Reverse Osmosis Vs Water Softener

Choosing the best choice is challenging for most homeowners, with various options.

The best water purification system can ensure that you’re always able to have pure and clean drinking water that is delicious to drink.

Homeowners who want ways to enhance the water quality are frequently confused by the differences between Reverse Osmosis and Water Softener.

Suppose you’re thinking of purchasing a water treatment system to aid in softening your water supply at home.

In that case, I’ll provide the essential information you need to reverse the process of osmosis or the water softener system.

Deciding which is the best solution for your home comes down to knowing the functions all of them can do and how they will help your family and you.

Here’s a quick overview to help you distinguish between the two.

Why do you require water filtering?

You may think that the water you drink from the tap is safe. But the water you get could be contaminated and full of minerals.

The concentrations of contaminants do not appear to be a health risk.

However, certain groups comprising children, infants, pregnant women, and those with compromised immune systems could be at risk from these contaminants.

Water carbon filtration eliminates contaminants and toxins from the drinking water and cooks with or brushes our teeth and gets a shower.

People treat water in many methods based on the requirements.

Two kinds of water that result from treatment techniques can be reverse osmosis and water softener. Let’s take a brief look at the difference.

Why Get a Water Softener?

It is a fact that about 85 percent of Americans have some kind or other form of “hard water.”

That means they have various magnesium, calcium, and other elements in the water flowing in their houses and workplaces.

The issue with hard water is these minerals may build up in appliances, plumbing bathtubs, showers, and sinks and could decrease the life span or cause expensive repairs.

Additionally, hard water does not react with soap or detergent, which requires more effort to clean your clothing and yourself. 

Certain people may detect the difference in taste between soft and hard water.

The water softener treats hard water by eliminating the minerals in your water by replacing them with sodium-ion ions, known as “ion exchange.”

In the process of exchange, sodium ions are coated with an exchange medium within the softener and make alkaline water

The exchange medium may include naturally “zeolites” or synthetic resin beads that look like wet sand. 

When hard water flows across the resin in the softener, calcium and magnesium trade places sodium ions. 

The sodium ions are held loosely and can be replaced with magnesium and calcium ions. In this process, “free” sodium ions are released into the water.

Why Get a Reverse Osmosis System?

The first step is to explain the function of an RO system. 

The reverse osmosis device removes chlorine and sediment from water by using an initial filter before forcing fluid through semipermeable membranes to avoid dissolving solids.

In simple terms, it is the process of filtering water three times to provide you with the purest drinking water that is possible. 

These are the things that an RO system removes:

  • Fluoride? Yes.
  • Salt? Yes.
  • Removes Bleach Smells
  • Sediment? Yes.
  • Chlorine? Yes.
  • Arsenic? Yes.
  • VOCs? Yes.
  • Pesticides and herbicides? Yes.
  • Other contaminants? Yes:-
  • Chlorine Smells

Bacteria and Viruses? No.:- If the water you drink is from a municipal treatment plant, the water should be safe for microbiological use. 

It may demineralize your water, so you need to mineralize Ro water to improve the quality.

The listed contaminants are among the most well-known ones that an RO system removes. However, the system can also eliminate several other pollutants.

To eliminate living organisms and viruses, we suggest using UV-based disinfection.

Instead of this, if your water does not have serious contaminants, then you may select a house water filter pitcher that will perfect an affordable solution from these options:-

Osmosis System
Softener System

How does a water softener system work?  

A water softening system is made to eliminate the hardness (a mixture of Calcium and Magnesium salts) of the water using an ion exchange process. 

Hard water has large amounts of dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium (between 120 and 180 PPM). 

Anything less is moderately complex, while anything beyond this becomes extremely hard.

The softener water helps soften water by replacing minerals with less harmful minerals (sodium). 

The hardness of water creates a scale in pipes and boilers or water heaters. The scale reduces the lifespan of this equipment.

First, salt-based water softeners   

This kind of softener for water uses an ion exchange process to eliminate calcium and magnesium minerals from water.

In this water treatment procedure, it is the case that magnesium and calcium are attracted by a media bed that is a source of sodium ions. 

When the hardness ions adhere to the media, sodium ions escape into the water and exchange the magnesium and calcium sodium.

Second salt-free softener (water conditioner)    

This water softening system is more environmentally friendly and better suited for long-term use because it doesn’t require salt or wastewater during regeneration.

Instead of removing calcium and magnesium in water, this system forms crystals through template-aided Crystallization (or TAC), preventing them from adhering to surfaces and forming scales.

What is the function of reverse osmosis?

Eliminating the dissolved solids and sediments with RO is relatively easy.

RO water purifier works by using the pressure pump to push the water through filters, including a carbon or sediment filter, RO membrane, and an activated carbon post-filter.

It makes sure that all contaminants are taken out effectively from your brown water, providing the user with clean, great-tasting water.

