Water Softeners vs. Reverse Osmosis

Hard water is not something that you should allow to go unchecked.

It can play havoc with your plumbing systems, related appliances, clothes and your crockery. No matter what way you cut it, hard water will cost you in the long run. Whether that is due to buying a new dishwasher or because you had to replace all your clothes and dishes, failing to address the issue will leave you out-of-pocket.

While the majority of homeowners agree that treating hard water is an essential part of maintenance, many are stumped when it comes to deciding whether a water softener or reverse osmosis is the best choice. However, this is not a choice that you should take lightly. Hard water is not the only risk you face from insufficiently filtered water.

Not all water sources are equal. The type of water softening approach you take should be based on the purity of the water supply entering your home. At Mason Plumbing, we always aim to educate our customers about the pros and cons of every system or service, giving you the confidence to make the home improvements that are best for your family.

Water Softeners

Water softeners exploit a chemical process that attracts minerals in the water through a process known as ion exchange. The purpose of these products and systems is to remove minerals from the water, effectively resulting in softer water. The materials used in these systems are salt-covered, which results in a release of sodium as water is treated in the system.

Most water softening systems are only designed for this purpose, which means they do not remove other harmful contaminants from your water supply. If you have any concerns that your water supply is less than safe, this may not provide sufficient filtration. You will need to install additional filtering mechanisms to ensure that the water entering your home is suitable for bathing in and drinking.

Due to the fact that water softening systems add sodium to consumable water, it is important to consider anyone in the household who has issues with sodium intake. There are no ill health effects from hard water alone, so it is best to speak to your doctor if you are planning on using a water softener and are concerned that it may significantly increase the amount of sodium you are ingesting each day.

Water softening systems can often require extensive maintenance. If you do not take care of your system, it can become problematic. Typical maintenance includes replacing softening salts and flushing minerals to ensure optimum working levels.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis is a filtering system that employs a membrane to split pure and unfiltered water. Pure water is therefore forced through the system, providing softer water that is freer of contaminants. The more efficient the reverse osmosis system, the better it will protect you and your family from contaminants.

Some of the harmful elements that may be removed using reverse osmosis include lead, sulfate, sodium and disease-causing pathogens. When you think of a reverse osmosis system, it is better to consider it in terms of water purification as opposed to simply a means of softening water.

The amount of maintenance required in reverse osmosis systems will depend on the level of filtration you require in your home and the complexity of the system. Typical maintenance requirements include periodically changing filters or replacing them as dictated by the amount of water used in your home.

Reverse osmosis systems may prove costly for many homeowners, so it important to evaluate your needs before committing to installation. A combination of reverse osmosis and other filtering options may be a suitable alternative for homes that experience high water usage with reduced risk of contaminants from bath, dishwashing or laundry water.

Professional Advice

The fact of the matter is that both water softeners and reverse osmosis provide different benefits, depending on the needs in your home. Choosing one over the other without having your energy systems and plumbing evaluated is not an informed decision. Water is one of our greatest resources and everyone deserves to have a clean and reliable source that is free from harmful pollutants.

A professional from Mason Plumbing will provide you with the answers to all the questions you have regarding the suitability of water softener or reverse osmosis systems for your particular needs. Both systems can become costly, so it is essential to weigh any potential risks against the benefits of the method of water filtration that you choose.

If you need a company that specializes in providing exceptional service in the Mesa and surrounding Phoenix areas, call Mason Plumbing for further details on how we can help you choose the appropriate water treatment system for your home. We also have extensive specialist knowledge and expertise in related areas of home maintenance.