Charcoal Water Filters versus Water Softeners
Water purification technology has come a long way over the years. What started all the way back in the Persian Empire with silver drinking flasks, has evolved into a necessity for modern living. Water purification helps us stay healthy by removing harmful materials and pathogens in the water supply. It’s an essential component of good public health.
While there are many forms of water purification, today we’ll be focusing on charcoal-based water filters and water softeners. What are these methods of water purification? What do they do? Which is more effective than the other? Let’s compare them to find out.
What Do Charcoal Filters Remove?
Charcoal filters are used to pull impurities out of water using the uniquely porous structure of charcoal to trap them. Charcoal is used as a powder or as granules. The powder is more effective at removing a larger percentage of the total impurities within a water supply than charcoal granules.
While effective at removing solutes from water, charcoal filters are less effective at killing off bacteria and other types of microorganisms. Even if these pathogens become trapped within the charcoal during filtration, they’ll still be alive and capable of multiplying, eventually spreading into filtered water. For this reason, many charcoal filters are augmented with additional filtration elements like silver that are naturally antibacterial, delivering a more complete filtration of the water you use.
What Do Water Softeners Remove?
Water softeners are salt or other chemical compounds that use their natural properties to draw out impurities like calcium and magnesium that make water “harder,” meaning it leaves scale deposits on surfaces it dries on. Many can be reluctant to use them due to the popularity of salt as a softener, but salt-free softener systems are available and are actually more efficient for most duties.
Unlike a water filter, a water softener doesn’t actually clean the water you drink. Water softeners are only useful in removing certain impurities in water and will not have a significant effect on the sterility of drinking water.
Is a Water Softener Better Than a Water Filter?
In terms of which system is superior, it ultimately depends on what you wish to accomplish. A water filter is used to treat water you suspect is not clean enough for consumption, while a water softener is used to extract scale-causing compounds a filter might not pick up. These are two different tasks that you’ll have to deal with in two different ways, and might even be utilized together. Which sort of system you feel needs to be installed is ultimately dependent on the specific problems with your water.