Everyone needs clean water for day-to-day routines like cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene. Many Fort Worth homeowners wonder which is better—a water filter or a water softener? Explore the important differences between inline water filters and whole-house water softeners, the benefits they provide and how to figure out 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 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 company, you may ask yourself why you might need an inline water filter. After all, the water has already been cleaned at a water treatment plant. The problem is, many local water supplies barely meet EPA standards, and water may pick up impurities between the treatment plant and your residence. Here’s how setting up a water filter can improve the water in your home:
- Healthier water: Water filters take away harmful microorganisms, carcinogenic materials and other potentially harmful particles for safer, better-tasting drinking water.
- Reduced sediment: Water filters reduce sediment accumulation in your pipes, appliances and fixtures, defending them from harm.
- No plastic waste: Inline water filters cut back on 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 reducesthe strain 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 top-quality drinking water. Here are some signs that you need a whole-house water filter:
- Discoloration, unusual taste or unpleasant smell: If your tap water is anything but absolutely clear, clean-tasting and odor-free, it may be contaminated. Give consideration to putting in a filter for your safety.
- Constant plumbing concerns: A whole-house water filter helps decrease plugged pipes, low water pressure and other issues.
- Skin discomfort: If you notice anyone in your household suffering from redness, rashes or other skin issues attributed 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? Using a whole-house water filter can give you peace of mind against potential problems.
What Is a Water Softener?
A water softener removes calcium and magnesium from water. A process called ion exchange works similar to 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 observe once you put in a water softener:
- Longer plumbing life span: Soft water minimizes scale buildup on faucets, showerheads, dishwashers and washing machines, lengthening their life span and improving their appearance.
- Clog-free plumbing: Soft water doesn’t leave a hard mineral coating to adhere to your plumbing system, keeping your pipes and faucets flowing efficiently.
- 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 run effectively for lower power charges.
How to Know 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 indicators that you could use a water softener:
- Scale buildup: A white, chalky film 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 frequently become badly obstructed 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 thoroughly, resulting in irritated skin and brittle hair.
- Frequent appliance repairs: If your dishwasher or water heater stops working often due to scale buildup, a water softener may be a worthwhile purchase.
Should You Use Both a Water Filter and a Water Softener?
Inline water filters and water softeners are two tools that offer valuable benefits, but they perform different jobs. An inline water filter removes contaminants and improves overall water quality, while a water softener specifically targets hard minerals. In some instances, using a water filter and a water softener is necessary. Consider your specific needs and water quality to determine the best solution for your household.
Schedule Water Filter and Water Softener Installation in Fort Worth
Calverley Service Experts is a trustworthy provider of water treatment products and solutions in Fort Worth, including water filters and water softeners from Excalibur. Our team can help you evaluate if one or both solutions are necessary to help you enjoy the best water quality in your Fort Worth home.