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The Difference Between Water Softeners And Water Conditioners

We need to treat the water coming into our house, especially if it’s not been treated before, for example, water coming directly from a well. Hardness is a common issue in groundwater. Now we have several treatment methods, such as water softeners and water conditioners. These methods can deal with hardness in their own ways. Hence, it’s worth the effort to understand what these two systems are and how they differ from one another. Therefore, let’s dive into the rabbit hole and discuss the difference between water softeners and water conditioners.

Why Should You Care About Water Hardness?

Hard waters have an excess of magnesium and calcium minerals that water has picked up along the way, brushing against rocks. These minerals are the culprit behind the problem of scaling in the plumbing lines and water utensils. Furthermore, hard water is also harsh on your skin and hair. However, the list of problems doesn’t stop here because hardness hinders the formation of soap or detergent lather. This means soap and detergent will not work effectively, and to properly wash something, you need to use more detergent. Therefore, it’s better to find a way to get rid of hardness or abate the problems caused by it.

What’s A Water Softener?

A water softener works on the principle of ion exchange. A water softening setup primarily comprises two tanks: one is a brine solution, other tank consists of resin beds stacked atop of each other. These resin beds facilitate ion exchange; that is, it helps replace calcium and magnesium ions with sodium ions. Therefore, the water leaving this setup becomes rich in sodium. Whereas the magnesium and calcium ions now saturate the resin bed. Eventually, the high ion concentration on the bed renders it useless.

The brine solution comes to the rescue here; passing the brine solution through the resin beds restores sodium ions in the resin layers. The resulting solution with magnesium and calcium ions leaves the system through the drainage pipe. In this way, water softeners waste a lot of water to restore sodium ions in resin beds.

What About Water Conditioners?

Water softeners play a fair hand in softening the water, and it’s something that water conditioners can not match. Water conditioners can downscale scaling that results from hard water. Regardless of the conditioners’ limited use in treating the hardness of water, they have some other perks as well.

This name refers to a large family of units, some work on electricity, and some do not. They all can limit the scaling caused by hard water. Moreover, they can also help filter water of debris; some may assist in disinfecting the water by using chlorine. Hence, water conditioners can give you an all-around performance in making the water suitable for your use. On the other hand, water softeners only deal with the hardness; they don’t filter or disinfect the water.

We have covered the difference between water softeners and water conditioners. However, are you still in doubt about what to get for your home? Maybe Clean Liquid Systems can assist you. You can call us at 713-253-0100, for more inquiries, we are more than willing to serve you.