Do I Really Need a Water Softener or Is an Inline Filter Sufficient?
Everyone needs clean water for daily tasks like cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene. Many Dallas homeowners consider the question of which is right for them—a water filter or a water softener? Discover the key 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 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 supplier, you may question why you could use an inline water filter. After all, the water has already been treated at a water treatment plant. However, many local water supplies barely meet EPA standards, and water may be contaminated with harmful particles between the treatment plant and your faucets. Here’s how installing a water filter can assist you:
- Healthier water: Water filters take away unhealthy microorganisms, carcinogenic materials and other potentially harmful particles for safer, better-tasting drinking water.
- Reduced sediment: Water filters reduce sediment collection in your pipes, appliances and fixtures, defending them from damage.
- 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 your hard-earned cash 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 quality drinking water. Here are some signs that you need a whole-house water filter:
- Discoloration, odd taste or nasty smell: If your tap water is anything but totally clear, clean-tasting and odor-free, it may be contaminated. Consider putting in a filter for your health and well-being.
- Repeated plumbing concerns: A whole-house water filter helps reduce blocked pipes, low water pressure and other problems.
- Skin discomfort: If you have 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 history of contamination? Installing a whole-house water filter offers peace of mind against long-term problems.
What Is a Water Softener?
A water softener takes away calcium and magnesium from your water supply. A process called ion exchange operates 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, this is what you’ll notice once you put in a water softener:
- Longer plumbing life span: Soft water decreases scale buildup on faucets, showerheads, dishwashers and washing machines, prolonging 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 keeps the water in your pipes and faucets flowing effortlessly.
- Better soap lathering: Soft water helps cleaning products lather more effectively, which results 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 properly for lower energy expenses.
How to Determine if You Need a Water Softener
Most water supplies in North America are considered moderately hard, hard or very hard. A good way to find out about the quality of water in your home is by reading your local government's water quality report. In the meantime, here are some clues that you could use a water softener:
- Scale buildup: A white, chalky film on your fixtures and appliances is a sign of hard water, as are the white spots on your dishes, glass shower door and coffee maker. A water softener can help eliminate this problem.
- Low water pressure: Showerheads and faucet aerators commonly become significantly clogged by mineral deposits within 18 months of use. Watch for this because it is a result of hard water.
- Dry skin and hair: Hard water prevents soap from rinsing completely, causing irritated skin and brittle hair.
- Repeated appliance repairs: If your dishwasher or water heater stops functioning often due to scale buildup, a water softener may be a worthwhile investment.
Do You Need Both a Water Filter and a Water Softener?
Inline water filters and water softeners are two tools that supply valuable benefits, but they perform different operations. An inline water filter takes away contaminants and improves overall water quality, while a water softener specifically addresses the problem of hard minerals. In some cases, using a water filter and a water softener is required in order to make sure you have high-quality water. Consider your specific needs and water quality to determine the best solution for your household.
Schedule Water Filter and Water Softener Installation in Dallas
Levy & Son Service Experts is a trusted provider of water treatment solutions in Dallas, carrying high-quality water filters and water softeners from Excalibur. Our team can help you evaluate if one or both solutions are necessary to help you get the best water quality in your Dallas home.