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Water Conditioner vs Water Softener: The Similarity and Differences

Water is an important part of people’s daily lives; however, it does not always start out clean. That is why water often goes through a lot of stages of treatment before it gets to households. Even if water has been treated by the city and reaches your storage tank and pipes, it may not in the desired condition. That is water conditioning comes in. This process addresses limescale, algae, and bacteria present in most water sources. Such issues can cause many problems in water systems including on heat exchangers, on the insides of pipes, on fixtures, and others. If you want to keep water from damaging or causing issues in your plumbing system or boost your appliances’ efficiency, identifying the best water treatment option can be overwhelming. You will have to pick from a myriad of solutions out there. This post is focused on water conditioners and water softeners.

What is the Similarity?

 In terms of water treatment, you will have to consider water conditioner vs water softener. Water conditioners and water softeners are used for addressing the common issue of water hardness. Hard water is rich in minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and silica that can cause severe issues for heat-exchange surfaces, water fixtures, and pipes. Scale buildup can completely clog pipes over time. The buildup of limescale on a heating element will insulate it and prevents it from performing its job efficiently.

The Difference

In terms of hard water, a conventional water softener eliminates calcium, magnesium, and silica ions, leaving it with small quantities of temporary hardness. The system replaces such ions with salt through the ion exchange process. Meanwhile, a water conditioner manipulates the behavior of the hardness minerals in a liquid solution. While the minerals are still present, they do not build up on surfaces and cause issues. Because these minerals are healthy to humans and animals, keeping them in water is beneficial as long as they are not causing plumbing damages.

Moreover, water conditioners tackle other water problems like biological contaminants such as algae and bacteria that can accumulate on surfaces. Once such substances build up, they are called biofilm that cannot be addressed by water softeners since they are designed to just scale.

It is important to keep in mind that water conditioners may refer to any kind of water purification or treatment system. But, this post is focused on the kind of water condition that can offer an all-in-one solution for both biological contaminants and hardness. While there are various water conditioning methods, the result must be a liquid solution that prevents the buildup of any type of damage to the plumbing system.

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