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Water Softening vs. Water Purification

A hand holding a glass under a tap with water pouring

Water Softening vs. Water Purification

Unfortunately, clean and safe water is not a guarantee. If you live in a community with water quality issues, you may have turned to common solutions like a basic water filtration system or filters at every tap. You may also experience the effects of “hard” water, which can damage your plumbing system and impact many areas of your home life.

Keep reading to learn more about water softening and water purification, how they differ, and when you should implement these safeguards.


Both water softeners and purifiers are systems that remove certain materials from water. Whether it’s to make the water safer to drink, improve taste, or make it more effective for certain tasks, you can usually tailor the systems to get the results you want.

You can treat your water either before it enters your home or as it flows out of your tap or fixtures. The choice usually depends on what you need from the treatment. If hard water is impacting your dishwashing, hand washing, showers, and more, it makes sense to install a softener for your whole home. On the other hand, if your water is already relatively soft but you want it to taste better, you could get away with installing a purifier on your kitchen faucet.

Water Softening

“Hard” water contains an excessive amount of certain minerals, mainly calcium and magnesium. The presence of these minerals at high levels can cause limescale buildup to accumulate on your plumbing fixtures and inside your pipes. It can also make soap harder to get into a lather and stiffen your clothes.

Water can pick up these extra minerals on the path to your tap. It may travel through rocks or other land structures and absorb earth minerals.

The solution to hard water is a water softening system. There are a few methods used, but the ultimate goal is to remove the calcium and magnesium, along with a few other minerals, from your water supply before it reaches your fixtures or appliances.

Water softeners don’t clean your water or remove impurities. That’s where water purifiers come in.

Water Purifying

Water softening is a specific process that only seeks to change the mineral composition of water. Water purification, however, is a way of filtering water to remove impurities like chemicals, pollutants, and even solid matter.

Some purification takes place at the water supply level, where you get your water from. The process, however, may not be comprehensive, or you may want to try and get better-tasting water without spending a fortune on bottled water. This is where a home water purification system would be beneficial.

The EPA has standards to require communities to produce safe drinking water, but the specific quality varies across the country. Water treatment also includes the disinfection process and other additives to make the water safe to drink, but this is usually taken care of by whoever supplies your water.

Even if your water is treated, safe, and of good quality, you may want to add your own treatment because the water doesn’t taste great. Poor taste is not necessarily an indication of poor quality, but the specific mineral makeup (the combinations of which are endless) will change the taste of your water.

Improving Your Home’s Water Quality

As the largest plumbing company in Florida, Brownie's Septic and Plumbing, LLC has a highly experienced and talented team of plumbing professionals dedicated to helping you find the right water quality solution for your home. Contact us today at (407) 890-0116 to discuss your water needs and to learn more about how we can help.

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