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 the U.S. homeowners consider the question of which is best—a water filter or a water softener? Explore the primary 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 filters water as it goes into your house. It’s installed on your main water line, removing sediment, chlorine, bacteria and other pollutants from the municipal water supply before entering your plumbing fixtures and appliances.

Benefits of Water Filters

If your water comes from a municipal provider, you may question why you might need an inline water filter. After all, the water is already treated at a water treatment plant. However, many local water supplies barely meet EPA standards, and water may acquire harmful particles between the treatment plant and your residence. Here’s how setting up a water filter can assist you:

  • Healthier water: Water filters remove harmful microorganisms, carcinogenic materials and other potentially harmful particles for safer, better-tasting drinking water.
  • Reduced sediment: Water filters decrease sediment accumulation in your pipes, appliances and fixtures, shielding 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 reduces the 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 quality drinking water. Here are some telltale indicators that you might need to get a whole-house water filter:

  • Discoloration, unusual taste or nasty smell: If your tap water is anything but totally clear, clean-tasting and odor-free, it may be contaminated. Consider adding a filter for your health and well-being.
  • Repeated plumbing issues: A whole-house water filter helps decrease clogged pipes, low water pressure and other problems.
  • Skin irritation: If you notice anyone in your household is suffering from redness, rashes or other skin issues connected to poor water quality, a whole-house water filter may be useful.
  • Past history: Does your local water supply have a record of pollution? Getting a whole-house water filter provides peace of mind against long-term problems.

What Is a Water Softener?

A water softener takes away calcium and magnesium from the water entering your home. A process called ion exchange works sort of 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 is what you’ll observe once you set up a water softener:

  • Longer plumbing life span: Soft water reduces 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, resulting in cleaner dishes, brighter laundry, and softer skin and hair, even if you use a smaller amount of soap and detergent.
  • Energy savings: A water softener helps your plumbing appliances operate properly for lower energy bills.

How to Tell if You Need a Water Softener

Most water supplies in North America are characterized as moderately hard, hard or very hard. You can learn about the quality of your local water by reading your city’s water quality report. In the meantime, here are some signs 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 substance 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 you get rid of this unsightly issue.
  • Low water pressure: Showerheads and faucet aerators commonly become significantly blocked 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 prevents soap from rinsing properly, contributing to irritated skin and brittle hair.
  • Repeated appliance repairs: If your dishwasher or water heater fails frequently 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 supply valuable benefits, but they perform different operations. An inline water filter removes contaminants and elevates overall water quality, while a water softener specifically targets hard minerals. Sometimes, using a water filter and a water softener is necessary. Evaluate your specific needs and water quality to determine the best solution for your household.

Schedule Water Filter and Water Softener Installation in the U.S.

Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is a trusted provider of water treatment products and solutions in the U.S., such as water filters and water softeners from Excalibur. Our experienced professionals can help you decide if one or both solutions are necessary to help you get the best water quality in your the U.S. home.

Savings For You

See All Offers Here >
Offer

$50 OFF ANY REPAIR

  • Save $50 on a Paid Service
  • Written 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Plus, ask how to save an additional 15% and waive your trip charge!
print
Offer

FREE FAULT LOCATE FEE WITH ANY PAID REPAIR

  • Valid 24/7/365 weekends and holidays
  • Written 100% Expert Service Guarantee
print

© 2024 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.

Chat with a Service Experts Professional