The chemically unsafe water has negatively affected water taste at the source, causing severe digestive problems.

Borewell (groundwater)/tanker water usually has large amounts of calcium, magnesium, sodium, manganese, iron, bicarbonate and sulfate, chloride, carbonate, and nitrate. 

It is often referred to as TDS (total solids dissolved) present in the water. By the IS guidelines, TDS greater than 500ppm is not advised for drinking.

RO purifiers can filter or remove 90% of the dissolved contaminants and make alkaline water effectively. 

Reverse osmosis is thought to be the most effective purification method. You can decrease and eliminate toxic organic as well as inorganic contaminants efficiently.

Advantages of reverse osmosis and water softener

Benefits of a water softener

  • Cost and usage of shampoo and soap decrease by 75% due to the thick lather created by soap and softened water.
  • Make the most of the life of water equipment, such as the water heater, ice maker dishwashers, coffee makers, and laundry machines.
  • Water conditioning system saves money on the cost of energy and repairs to appliances.
  • Clearer and shining glassware mirrors, silverware, tiles, or other plumbing fixtures.
  • Softer skin and smoother, clear hair.
  • Brighter laundry
  • Natural tasting water
  • Fewer clogs in pipes
  • Not as long-term maintenance requirements

Advantages of reverse osmosis

  • Eliminates odors and strange colors – Certain water contaminants and minerals can create weird stains and odors that appear in the water. 
  • Reverse osmosis systems can remove pollutants and minerals.
  • Eliminates odors and strange colors – Certain water contaminants and minerals can create weird stains and odors that appear in the water. 
  • More flavorful water – Water that hasn’t been processed by RO may possess a strange flavor or in tasteless.
  • It is simple to maintain, and the renewal of the RO membrane is dependent on the condition of the water and the amount of usage.
  • There are no chemicals- Reverse osmosis systems are less harmful to the environment than other water purification methods because they don’t require chemicals.
  • Soft water- RO systems get rid of the minerals that cause hard water, so RO water is soft water. If you choose to install a whole-house system, you will benefit from less damaged pipes.  
  • Its small size means you can place it wherever you want (home and commercial premises) without any difficulty.
  • Reverse osmosis is cost-effective.
  • Provides different levels of purification

Disadvantages of reverse osmosis and water softener

Disadvantages of water softener

Too soft: The result is soft water, which could appear too slippery or slimy.

Expensive: A water filtration system will cost you at least $2,000.

Need maintenance: – They also require maintenance regularly because the resin beads eventually deplete sodium ions to counter magnesium and calcium ions.

Alternatives are expensive, too: – Another option for salt or sodium pellets inside the tank would be potassium chloride particles.

For example, if salt is priced between $4-$6, each bag’s exact quantity of potassium chloride is sold between $25 and $30.

Messing with dietary minerals:- Some people require supplements to their diets, like magnesium and calcium.It is present in hard water but utterly absent in softened water.

Too much sodium: Soft water that is ion-exchanged for softening process contains sodium ions which, in some instances, if not correctly managed, could be excessive.

Unsuitable for irrigation: – Softened water devoid of magnesium and calcium. However, it has sodium which is not suitable for irrigation.

Disadvantages of reverse osmosis

  • Clogging:-Small pores in an RO system may get blocked, and the system needs to be regularly kept in good condition.
  • It does not kill bacteria or viruses:- RO purified water does not eliminate waterborne pathogens that cause disease and viruses.
  • Alter water taste:- After removing natural minerals, the water becomes demineralized. As a result, water taste is diminished, and it is flavorless.
  • Wastage of water:- Approximately more moisture than water that has been filtered out and flushed away in the wastewater.
  • Slow process:- Reverse osmosis uses pressure from household water to push water from taps across a semipermeable membrane. The process can take a long time.
  • Removes vital minerals:- While the RO purifier eliminates contaminants in the water, it also removes minerals that are naturally occurring, like magnesium, iron, calcium, and sodium, which are essential to human bodies.

Do I Need a Water Softener or Reverse Osmosis System?

The need for reverse osmosis or water softening depends on your home’s needs.

Here are some advantages of having an RO system and a water softener to help you decide which one is best for your home.

  1. Water softeners safeguard reverse osmosis systems:-
  2. Using a water softener to remove the magnesium and the chloride will relieve some pressure from the reverse osmosis filter, making it possible for it to have an extended life.
  3. Different functions:- While softeners “soften” the water, RO water purifies it. If you only have a water softener, numerous impurities are present in your drink. If you only have reverse osmosis and hard water, it will not see much improvement.  
  4. Cost:- The price of a water conditioning system is high. They can save energy and extend the life of household appliances as well.

Those who use reverse osmosis water devices save hundreds of dollars a year once they have stopped buying water bottles, which is good for the environment too. 

