Plumbing Tip 7: Water Filtration Vs. Water Softening

If you’ve ever considered installing a water filtration system for your Mount Washington home, you probably ran across water softening and wondered how this is different than normal filtration. The two are similar in that they improve the quality of your water, protecting both you and your home’s plumbing system. However, filtration and softening are two very different things and you may not need both of them.

Water Softening

Water softening is a process designed to minimize the impact of hard water on your home’s plumbing. Hard water occurs when certain minerals like iron and magnesium are present in high levels in your water supply. The problem occurs when those minerals settle on your fixtures and pipes, leaving behind a residue that builds over time and can block the pipes or ruin the fixtures.

Hard water isn’t generally dangerous to your health, but if it is bad enough, it can result in poor tasting water and will cost you money as it does an increasing volume of damage to the system. To fix the problem, you soften the water with a chemical treatment that keeps the minerals from settling on their way through. They simply go straight through the pipes and fixtures and no damage is done.

Water Filtration

Filtration, on the other hand, is designed to remove key contaminants from your water – things like sediment, bacteria, mold, nitrates, and arsenic – things that can actually cause harm to you and your family if not properly treated.

While water filtration is not the same as water softening, the two often go hand in hand. Not only does water softening have the potential to add unsafe levels of sodium to your water (which then needs to be removed through filtration), but usually when water is hard, there are other contaminants as well that can cause harm if left unchecked.

The only way to be truly sure of which problem you have and which solutions are best is to have a full test of your water supply done. This will help you determine which of the many water cleaning solutions on the market will be best for your Mount Washington home.

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