There are a few different types of water treatment that may be valuable for your home or building, each with its own set of qualities and possible benefits. Two of the most common and well-known here are water filters and water softeners – these are not the same things, and knowing the basic differences between them can be helpful if you’re unsure which you need.

At City Creek Plumbing, we’re happy to offer both water filters and water softener products to clients throughout Layton and nearby areas, plus explanations on what these products are and how they may benefit your home. This two-part blog series will begin by going over the basics on each of these and the types you may find, while part two will look at some more specifics and dig into which might be best for your needs.

water filter vs softener

Water Filter Basics and Types

As their name suggests, water filters are designed to filter out unwanted materials from your water. These usually include sediment particles, bacteria, parasites and other microscopic life forms, chlorine-related taste and odor issues, as well as some types of heavy metals like lead. Different filters will vary in their effectiveness for each type of material – for example, a carbon filter may be more effective at removing chlorine than a sediment filter, while the reverse is true when it comes to larger particles.

There are a few different types of water filter you may consider for your home:

  • Drinking water filtration: For some homes, it can be helpful to have a dedicated drinking water filter. These are usually installed at the point-of-use, such as under your sink or in one of your faucets, and will help ensure clean, safe drinking water for you and your family without needing to buy bottled water.
  • Whole house filtration: Whole house filters will work to remove particles and sediment from the water coming into your home, ensuring cleaner water everywhere – this can help reduce buildup and other problems like clogged pipes.

Water Softener Basics

Water softeners, on the other hand, are not designed to filter water of any kind. Instead, they are used to reduce hard minerals in the water supply, thus making it “softer” and less damaging to fixtures and appliances. These systems use an ion exchange process where magnesium and calcium ions are exchanged for sodium ions – this is why you may hear that softened water has a higher concentration of sodium than untreated water.

Water softeners are often installed in the same way as whole house filters, and may have similar types of benefits – like reducing plumbing issues due to buildup or scale deposits. There are two main types:

  • Salt-based water softeners: These use salt to help dissolve hard minerals so they can be flushed out of the system.
  • Salt-free water softeners: These systems don’t use salt, instead relying on a catalytic media that changes hard minerals into crystal forms that won’t stick to pipes or fixtures.

In part two of our series, we’ll go over your potential needs for water treatment in your home, plus whether a waste

r filter or water softener (or perhaps both) will be ideal. For more on this, or to learn about any of our plumbing services for Layton clients, speak to our team at City Creek Plumbing today.