Both Dasani, a registered trademark of Coca-Cola Company, and Aquafina, a brand registered to belong to Pepsi Co Inc., utilize RO to cleanse their environment from water bottles.

Can I Use a Water Softener and Reverse Osmosis System Together?

To get the best water softening and carbon filtration advantages, consider using a water softener and a reverse osmosis device.

It will supply your faucets, pipes, showers, and other alkaline water-based equipment with soft water that comes with improved flavor.

In the end, the combination of these two systems can save you money in many ways. 

You’ll not need to purchase bottled water for starters if you’re looking for fresh water that has a great taste. A reverse osmosis system will handle this.

The best way to save money is by extending the life span of your equipment. 

With a water filtration system, you don’t need to worry whether your plumbing could be damaging your pipes, allowing you to get the best from your appliances and plumbing with no maintenance required.

If you need assistance installing your RO system or water softening system, you can watch videos on the internet.

Can we use RO after water softener?

Frequently confused by the differences between house Reverse Osmosis and Water Softener.

RO is a purified water technology that uses a semipermeable membrane to remove ions, molecules, and larger particles from drinking water.

RO removes minerals from tap water at the molecular level in household systems.

On the other hand, water softening is a way to treat hard water to make it easier to work with.

Hard water contains high levels of calcium and magnesium, which can cause buildup on pipes and fixtures and make it difficult to get soap suds to lather.

Water softening involves adding salt(sodium ion) to the water, which helps remove these minerals.

RO is more effective than water softening at removing impurities from water, but it is also more expensive.

Water softening is less expensive and requires less maintenance. Still, it does not remove as many impurities as reverse house osmosis.

If you are concerned about the quality of your tap water, reverse osmosis is the best option.

Water softening may be the better option if you are primarily concerned about hardness.

Which is better? A water softener or reverse osmosis system?

When deciding which is better for your home, a water softener or a RO system, it is essential to first understand the difference.

A softener works by exchanging ions in the water with ions in the softener.

This process removes minerals that can cause hardness in water, such as calcium and magnesium.

On the other hand, a RO system uses pressure to force water through a semipermeable membrane.

This process removes impurities from the water.

So, which is better for your home? That depends on your needs.

If you’re looking for a way to remove contaminants from your water, RO is the way.

However, if you’re looking to remove minerals that cause hardness, a softener is better.

Reverse osmosis
Water softener

Difference between a water softener and a reverse osmosis system?

You probably take your water for granted like most people. Turn on the faucet, and out it comes, ready to drink, cook with or bathe in.

But what many people don’t realize is that their water may not be as pure and clean as they think.

In fact, depending on where you live, your water may contain various contaminants, including lead, bacteria, and chemicals.

That’s where water purification systems come in.

These systems can remove the impurity from your water, leaving you with pure, clean water that tastes great and is safe to drink.

But with so many different types of water purification systems on the market, it can be tough to choose the right one for your home.

Two of the most popular water purification systems are reverse osmosis systems and softeners.

But what’s the difference between these two systems? Let’s take a closer look.

Cost and maintenance of both water systems

Reverse Osmosis systems are known to have a higher up-front cost.

The average 4-stage RO system costs between $400 and $600, while the average 2-stage RO system costs around $200.

The installation of an RO system also requires some technical expertise, which can add to the overall cost.

Water softeners, on the other hand, have a lower up-front cost. The average softener costs between $200 and $400.

Installation is typically more straightforward than an RO system, keeping costs down.

Maintenance costs for both systems are similar, with each requiring periodic replacement of house water filters or cartridges.


RO systems are designed to remove contaminants from water, including dissolved minerals, bacteria, viruses, and chemicals. It typically have a very high removal rate, on the order of 99%.

Water softeners can remove hardness minerals from your water.

These minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, can cause scale buildup and soap scum.

Softeners typically have a removal rate of 80-95%.

Is a water softener the same as reverse osmosis?

No, a water softener is not the same as RO. They are two different ways to purify water.

Water is forced through a semipermeable membrane in Reverse osmosis.

This removes harmful contaminants from the water by trapping them on the other side of the membrane.

On the other hand, water softeners work by exchanging ions in the water with ions from a salt (sodium ion) solution.

This removes hardness from the water but does not remove other harmful contaminants.

So, if you’re looking for a way to remove impurities from your water, reverse osmosis is the better option.

However, if you’re looking for a way to soften hard water, a water softener is better.


If you’re in the Phoenix region, you are likely dealing with hard water. 

The softener removes minerals like magnesium and calcium, which means that water won’t block your pipes and foams like it’s supposed to.

A RO filter is vital if you’re looking to drink water free of contaminants.

Many restaurants or other establishments offer water to reduce bottled water and guarantee that you serve customers with the best water.

According to your need, it is up to you to decide the best option for you: a water softener or a reverse osmosis system.

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