What’s the Difference Between Reverse Osmosis and Water Softening

There are several options available to homeowners looking to improve the quality of the water in their homes but don’t know how to.  There is a lot of confusion when it comes to treating water because of the vast array of options available in the market.  In residential use the two most common treatments used are water softeners and reverse osmosis systems.

Determining what the right option for your household comes down to understanding what is accomplished with each treatment option.  The only way to really know what needs to be done to improve your homes water is to have it analyzed through thorough water analysis.  Often this process only requires a small sampling of water from each of the sources throughout your home.

Reverse Osmosis

Often reverse osmosis and filtration are lumped together.  A reverse osmosis system filters the water leaving it tasting better and healthier.  RO is especially popular for homeowners with wells.  This type of water treatment system is set up to remove contaminates and softened minerals by pushing them through an attached filter.  As with most water treatment systems you can install a whole-house or point-of-use RO osmosis system.

Benefits of Reverse Osmosis

Tasteless Water:  Often times tap water will have a funny taste.  You won’t be able to pin point what the taste is however, a RO system removes the source therefore the water will taste better.

Chemical Free:  RO drinking water systems do not use any special chemicals in the filtration of the water which makes its use environmentally friendly.

Softened Water:  Minerals in the water cause hard water.  A whole-house RO system creates softer water which leads to less pipe corrosion.

Odor and Color Removal: Many homeowners experience odors and colors in their tap water.  The odors and colors occur from contaminates and minerals in the water.  A RO system is used to take the pollutants out of the water which leaves you with higher quality drinking water.

Most often you see whole-house RO systems installed in homes with well water as it can benefit from the extra filtration.  If water from the tap tastes or smells funny and is from a city water source, then your water may benefit from a point-of-use RO system that is installed under the sink.

Water Softeners

Water softeners and water conditioners are often lumped into one category.  Instead of removing contaminants and minerals from the water like a RO system does, a water softener uses a process of ionization that replaces calcium ions and magnesium with salt ions.

Water that is hard has higher concentrations of minerals like magnesium and calcium.  When a water softener is installed your homes, water replaces the minerals that make it hard with a softer mineral, sodium.

Benefits of Soft Water

Better, More Natural Tasting Water

More Vivid Colored Laundry with Less Yellowing

Cleaner, More Sanitary Dishes and Flatware

Appliances That Last Longer with Fewer Repairs Needed

Fewer Clogged Pipes

There are many problems caused by hard water.  Installing a water softening unit can help lessen these issues.  These units do not remove contaminants within the water as they are not filtration systems however, they are perfect for homes that experience problems with pipe corrosion, iron, staining, and more.

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your homes unique water quality needs including: arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more.  More information on our water treatment solutions including water softeners and conditioners, water filtration and purification, reverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal can be found online at https://reynoldswater.com.


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