The Main Differences Between A Water Softener & A Water Conditioner

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The Main Differences Between A Water Softener & A Water Conditioner

1 February 2017
 Categories: Home & Garden, Blog

If you have hard water and have been trying to figure out how to deal with it in your home, you have most likely come across two different devices for dealing with your hard water – a water softener and a water conditioner. These two devices, although they have similar names and are both designed to deal with hard water, are not the same thing. Here are a few of the main differences between these two methods of dealing with hard water in your home.

#1 How It Changes The Hard Water

The biggest difference between a water softener and a water conditioner is how each device deals with hard water.

With a water softener, salt is used in an ionic exchange process. During this process, the minerals that cause your water to become hard are removed from your water supply. The most common minerals removed from your water supply during this process are magnesium as well as calcium. Any potassium that is in your water is made softer. Generally, a little sodium is also added into your water during this ionic exchange that changes the structure of your water.

With a water conditioner, the chemical make-up of the minerals inside of your water is changed. It is altered in such a way so that the hard minerals inside of your water will not get left behind inside of your pipes, water fixture, and water-based appliances.

#2 Where It Works Best

Water softeners work well with both standing water and with moving water. Water softeners should help protect and extend the life of all water-based appliances in your home, including your hot water heater as well as your plumbing and faucets.

Water conditioners, on the other hand, work best on water that is moving. They will help reduce build-up inside of your pipes and water fixtures. However, they will not prevent mineral build-up from occurring within your water heater, as water conditioners are not designed to work that well with standing water.

#3 How It Takes Care Of The System

Water softeners require a certain level of maintenance. At least once a year, potentially more often depending on how hard your water is and how much water you use, you are going to need to refresh the salt within your water softener and potentially remove deposits from within the water softener.

On the other hand, water conditioners really do not need very much maintenance at all. You can generally go a couple of years without needing to do anything to your water conditioner. However, you will need to keep a closer eye on your water heater and drain the build-up of scales inside as your water conditioner will not protect your water heater.

For more information, contact local professionals like