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Comparison of Water Softening vs. Water Filtration Systems


Many Houston homeowners are unhappy with the state of their water, and are considering purchasing a water filtration or softening system. What may be more terrifying than selecting a system may be the thought of how it will be installed. A local Houston residential plumber is the answer to this dilemma.

When you hire a Houston plumber to install your new water system, you can be assured that you have knowledgeable and experienced professionals who can do the job right. You do not have to take on the role of the amateur plumber in this situation. A Houston plumbing company will be glad to do this work for you.

The Difference between a Filtration System and a Softener

Before you can decide which system is right for your home; you will need to know what each one does. A water filter is an apparatus that removes contaminants from your water. One example is the reverse osmosis drinking water system that focuses only on your drinking water. Another example is a system that treats the water in your entire house. A water softening system can also treat water for your entire house, but its job is to remove minerals that make your water “hard.”

Water filtration systems give you many more options than water softening systems. For example, if the water in your area contains an inordinate amount of carbon, iron, sulfur, sediment or fluoride, you can purchase a water filtration system that will address each one of these issues separately. Each type of system does a distinct job, so they are purifying your water in different ways.

How the Water Filtration System Works

Water filtration systems have advanced media beds that use oxidation, catalytic conversion, micron filtration, ion exchange or absorption to take contaminants out of the water. With so many different kinds of media, water filtration systems can be made to remove several types of pollutants, including heavy metals and a variety of different chemicals.

After each matrix within these systems trap unwanted elements, the system eliminates them through media replacements, cartridge replacements or backwashing cleaning cycles. To sterilize the water, UV lamps besiege harmful microbial DNA with ultraviolet light that kills cysts, viruses and bacteria. Impurities can also be discharged with sieve, screen, or membrane filtration systems, and they can work under many different micron ratings.

How the Water Softening System Works

Water softening systems soften your water by removing magnesium and calcium with ion exchange resins and salt. Specifically, these systems use resin beads that have been coated with a sodium solution. As hard water comes in contact with the beads, magnesium and calcium ions move away from the sodium solution toward the resin. Then, sodium ions move into the sodium solution and take the place of the minerals.

Water-softening systems that do not use salt or other chemicals do exist. The media in these systems are ceramic, and they can attract magnesium and calcium as effectively as salt softeners. However, they do so without using electricity, backwashing or regeneration. These systems are also environmentally friendly because they do not contain salt, do not require electricity or rinse water and can be maintained without as many difficulties.

What to Consider Before Choosing

The job of the water softener is to purify your water so that hard water scale does not accumulate. If you have a problem with iron staining, bacterial contamination, or chlorination, a water filtration system that treats those specific issues in the whole house will suit your needs better.

You also have the option of not choosing between a softener and a filtration system. You can have both installed, and many people have done exactly that. These total solution systems qualify as a home improvement investment, but they will also improve your health and help maintain the efficiency of your plumbing system for several years.

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