Since most Americans have hard water (an estimated 85 percent of US homes), having a water softener is a GOOD thing. It’s actually a really good thing! Installing a water softener or conditioner is the first step to achieving quality water in your home.
A water softener or conditioner eliminates water hardness by removing minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Having softened water means that the life span of water-using appliances will be extended, utility bills (water and energy) can be reduced, less time will be spent on cleaning, dishwashing and laundry detergent usage can be reduced—and the list goes on and on.
Basically, most water softeners/conditioners can:
- Reduce hardness minerals
- Reduce chlorine
- Reduce soluble (dissolved) iron
- Reduce soluble (dissolved) manganese
To take the water in your home to the next level, installing a reverse osmosis (RO) drinking water system (in tandem with a water softener/conditioner) is highly recommended. Reverse osmosis can be installed at your kitchen sink, as well as plumbed to your refrigerator.
With a reverse osmosis filtration system, you’ll notice marked improvement in your water’s taste, odor and appearance. Here’s why:
- RO reduces chlorine (which will improve water taste and odor)
- RO reduces organic and inorganic substances (improves taste and odor)
- RO reduces total dissolved solids (TDS) (improves taste/odor)
- RO’s Ultra-fine filtration reduces extremely fine particles (eliminating turbidity or cloudy water)
A water softener and reverse osmosis are a great combination as you have soft water for your entire household, but have great drinking water, as well. Another plus is that a water conditioner will serve as a barrier for the RO unit –protecting it from clogging or fouling.
The final step to the BEST water in your household would be to add a whole-house sediment filter to your softener and reverse osmosis setup. A whole-house sediment filter is usually installed in the garage next to a water softener/conditioner. It can reduce the visible and non-visible suspended particles that make your water cloudy.
A whole-house particle filter will also prevent dirt, sand and other large particles from damaging your water softener or conditioner, not to mention your plumbing fixtures and appliances.
In summary, a sediment filter:
- Reduces suspended particles
- Removes sand and dirt
- Reduces insoluble iron and manganese
- Protects water using appliances from damage
- Protects a whole-house water conditioner/softener from fouling