Cat trying to turn on a kitchen sink.

Water Softener or Whole House Filter? You May Be Surprised.

There’s a common misconception around comparing a water softener system with a whole house water filter. We’ll also get into what exactly each of these systems does, and which may be better for your individual situation. But first, let’s spark a quick discussion around why asking, “Do I need a water softener or a whole house filter?” may not really be the right question at all.

A lone human hand emerging from a body of water holding a lit sparkler.

Do I Need a Water Softener System? Do I Need a Whole House Water Filter? Ahh!!!

So many questions! But they’re each worth asking. Here’s why: when it comes to purchasing a water softener or a whole house filter, it isn’t an either/or scenario. While both are water systems, they’re very different systems. More importantly, each is designed to do a very different thing to your water, each of which may be important. It all depends on what you need.

What’s a Water Softener System?

You know when you take a drink of water, maybe out in a rural area, and it just tastes different somehow? Sometimes that’s because you’re drinking hard water. We call it “hard” water when there is a large amount of calcium and other minerals mixed in with a water source.

Hard water can be rough on skin, clothing, and appliances over time. Soft water, on the other hand, can put a stop to the dryness and clothing stains you get with mineral-rich water. A water softener is also gentler on home appliances like your dishwasher and washing machine.

A water softener system is an easy remedy for the rough effect that hard water can have over time. By adding a certain amount of salt to the water as it flows through your system, a water softener will “soften” up your water, making your life just a little bit easier and keeping your home running smoothly.

So Then… What’s a Whole House Water Filter?

When you have a whole house filter installed, it will filter out all of the impurities from the water in your home Your whole house’s water supply can now run through filters that block out heavy metals, chlorine, fluoride, and other potentially harmful substances from entering your water supply.

A hand holding a small glass of water that is half full.

So Which is Better for Me? A Water Softener or Whole House Filter?

Probably the best question to ask first is where do you live? According to a graphic of US hard water concentrations, “city water may be significantly softer than surrounding suburbs depending on [the] water source.” Ohio has a pretty high concentration of hard water, however. And besides that, a whopping “85% of people have hard water” in the United States.

How about a whole house water filter? If fluoride bothers you, it’s worth noting that a few cities around the country and abroad have actually gone as far as to ban fluoride from their water. But the vast majority have not. So the question becomes how concerned you are by impurities like chlorine and heavy metals.

As the filtration company filtersmart points out, “The short answer is that, if you want a total solution to virtually all of your water issues, it’s a good idea to get both a water softener and a whole house filter.”

The Plumbing One team has years of experience with answering these questions for customers. We install water softeners and water purification systems anywhere in the Columbus area with speed and expertise at a fair price. So when you have a plumbing need, remember to call the #1 trusted plumbers in Columbus, Ohio.

Still need help?

Contact Us