If you are shopping around for the right water treatment system for your home, you are probably considering the relative benefits of water softeners and water conditioners. When you consider which of the two to buy, it is important to remember that they each treat water differently than the other, remove different contaminants, and yield different results.

Water softeners

In most towns and cities, the water that is supplied to homes is quite hard. This simply means that it has a high content of minerals as a result of the sanitation processes it goes through and the chemicals it picks up as it travels through the pipes. Water softeners are intended to remove these chemicals and increase the purity of the water. Most water softeners work through an ion exchange process. 

Water conditioners

Whereas water softeners mostly work by applying salt to hard water to trigger the ion exchange process, water conditioners are salt-free. They are mostly intended to remove substances that affect the taste of your drinking water, such as chlorine, chloramines, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and organic gasses. Water conditioners vary quite widely in design and application, but they generally rely on some form of filtration, such as template-assisted crystallization (TAC) media.

Which one should you choose?

Take a look at the unique features of each system and assess which one is most in line with your objectives regarding your water supply.

Water softeners: 

  • Remove hard minerals from water
  • Infuse water with minimal amounts of sodium
  • Require electricity and drainage lines
  • Require the periodic addition of salt

Water conditioners:

  • Remove a wide variety of chemicals so as to improve the taste of drinking water
  • Require no drain lines and are energy efficient
  • Do not use salt
  • Alter hard minerals, so they don’t attach the inside of pipes and faucets and cause scaling.

As you make your choice, remember that some cities and regions have laws limiting the use of water softeners. These limits are called brine restrictions, and they are intended to cap the amount of saltwater flushed into the drain lines. The reason for this is that excessive salt in wastewater affects the ways in which that water can be reused, as most water treatment facilities do not manage the salt content at all. Check the restrictions in your area before you decide on a water softening system.

Both systems have their merits. Water softeners remove hard minerals, while water conditioners take care of potentially harmful chemicals and make your water taste better. Another factor to consider is the average composition of the water supplied to your home. If it is particularly hard, but has only small amounts of chlorine, VOCs, etc., then a water softener would be an obvious option. If chlorine and other substances are a serious concern in water that is otherwise relatively soft, then water conditioners are a better choice. Ask your local authorities for advice, or speak to one of the experts at Aqua Soft Water Systems.

About Aqua Soft  

Aqua Soft Water Systems Inc. Authorized independent Kinetico Dealer for Palm Beach and Broward County. Our dedicated sales staff is here for all of your water needs to find the right water treatment options for your water problems and within your budget. If you need more information about the merits of filtered water vs. purified water, or advice on which system will suit the needs of your household. We are happy to explain all the benefits of softened water and to recommend the best water softeners and water conditioners for your home.