3 Ways Water Softener Filters Work

85% of tap water in the US is hard water.

Hard water creates problems for everything from household plumbing to how well your soap works. But water softener filters can help alleviate those issues.

If you’re looking for a way to soften your water, you likely came across the 3 most popular types of water softener filters: carbon, salt, and electromagnetic. Knowing which is best takes a little more research, and we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn more about each of these types of water softeners.

Why You Need Water Softener Filters

When we talk about water softening, many consumers think of improved drinking water. And while a water softener filter will improve your drinking water, it also has an impact on the water throughout your home. That includes the water you use for washing your clothes, brushing your teeth, bathing, cleaning, and cooking.

Hard water has an impact on your plumbing system and your home and hygiene. It corrodes pipes, creates sediment that sits in your water heater, and leaves spots on glass and fixtures. Hard water also reacts poorly with soap, laundry detergent, and cleaning products so that more of each is needed to do the same job. 

3 Types of Water Softener Filters & How They Work

There are many types of water filtration and softeners out there. The 3 most common types are activated carbon, salt-based, and electromagnetic. We’ll describe each in more detail below.

Activated Carbon Water Softener Filters

Activated carbon is an excellent absorber. It has a porous structure, which traps molecules of all kinds. This absorption is how activated carbon water softener filters function.

Not only does it soften water by absorbing the molecules causing hard water, but it also absorbs volatile organic compounds, chemicals, and contaminants. Activated carbon water softener filters even improve the taste and odor of your home’s water. This is why it’s one of the most effective methods for treating your water.

Salt-Based Water Softener Filters

To be a true water softener, a system must remove calcium and magnesium from water. These are the components that create hard water. In many cases, this is accomplished through a process called water ionization, wherein a resin bed exchanges hardness minerals for a sodium particle. In case you don’t wish to use these types of filters, then the water softener system salt free might work best for you.

This is exactly how salt-based water softener filters work. Using a negatively charged resin bed, they attract magnesium and calcium and remove them from your water.

However, unlike carbon water softener filters, these systems only create soft water. As in, they remove the particles that make water hard but cannot be depended upon for removing other contaminants from your water or improving taste and odor.

Electromagnetic Water Softeners

Electromagnetic water softeners, or an electronic water descaler, is a treatment for hard water that utilizes electromagnetics. Magnetic fields are installed on your main water line. These fields impact the magnesium and calcium molecules by changing their structure.

The idea here is that the magnets change the molecular shape of magnesium and calcium from sheets to spheres. That means that they cannot form limescale that impacts your pipes, appliances, or other surfaces. But, like salt-based systems, this only has an impact on water hardness and not on other contaminants, odor, or taste.

More Health and Home

Hard water impacts the majority of households in the US. But fixing this problem is as simple as investing in water softener filters. Which type you choose depends on your budget and what you’re looking to remove from your home’s water.

And for more health and home tips and advice, be sure to check out our health section regularly.

By Malik

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