A Water Conditioner is a popular alternative to a Water Softener for customers that are looking to reduce or prevent limescale build up in their home or business. But what are they and why use them? Let’s start by understanding the process. Water Conditioning is a process that involves altering the minerals or contents of your water, rather than removing anything – which means you retain minerals like Calcium and Magnesium that occur naturally in the water. Water Softening on the other hand completely removes the hardness molecules from your water using a process called Ion Exchange.
Where Is Water Conditioning Used?
Water Conditioners play a common role in everyday limescale reduction processes and are a popular choice for plumbers, as they are low cost and easy to install. They are generally used where scale prevention is the primary desire, as unlike a Water Softener they do not actually change the water from hard to soft. If you are looking for a solution for scale prevention (such as within your heating system or appliances) then a Water Conditioner may be the right purchase for you. Where as if you are looking for the additional benefits of softened water feeding into your home (like eczema relief, silkier hair, softer laundry, reduction of existing scale build-up and improved lather from detergents and soaps) then a Water Softener would be a better choice.
More Benefits Of Water Conditioners:
- No waste water and no power supply required
- Smaller systems offer single appliance scale control
- Water retains minerals like Calcium and Magnesium but prevents them from forming a scale
Water Conditioners Versus Water Softeners
There are a few key differences between Water Conditioners and Water Softeners. Water Conditioners are a great option for customers looking for solely scale control, offering a more cost effective and easier to maintain solution than a Water Softener. However it is important to note that this treated water is still regarded as ‘Hard Water’ so if you are looking for a system to offer the benefits of ‘Soft Water’ then you should be considering a Water Softener instead.
Water Conditioners Vs Water Softeners Comparison
Where Water Conditioning Might Be Suitable
Water Conditioners are cheaper and easier to install than a Water Softener. This is because there are no valves or electricity required and the cost of maintenance is lower. Water Conditioners sit in-line with your pipework, with no requirement for a drain line. Water Conditioners can also be installed to protect a single appliance, such as upfront of a washing machine or to protect an expensive coffee machine. They are commonly used within the food-service market in commercial applications.
Water Conditioners Do Not Require Electricity Or Maintenance To Run So Are An Effective ‘Fit And Forget’ Solution To Reduce Limescale Build Up
Where Water Softening Might Be Suitable
Water Softeners are much more effective at tackling limescale build-up within a home or business. This is because they not only completely remove the hardness molecules from your water, but the soft water can flush out existing scale deposits from your pipework and from within appliances. Over time they are also able to save you money by reducing energy costs through improved heating efficiency and by greatly improving the lather from soaps and detergents.
Studies Show The Average 4 Person Household Could Save Up To £200 A Year By Installing A Water Softener If They Live In A Hard Water Area
A Common Misconception Is That ‘Water Conditioners’ Are Referred To As ‘Salt Free Water Softeners’ Which Is Incorrect, As They Are Not Softeners At All. To Be Referred To As A ‘Water Softener’ The System Must Actually Remove The Hardness Forming Ions As Opposed To Converting Them Into A Non-Scale Forming State.
Choosing A Water Conditioner Or Water Softener
Water Conditioners and Water Softeners come in a variety of sizes to suit customers looking for either whole-house scale control, or single appliance protection. We would recommend exploring our Water Conditioning and Water Softening categories in more detail, where you will find all of the options we have available for each technology. If you are unsure of which product is suitable for your use, or you need some help comparing then please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team.
Learn About The Benefits Of Water Softening
Want to find out some of the additional benefits of installing a Water Softener? Check out our knowledge hub guide where we explore each benefit in detail.