Water Conditioner Vs. Water Softener

Water Conditioner VS. Water Softener

Hard water in homes can create lots of noticeable problems around your water features. One of the biggest indicators is that you have signs of water scale around faucets, drains, and showerheads. Another downside to hard water is that it makes showers feel different, especially because your soap might not be able to form as good of a lather.

People who encounter those problems normally find themselves deciding between water conditioners versus water softeners. Both of those terms describe products that can help resolve the hard water problem in your home, but sometimes it’s hard to know which one you should choose. Explore the differences between water softeners and water conditioners to determine which one will be best for your needs.

What is a Water Conditioner

A water conditioner is a more general type of product and can be anything that’s designed to improve water quality in any way. For example, water conditioners may also remove chlorine to enhance the taste of water. There are three common types of water conditioners:

Carbon Filtration

This type of conditioner uses activated carbon to absorb unwanted chemicals and unwanted compounds from water. Carbon filtration can remove odor and taste caused by chlorine or sulfur, which makes the water better for drinking, cooking, or bathing. Carbon filtration waters only affect the smell and taste and do not soften the water.

Magnetic Water Conditioners

Electric and magnetic water conditioners are intended to disrupt salt and scale buildups by agitating the molecules with electrical force. The theory is that electrical energy can prevent calcium and magnesium from sticking to your pipes and water fixtures. This option is inexpensive, but the scientific community isn’t completely convinced that this is really a good way to avoid soap scum.

Catalytic Media Conditioners

This option may also be referred to as a salt-free water softener. Unlike their salt-based counterparts, these conditioners don’t rely on chemical ion exchange to remove minerals. Instead, they use a physical approach called template-assisted crystallization. In other words, they turn minerals into hard crystals that cannot stick to surfaces and cause a buildup of soap scum. While they’re useful for their intended purpose, these conditioners don’t technically soften the water by removing magnesium and calcium, they just condition those ions into a less harmful form.

What is a Water Softener

Water softeners are specific types of water conditioners that are intended to remove calcium and magnesium ion’s from a home’s water. Those ions can create buildup on appliances and dishes and may make people require more soap when bathing or washing their hands. Salt-based water softeners remove hard minerals from the water and exchanges them with sodium particles.

They do this by filtering water through a bed of resin. Eventually, the resin bed will become saturated with minerals, and the system will need to be cleaned with a series of flushes that will get minerals out. This regeneration process keeps the water softener functioning with maximum efficiency.

Benefits of Water Conditioner Vs. Water Softener

Water conditioners are great for improving the taste and smell of water, and can even eliminate some of the negative effects of hard water. Since some water conditioners leave traces of the minerals in the water, people are still likely to notice problems with lathering and the feel of their water. Water softeners are more expensive, but they do a more thorough job at removing minerals from water.

Choosing a Water Softener Vs. Water Conditioner

Contact Aqua Science to explore all your options! We’ve been in business since 1985, and have the experience to help you find exactly what you need.

Give us a call today for a free estimate! (480) 454-3700



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