How Is a Water Softening System Different From Reverse Osmosis?

The Difference Between a Water Softening System and Reverse Osmosis

Is your water running an unusual color? Does it taste weird? Or leaves a weird crusty buildup on dishes?

Water solutions such as a water softener system or a reverse osmosis system could be the solution to your water treatment concerns. Here at c and j water, we have the dedication to assisting you in getting a trustworthy filtering system to ensure you only have to use the best water for you and your needs.

The signs to look for in trying to figure out if you have a reason for concern about your water are usually relatively obvious.

Read on for our quick-look guide to the difference between water softening and RO filtering.

When Should You Filter Your Water?

Discolored or funny-tasting water doesn’t always mean it’s contaminated in a way that makes it a health concern. But for the cases where it is, why take the risk?

You probably have a reason for concern if your water:

  • is cloudyHow is a Water Softening System Different from Reverse Osmosis?
  • is discolored
  • has a chemical or metallic smell
  • is frothy or foamy
  • has particulates in it, like sand or dirt
  • has an unusual earthy or metallic taste
  • makes your bread not rise properly
  • doesn’t come out of the faucet at a proper pressure
  • leaves spots, stains, or crusty, scale-like deposits on surfaces 

c and j water offer different water filter systems to assist with those concerns.

Water quality is typically a significant concern, both for health reasons as well simply for enjoyment purposes. It’s essential to look through what each filter option can provide for you. 

Don’t be wary about looking into different options. You need to find a water softener system that works best for you and your needs, not just the first thing that comes up with an offhanded web search. 

Most people use water multiple times a day to do everyday chores and tasks like cooking, washing clothes, washing dishes, or even mopping. Having quality water is vital for all of these tasks to be done correctly and efficiently. It’s also much healthier both for yourself and your appliances.

Not quite sure yet which water solution is the right one for you? First, it’s important to know how they each function to decide which is suitable for your needs.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse Osmosis filtering is a process that aims at removing dissolved solid particles from the water.

This process makes the water much safer and more suitable for drinking and cooking purposes. It filters out any minerals and metals that are unneeded, unwanted, or generally detrimental to your plumbing or health. It eliminates odors, bad tastes, and color and helps promote a longer lifespan for your water-using appliances.

The four-stage Reverse Osmosis System that c and j water offers filters and produces safe, and water for drinking and cooking. The RO system removes many dissolved solids that a water softener alone cannot.

Sediment Filter

The first stage of the Reverse Osmosis system is the sediment filter. This filters out particulate matter such as rust, sand, or dirt. Doing so, it helps protect the other filters from clogging and damage.

You can get various filament sizes for your system to suit your specific needs.

Activated Carbon Block Pre-Filter Reverse Osmosis

The second stage is the activated carbon block pre-filter. This reduces chlorine and similar particles to protect the RO membrane.

This process also helps eliminate substances that can negatively alter the taste, odor, and color. 

RO Membrane

The main stage is the reverse osmosis filter. This forces the water to go through a membrane that won’t allow anything larger than a water molecule through. This is the central part of the process and takes care of most particles the previous stages missed.

Activated Carbon Block Polishing Filter

Lastly, the water is sent through the activated carbon block polishing filter. This eliminates any residual unusual color, taste, and smell before sending the water to the reservoir tank.

Tank and Faucet

After the filtering process, the water is stored within a reservoir tank to have ready-to-use water. The tank is made of high-quality, durable steel and is powder-coated. c and j water offer various reservoir tank sizes. 

The tank directly connects to a faucet dedicated only to the RO filtered water.

Water Softener

While hard water can have a few benefits, soft water is widely beneficial, especially for specific household needs.

To understand what a water softener is, it helps to know what water hardness is. Water hardness is the measure of how many mineral particles are dissolved within the water. In most cases, this is mainly excess calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and other naturally occurring minerals, both in well water and city water systems.

These salt-based water softeners function by trapping the harder particles and then replacing those harder minerals with the softer sodium.

While it won’t have a notable taste, the sodium produced by the water softening will be noticeable in helping keep your hair soft and your skin hydrated, among many other benefits. 

Soft water is easier on plumbing, prevents rust damage, keeps clothing brighter, and can cause the ability to save up to 50% on soap and detergents due to not having to rewash dishes or clothing due to spotting or discoloration.

Water Softening System Options dual tank water softeners

c and j water offer two different system styles; single tank and twin tank.

Single tank systems are ideal for small households or situations where water is not in high demand and will have time to regenerate before water is needed past its already filtered amount.

Natural softeners need time to regenerate.

The regeneration hurdle is where the twin systems come out a bit on top. Because there are two tanks, one can be used while the other is regeneration for its use. The twin system is best for households where water is in high demand at all hours of the day.

A water softener is very beneficial to everyday household tasks and chores.

Water Source

Whether you get water from a city system or a well, both systems are available for your use.

While people may have their own ideas about which water source is generally safer, they both have their downfalls. Well water sources are more likely to get unwanted mineral suppositions and organic materials. In contrast, city water is prone to having too much chlorine and the like from the cleaning process.

While hard water is usually more evident with well water, it can and is commonly found in municipal water systems.

To help determine exactly what system is best for you, c and j water offers a free water analysis for both city-sourced water and well water. The test takes 30-45 minutes, and then your results and options will be explained and talked through.

Decisions, Decisions

It’s understandable if you’re stuck between the two, considering the great benefits both systems offer. The good news is, you don’t actually have to choose between systems. You can get both!

Having a water softener system and a reverse osmosis system can even increase the longevity of the reverse osmosis membrane.

Together or apart, these systems help provide water perfect for your everyday household needs.

When installed together, all of the water supply throughout your house will already be soft water. The reverse osmosis system is purifying and stores already softened water, making a sort of double-edged system. This functions as a helpful addition to each other.

Conflict Between Water Solutions?

If installed together, the RO system will remove the sodium from the already softened water. As the RO only dispenses from dedicated faucets, though, and is usually not an entire whole house’s water source, this actually tends to have more pros than cons. 

As softened water is higher in sodium, you may be at risk of health conditions that arise from having too much sodium if you use soft water for drinking and cooking 24/7.

However, suppose you were to have both systems. In that case, you can still get the cleaning and plumping benefits of the water softener while using the RO system for consumption purposes and avoiding any unnecessary extra sodium intake.

With both systems, you will still have a water system that is good to drink from every once in a while, other than just drinking from the RO system if you have concerns about missing out on any helpful minerals that get weeded out during the RO process.

Ready for Quality Water?

Now that you know the benefits of both systems, you can start making a better-informed decision.

Water is an essential building block of our very beings, and having quality grade water to help support us is a very reachable aspiration.

If you have concerns over your water supply’s quality, have interest in having these systems installed, or simply want to inquire more about our offered water solutions, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance today.