Water Softeners & Conditioners Differences
A water conditioner is essentially a general term for a device that in some way affects the consistency of the water for the better. Different types of water conditioner systems are capable of filtering and eliminating chlorine which in turn improves water taste. A water softener is a type of water conditioner specifically designed to minimize water hardness. Hard water occurs when dissolved calcium or magnesium ions are present in the drinking water of a household. Hard water can cause films left on plates and glasses, residual accumulation in household appliances and unnecessary soap usage. Keep reading to see the variations between a water conditioner and a water softener.
Types of Water Conditioners
Granular activated carbon eliminates certain chemicals that are dissolved in water by trapping (or absorbing) those chemicals which are attracted to the carbon, especially organic compounds. Carbon filtration is used mainly to eliminate harmful odors or tastes from the drinking and cooking water, such as sulfur in well water or chlorine in city water. Simply, these systems prepare the water for consumption; they don't soften the water by extracting the mineral hardness. Carbon filtration can most commonly be used in the water filter pitchers sold in supermarkets and the water dispenser in your refrigerator.
Easy Type or Space Age Systems
To generate molecular agitation in the water, these electromagnetic or magnetic water conditioners use wrapped wires or magnets mounted around your pipes. This molecular agitation allows the carbonate salts that form deposits of scale around the house to blend into the water as small particles, decreasing the concentration of calcium and magnesium ions that react with soaps to create soap scum.
Though inexpensive, the output of these tools in the scientific community is largely unproven. Moreover, because the magnetic field only occurs in the immediate region of the system, you can not handle large quantities of water at a time and the water only stays in its new state for 48 hours after treatment.
Catalytic media conditioners, also known as salt-free water softeners, do not use ion exchange to extract minerals such as salt-based equivalents from the hardness. Instead, using a physical method called Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC), the water is processed through a catalytic medium. The form of the minerals is modified to a crystal with a hardness that does not conform to surfaces. Such systems simply don't "soften" the water, they just condition it.
How a Water Softener Works
Water softening simply means you extract from the water the hardness that affects minerals (mainly calcium and magnesium) through a method called ion exchange. Salt-based water softeners produce a resin bed that filters through the water, replacing the minerals of hardness for sodium particles. When the resin bed has reached a saturation stage, the cleaning process (or regeneration) starts where a series of back flushes remove and flush the trapped minerals out of the system. Sodium particles are also replenished and softening occurs on the device.
Why You Need a Water Refiner
Seek a full home water refiner to get the advantages of the water conditioners and water softeners. These devices use a four-step procedure to eliminate foul tastes and odors, as well as the hardness from the water source of your entire house. This four-step method uses four different types of resin, or media, to combat water problems:
Ion Exchange Media — removes iron and hardness-causing minerals.
High Microporosity Granular Activated Carbon Filter — reduces chlorine, unpleasant taste, and color.
Bacteriostat 55 — inhibits bacteria growth and reduces heavy metals.
Garnet Filtration Media — provides sediment filtration and even distribution of water flow.