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Whole Home Water Filters & Water Softeners

Here in Austin and the surrounding areas, our water is classified as “hard.” Hard water isn’t damaging to your health, but it can be a nuisance and may damage your home’s plumbing. Whole home water filters and water softeners to the rescue!

What is hard water?

When water is “hard,” it has high levels of dissolved minerals, primarily calcium and magnesium. Hard water, measured in Parts Per Million (PPM), can be treated in a number of different ways to eliminate or suspend the minerals. It has no ill effects on humans, although the deposits it leaves on appliances, faucets, valves and shower doors/curtains is unsightly and does shorten the lifespan of many appliances, including your water heater.

The starting point is testing the water to determine the best approach for your situation, then applying the correct solution or solutions. This should also be based on your goals, usage and budget.

How do water softeners work?

The standard water softener is a salt-based system that removes the hard water minerals with a brine solution that rinses the deposits from a resin stored in the softener tank. The better quality models do this on a metered basis instead of a daily basis, which is more environmentally friendly. Another solution is an electronic device that injects a pulse into your water system — suspending the hard water molecules so they cannot attach to pipes, appliances, faucets, etc. This system actually removes the existing hard water scale in your plumbing system.

How do whole home water filters work?

Water filters have a wide range of applications and can/should be used in conjunction with a softener. Whole home water filters are used to remove Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), which is everything else in your water that is not water. A good carbon filter can remove TDS to a level that far exceeds any governmental standards. Most softener manufacturers recommend a prefilter to remove chlorine and chloramines that lower the life expectancy of the resin in the softener.

Whole home water filters do not remove hardness from the water, and water softeners do not remove anything other than minerals from water. Together, they work together and make up a total system. At Efficient AC, Electric & Plumbing, our approach is simple: We’ll never try to sell you parts or systems that aren’t in your interest. Give us a call at 512-501-2275 or fill out our contact form, and let’s talk about the best solution for your home’s hard water.

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