One of the things that can end up slipping from a homeowner’s mind is the quality of your water at home. After all, the most important thing is having running water. But depending on the water source available to your area, it might be a good idea to consider adding a water filter or a water softener into your water system. This is to ensure that your water is safe not only for you but also for the longevity of your plumbing system. But what is the difference between these two, and when taking into account your location and needs, do you need only one or both?
House Water Filters
Depending on where you live, your water can differ in taste and quality. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however. But when your water gives off a strange odour or a strong, off-taste, it may be a good idea to get your water supply tested for contaminants, as these unwanted additions are not only unpleasant, they can also be unsafe for human contact and consumption.
This is where house water filters come into play. As the name implies, these filter out things like microorganisms, heavy metals, and chlorine, to name a few, which can not only change the taste of your water but can also make water unhealthy for your family as a whole. By the usage of media beds, pollutants from your water are removed through several processes, such as oxidation, micro-filtration, adsorption, and ion exchange. This can be highly necessary, especially if you suspect that your water supply may be contaminated. As such, it may be best to call your local plumber and have them look through your system to test your water to see if you need a water filter.
First, it is important to note what hard water is. Hard water is basically water that has a higher concentration of calcium and magnesium salts. Across Western Australia, calcium and magnesium in water is quite common, and depending on which suburb you are in, these hardness levels may be greater depending on whether or not much of the water supply is not only from desal plants but also from groundwater, which is rich in these minerals. But don’t worry, having hard water does not mean your water is unsafe, for either hygiene uses and drinking! In all actuality, its high mineral content is beneficial for the human body, although some people with sensitive skin may report that their skin has an adverse reaction if your water is hard, as in some people it can cause dry, flaky skin and brittle hair if the degree of hardness is high enough.
Aside from this, while it is alright for human consumption, it is important to note that hard water can end up being destructive towards your plumbing system and water appliances. This is because a greater concentration of these minerals can and does cause limescale build-up, which in turn will slowly but surely degrade the longevity of your systems if left unchecked, and can result in high expenses down the line for your home. Even without having your water officially tested, it can be easy to see if your water is hard – while you can’t see into your plumbing system, of course, keep an eye on your shower fixtures: shower screens or glasses, taps, your metal drains. If there seems to be scale build-up despite regular cleaning of these areas, you may have high levels of hardness in your water.
In this regard, the purpose of having a water softener is to prevent limescale build-up in the plumbing system, and your water appliances, which is caused by having a higher concentration of these hard minerals. Water softeners do this by means of salt and ion-exchange resins that extract the hard minerals in your water, exchanging it for sodium in salt-based softeners. This is why if you are considering getting a water softener for your home, it is important to consult with your plumber to check your water’s hardness levels in order to make an informed decision.
Do You Need a Water Softener If You Have a House Water Filter?
To recap, water filters take out the contaminants in your water supply to ensure that you have potable, safe for human use water, whether it be for drinking, cooking, or for hygiene purposes. Filters do not affect the hardness levels of your water, as hard water is still safe for consumption, albeit with higher levels of calcium and magnesium salts.
However, if you are struggling with limescale build-up in your plumbing and water appliances, as well as sensitive skin and brittle hair after showering, it might be a worthwhile endeavour to look into water softeners to dial down your water’s hardness and maintain the integrity of your plumbing system.
But what if you not only want to ensure your water’s potability but also remove the high concentration of hardness in your water, too? After all, keeping vigilant of what your family consumes will protect their health, but keeping vigilant of the potentially destructive components of your water can also protect your home in the long run. If this is something that you are considering, you may need a water softener with your water filter.
This can be beneficial as with a water softener, hard water ions are removed from your supply, and replaced with sodium ions – which will, in turn, be filtered out along with any other possible contaminants by a water filter, ensuring potable, great-tasting water that is safe for the family to use, as well as prolonging the lifespan and efficiency of your plumbing, dishwashers, laundry appliances, water heaters and saving you money on maintenance and repair costs that would have been given with untreated water supplies.
Consult with your local plumber in Perth’s northern suburbs today to find out more about water filters, water softeners, and which will fit your needs. Alkimos Plumbing and Gas is proud to service all areas north of the river – not just Alkimos. Our friendly team is based all over the north and is ready to tend to your water filter or softener needs. Give us a call today and find out why we’ve received over 50+ glowing 5-star reviews on Google.