Home>Discussions>PLUMBING>whole house water filter vs water softener
5 posts / 0 new
Last post
woodrow
whole house water filter vs water softener

I have a house that we get our water from a well. The water is extremely hard. Would a whole house filter remove the minerals or do I need to buy a water softener?

Paul the plumber
Re: whole house water filter vs water softener

the whole house water filters are practically maintenance free ,while the water softeners you have to change the salts

goldhiller
Re: whole house water filter vs water softener
woodrow wrote:

I have a house that we get our water from a well. The water is extremely hard. Would a whole house filter remove the minerals or do I need to buy a water softener?

You really need to get a comprehensive water test done before you decide what to install. Reason being that you may have more than "simple" hardness on your hands. For instance, if there is ferric iron present (as opposed to ferrous iron), it will clog/slug a common water softener media.

Also, other types of water contaminants may require specific types of filter media. It all depends.

If, for example, your well water tests positive for fecal coliforms, you will likely have to install a cholorinator. If there is also ferrous iron present (for example), the cholorination will turn that to ferric iron and you'd then need a specific filter to grab that stuff before the water arrived at a water softener.

What will work and provide good water.......depends. Your county extension office *might* provide free water tests or may guide you to a lab. Or.....you could contact a local well driller to see if they can test it for you. A local plumbing supply house might also provide tests or guide you to a good service.

BigWalt
Re: whole house water filter vs water softener

Filters will not change the "hardness" of the water. [ I don't know if it is correct term but you'll get the concept]

My father use Culligan water softner. Maybe once every two months the service guy will come, check the water condition and add crush / powdered limestone [ not sodium] if necessary.

http://www.graymont.com/applications_water.shtml

In your area, you may need sodium but get your water tested first. Don't make any assumptions.

http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/housing/356-490/356-490.html

http://www.water-research.net/hardness.htm

Fencepost
Re: whole house water filter vs water softener

"Hardness" is the amount of dissolved minerals in the water. Those dissolved minerals will pass right through most filter media. Filters are effective at removing sediment (suspended solids) and neutralizing odor (as with a charcoal filter). The filter used in a reverse osmosis system can remove bacteria, but the flow rate of those filters is so low that they are not suitable for a whole-house system. Besides, the RO filters can be clogged by hard water; the minerals will come out of solution and build up on the filter. In many cases, people end up putting a water softener upstream of the RO filter.

As others have stated, there are many minerals that occur to make water hard, and choosing the appropriate softener depends on the mineral content and quantity. Have your water analyzed as a first step.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.