plumbing. It might not seem like much, but it can save you money in the long run.

NEXT: 10 Signs You Should Replace Your Water Heater

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