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What Is The Difference Between A Water Softener & Water Conditioner?

We all need water, and you may be suffering from sub-par water and not even know it. How water starts and how it ends up in your home is entirely dependent on the systems you have in place to treat it. Sometimes our localized city water treatment plants and water infrastructure isn’t enough to keep your water safe and clean. The big question is though, how does your home’s water stack up against the rest, and what does your home need specifically to stay clean and healthy? Likely you’ll need to make the choice between a water softener and a water conditioner.

What Does A Water Softener Do?

One of the solutions to your water issues is installing a whole-house water softener in the main line of your water supply. These systems aim to address the main issue facing a lot of our water: hard water. Hard water is essentially the buildup of minerals in our water which can lead to quite a few unpleasant issues like dry skin, ugly buildup on appliances, and slimy feeling residue after washing your hands – just to name a few issues. How water softeners combat hard water is by removing the calcium, magnesium, and silica ions, leaving water with small amounts of “temporary hardness”. The softener replaces those ions with salt through a process called ion exchange. Water softeners can be thought of as a transparent additive to the water. 

How Does A Water Conditioner Differ From A Softener?

Water conditioners, on the other hand, achieve the same goal as a water softer, but go about it in a different more innovative solution. Water conditioners manipulate the way hardness minerals in water behave. So essentially, the water that water conditioners leave behind still has the same minerals added as they did before, but the minerals won’t be invasive or cause the issues that actual hard water causes.

In addition to combatting hard water, water conditioners can deal with other water issues too, and be a more all-in-one solution. For example, biological contaminants such as bacteria and algae (biofilm) can be filtered out with water conditioners. A common misconception though is that the term “water conditioner” can be used to describe all types of water filtration systems, but it is to be noted, “water conditioners” only include systems that do not add anything to the water, they instead alter its chemistry non-invasively to yield water which will not cause issues and interfere with regular life as hard water does.

What Is My Water Solution?

Regardless of what you choose, Culligan has the answer. Many could be intimidated by the process of finding a clean water solution, but we want to educate you. Our trained water professionals can walk you through the process every step of the way. Ultimately, your home and your health deserve clean water, and our water filtration systems are the standard that many happy customers across the world trust for their hydration needs.

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