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Water Conditioner vs. Softener: The Differences Explained

You’ve heard the term soap scum, but do you know what it means? Soap scum comes about when soap molecules react with calcium ions when dissolved in hard water.

The soap becomes ineffective and people use it more and more to get things clean.

image - Water Conditioner vs. Softener The Differences Explained
Water Conditioner vs. Softener The Differences Explained

If you’re trying to get the most of your soaps and detergents, you might want to look into improving the water in your home with a water softener and conditioner system.

What is the difference between a water conditioner and a softener?

Water treatment systems come in many forms and types. Keep reading to learn all you need to know about water conditioner vs. softener here.

Water Softener

While both a water softener and a water conditioner address hard water issues, a water softener is a water filtration system that removes minerals from water through ion exchange.

Minerals are ionic, meaning they are electrically charged.

The hard minerals, calcium, and magnesium, found in the water get replaced with sodium and potassium because of the negatively charged beads in the resin bed of the water softener.

A water softener gives you mineral-free soft water that is better and healthier to drink and water that won’t leave scale on your pipes and kitchen and bathroom fixtures.

Pros and Cons

  • Water softeners do not filter water. They remove the hardness of the water.
  • Maintenance includes adding bags of salt to recharge the beads.
  • Less wear and tear on your plumbing.

Water Conditioner

A water conditioner is more or less a water filter that improves the quality of your home’s water. It doesn’t remove the minerals that make water hard.

It instead changes the composition of the water flowing into your home.

The new and improved water stops crystal build-up and scaling from ruining your pipes and fixtures.


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Types of Water Conditioners

There are a few different types of water conditioners. One works with a carbon filtration system that absorbs the chemicals that are dissolved in your water like chlorine and sulfur.

The carbon filter removes foul tastes and odors as well.

Another dubbed the salt-free water softener, is the catalytic media conditioner.

It changes the hardness of the mineral crystals in water to prevent adhesion to pipes and fixtures but doesn’t reduce the hardness of the water itself.

Pros and Cons

  • Prevent build-up without using salt.
  • Lower maintenance and less expensive.
  • No salt is added to the water.
  • Deactivates biological contaminants.

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Water Conditioner vs. Softener: Which One Meets Your Needs?

Now that you are armed with the information you need about water conditioner vs. softener, you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

A reputable water treatment company can help you decide which is right for you.

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