Even if you realize that you need some form of water treatment for your home’s drinking water, many people are confused by the differences between a water conditioner and a water softener. By definition, a water conditioner is any system that changes water quality for the better. Water softeners are a specific type of water conditioner that reduces water hardness.
Carbon Filtration Water Conditioners
Unwanted chemicals are removed from water by the use of granular activated carbon. Those chemicals are attracted to the carbon and the process removes unwanted odors and tastes including chlorine and sulfur from water used for drinking and cooking. Carbon filtration conditioners do not soften the water, but they do condition it for consumption.
Resin-Based Water Softeners
Water softeners remove hardness causing minerals from water with the main culprits being calcium and magnesium. This is achieved through a process called ion exchange. A resin bed filters water in a salt-based water softener, and hardness minerals are exchanged for sodium particles. The minerals are trapped and flushed out of the system and the sodium particles are replenished, allowing the water to continue to soften.
This may be a bit confusing to the average homeowner who just wants water that tastes and smells good. While the water is made safe by the city, factors such as taste, odor, hardness, and chlorine levels are not addressed. This not only impacts the water you drink but also water used for cooking and cleaning. Minerals in hard water do not mix well with soap resulting in sticky residue on hair and skin. Softened water can help hydrate your skin and hair and make them healthier.
Aqua Science services more than 300,000 homes in the Phoenix area and has been helping provide better quality water for more than 30 years. For more information, give us a call at 480-454-3700.