Did you know that hard water can exacerbate acne, clog pores, and make skin conditions worse?
Hard water doesn’t stop there. It can lead to buildup in your home’s plumbing. Worse, it can shorten the lifespan of your water heater and other appliances.
Water conditioners or water softeners present two solutions. But what’s the difference between them? Before installing one, you should know what these two technologies do to clean your water supply.
In this guide, we’ll discuss what differentiates a water conditioner from a softener. We’ll discuss how installing one can benefit your home.
What Is Hard Water?
Hard water is water that contains high levels of minerals. Typically, hard water is when you have anywhere between 60 and 180 milligrams per liter.
This can make it great for drinking water. However, it becomes problematic when you need to do plumbing maintenance.
The major issue with hard water is that it leaves behind a chalky white deposit. You may see this in your faucet or drain, and on your dishes. Depending on the concentration, it may make it difficult to lather soap.
Washing your clothes in hard water may make them stiff. Soap may fail to clear off of dishes, leaving a foggy look. Soap scum may form with greater ease, making it more difficult to clean.
The hard minerals can damage your water heater or dishwasher. It can clog up your pipes. This means you may need to get cleaning or repairs later on down the line.
Is Hard Water Harmful to Human Health?
The short answer is no. You won’t suffer adverse effects from drinking hard water or showering. Minerals are natural, and your body can process them.
However, many report issues with hard water. It can be a nuisance for hair and skin. Those who have hard water tend to have more skin problems and brittle hair.
While these are not life-threatening, they cause discomfort. People with sensitive skin or hair may suffer greater consequences.
At the end of the day, this will determine whether you get a water conditioner or water softener. It’s a little investment that provides big benefits. Both play different roles and have their own benefits.
What Is a Water Conditioner?
Water conditioners use a salt-free system that removes unpleasant contents from the water. This gives you water that tastes better and is safe. Common things that a water conditioner removes are lead, organic gasses, chlorine, volatile organic compounds, and chloramines.
Each water conditioner works in a different way. Most use a filter system to clear out any of these unwanted substances. Others alter the chemical structure of everything passing through.
With the latter example, the conditioner converts the undesirable substances into seed crystals. These seed crystals then pass into the water supply. They are safe for humans and prevent the scaling common to hard water homes.
A water conditioner is effective at reducing scale for a reason. Hard water minerals attempt to bond with your house’s appliances and pipes. This is what creates that white scale that is so difficult to remove.
These seed crystals keep the mineral from bonding. It prefers to bond with the seed crystals instead, keeping your house’s pipes clear.
Water conditioners work fast, so you won’t notice a drop in water pressure.
How Do Water Conditioners Differ From Water Softeners?
The main difference is how the water feels. Since a water softener uses a different process to clean the water, it changes its properties. Soft water feels “silky.”
Soft water reduces soap scum build-up. Dishes come out clean, and clothes are soft. It prevents further damage to the pipes and appliances.
However, not everyone is a fan of soft water. For some, it may feel like you can’t wash all the soap off your body. Further, it does nothing to clean the water of chemicals or tastes.
Water softeners cannot remove scale, they can only prevent it. Water conditioners can not only prevent scale, they can remove it over time.
Water conditioners remove the unpleasant chemicals and bacteria from the water. This means cleaner water for you, making it ideal for health benefits.
However, a water conditioner won’t stop the other effects of hard water. It won’t protect your skin or hair. Your dishes and clothes will still suffer the aforementioned problems.
When Should You Get a Water Conditioner?
A water conditioner works great for two things:
- It provides clean water
- It reduces scale buildup and protects plumbing and appliances
There are a lot of potential health risks in your water. Your water treatment company can’t remove all of them. If you’re concerned with problematic substances like lead, then you might want a water conditioner.
If you’re looking to protect your skin, you should get a water softener. It will also reduce soap scum. Dishes and clothes will be easier to clean.
If your concern is with prolonging your pipes and appliances, then go with a conditioner. You may not like the feel of soft water. A conditioner protects your home without the soft water feel.
Take Care of Your Plumbing Needs
Water conditioners trap minerals in your water in seed crystals. These seed crystals prevent scale deposits, which protects your home plumbing and appliances. However, water conditioners do not have the benefits of soft water like water softeners.
Whether you choose a water conditioner or water softener depends on you. Speak with your plumber for plumbing tips. Only entrust your plumbing with the experts. Get in contact today for a free consultation.