Clean, contaminant-free drinking water is vital for life. Research indicates that in order to maintain good health, women should drink at least 9 cups of water each day, and men should drink almost 13 cups. Since humans need to take in a high volume of water on a daily basis, it’s important that our water source remains clear of harmful chemicals, toxins, and other particles.
If you get most of your drinking water from the refrigerator, what can you do to ensure that it stays pure? Many homeowners make sure that their refrigerator has a water filtration system in place to remove hazardous contaminants. While a water filter can solve many problems related to quality, there are some situations in which it may not be enough to guarantee the highest level of purity.
Find out how a typical water filtration system in a refrigerator works, how a water softening system is different from a filter, and why you may need a water softener to ensure that you and your family are drinking the cleanest water possible.
How Does a Refrigerator’s Water Filter Work?
A water filter traps and collects harmful bacteria and other contaminants so that they stay out of your drinking water. Some filtration systems are specially designed for use with city water, while others are more suitable for well water.
Many refrigerator water filters force water through 3 filtration stages. These 3 stages include:
- The particle filtration stage, which blocks out larger particles like sand and silt from the water flow.
- The micro-filtration stage, which captures medium-sized contaminants, such as sugars.
- The absorption filtration stage, which filters out contaminating matter at the atomic level.
A typical water filtration system is very effective at removing certain contaminating elements from the flow of water. These elements often include chlorine, radon, and other man-made chemicals. Studies have shown that refrigerator water filters can play an important role in keeping your drinking water sanitary and safe.
How is a Water Softener Different from a Water Filter?
Both softeners and filters purify water. However, they do so in different ways, and with different results. A water softener is primarily designed to transform hard water into soft water, whereas the purpose of a water filter is to clean contaminated water.
While filtration systems use technology that captures harmful bacteria, softening systems typically utilize salt and ion-exchange resins to extract calcium and magnesium from the flow of water. Some water softeners introduce more salt into the stream; other systems are salt-free.
Since water softeners are not primarily designed to remove harmful toxins from water, if your drinking water comes from a potentially contaminated source then you’ll need to invest in a filtration system. On the other hand, if your water source is clean but delivers hard water, then you may only need to obtain a water softener for maximum purification.
What is Hard Water, and Why is it Problematic?
The term “hard water” describes a water supply that contains a high amount of calcium and magnesium carbonates, along with trace amounts of other metals. As rainwater falls to the ground and absorbs a variety of different minerals, it gradually changes from pure, “soft” water to hard water. Many residential water systems deliver this hard water to consumers.
Hard water can be problematic in two ways:
- First of all, hard water can cause physical and mechanical issues. For instance, hard water reacts with cleaning products and other chemicals, which results in soap buildup and the development of soap scum. Soap scum inhibits suds, which means that when washing your dishes with hard water, you’ll have to use more soap in order to effectively clean them. In addition, hard water can cause mineral buildup in your fixtures and pipes, leading to slow drains, clogs, and other plumbing issues.
- Secondly, hard water may cause certain health issues. While there is no conclusive evidence one way or the other, some studies have linked the consumption of hard water to changes in bowel habits, diarrhea, and the development of kidney stones. This is due to the fact that when you drink hard water, you are taking in greater than usual amounts of magnesium, calcium, and other metals. While many water systems experts focus on the mechanical problems that hard water causes, it is important to also consider the potential effects it could have on your health and your family’s health.
With the above points in mind, it’s no wonder that many homeowners have invested in a water softener for their drinking water.
Choosing a Water Softener for Your Refrigerator
Water filters and water softeners both play an important role in water purification. Water filters are designed to clean water, keep it free from harmful contaminants, and ensure that it is drinkable. Water softeners are designed to transform hard water into soft water, and thereby guard against damage to the water delivery system and potential health problems that could result from drinking water full of minerals and metals.
While a water filtration system is often a key component within a refrigerator, there are situations in which it is not enough to ensure water purity. For that reason, a large percentage of homeowners, renters, and property managers around the world have decided to invest in a water softener for their refrigerator(s).
How can you choose the right water softening system for your refrigerator? It’s important that you purchase a high-quality product from a reputable company. For instance, Jason’s Water Systems, based in central Texas, is the only water softening system in the world that has been certified according to the plumbing codes set by the National Association of Home Builders Research Center for a single system.
Our water softening solutions can make your drinking water healthier and tastier, help keep your dishes, clothes, and linens cleaner, and even increase the efficiency of your plumbing and appliances. If you’d like to learn more about our products, reach out to our friendly team of experts today for further information.