What Is The Difference Between A Water Conditioner And A Water Softener?

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If you live in a rural area, then you may have minerals in the water that make normal home functions difficult. If you live in the city, then the water from your tap may taste like it comes from a swimming pool. In either case, you have to take matters into your own hands to improve the quality of the water coming into your home. In some cases, a water conditioner is the way to go, and in others, you will need a water softener. 

Water Conditioner Recommendations

A water conditioner removes chlorine to improve the taste of water. If you live in the city, your water is most likely free of hard minerals thanks to the city's efforts to preserve a clean drinking supply to its citizens. On the other hand, the chlorine that municipalities use to kill germs, bacteria, and algae in the water can leave the water tasting like chlorine. If you live in a municipality, then you really don't need anything more than a water conditioner to improve the taste of the water in your home.

Water Softener Recommendations

A water softener uses salts to remove magnesium, calcium, and other minerals from the water. How would such minerals get into a water supply? As water moves through deposits of limestone and other rocks in the ground, it picks up minerals from the formations it moves through. These minerals can interfere with the function of soaps and detergents, insulate water in water heaters so that ti doesn't heat up like it should, and coat water fixtures with a thick layer of chalky film. Thus, if you live in a rural area and get your water from a well, a water softener is a good way to make sure that your water supply is soft—in other words, free up hard minerals. You may also want to use a water conditioner, however, to improve the taste of your water. 

Knowing the threats that could compromise your water supply will help you to choose the best options for making sure your water supply is as safe as possible. While there may be some situations where you have hard minerals in a municipal water supply, you will want to have your water tested before you have a water softener installed in an urban home, but you can buy a water conditioner if the taste of the water is not to your liking. Similarly, you should have the water supply in a rural setting tested for the presence of hard minerals before installing a softener, and wait to install a filter until you have had a chance to taste the water.