Water Softeners vs. Water Conditioners – What’s the Difference?

water softeners

Some consumers may mistakenly use the terms water softener and water conditioner interchangeably. While there may be some similarities between the two, they have different functions and applications. In the Fountain Hills area of the Valley of the Sun, water conditioning is important, but a water softener may be a better choice for you. 

First, let’s look at some short answers as to the differences.

1. A water softener will remove hardness particles from your water supply while a water conditioner only changes the chemical makeup of the hardness for a specific length of time.

2. Both a softener or a conditioner will reduce scale build up from plumbing pipes and appliances, but a softener may actually eliminate it.

3. A water softener can reduce the problem of dry skin, but a water conditioner will not help with this issue.

4. Water softeners will likely reduce the amount of soap and detergents needed, decreasing the overall costs associated with bathing and laundry. Conditioning water has no effect on the amounts of soap or detergent needed for these tasks.

5. Water conditioners can remove chemicals such as chlorine, herbicides and pesticides from drinking water. Water softeners cannot do this, but if a water softener is combined with a water filtration system, water will be purer as well as less hard.

So, what’s the conclusion? For the Fountain Hills area, do homeowners need help with their water? For many in the Valley of the Sun, hard water due to high levels of calcium and/or magnesium is a big problem. Hard water is bad for pipes and appliances, like water heaters and dishwashers. 

There are both pros and cons to either a water softener or a water conditioner. However, a water softener may be a better choice because it can actually remove the hardness particles from the water and is therefore much more effective at protecting your appliances from hard water’s effects. As stated above, combining a water softener with a filtration system may be the solution you need for softer, healthier water. 

Find out today if hard water is a problem in your home. Call Shadrach Plumbing & Cooling for an appointment with one of our knowledgeable and skilled plumbers.