Reverse Osmosis Vs Water Softener

With the variety of options choosing the best choice is a tough job for most homeowners.

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 the best solution for your home is 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, those who have compromised immune systems could be at risk from these contaminants.

Water filtration eliminates contaminants and toxins from the drinking water and cooks with or brushes our teeth with and get 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 in 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, in the process known as “ion-exchange.”

In the process of exchange, sodium ions are coated with an exchange medium within the softener. 

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 release 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:

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 as well as viruses, we suggest the use of UV-based disinfection.

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

How does a water softener system work?  

A water softener eliminates the hardness (a mixture of Calcium and Magnesium salts) from 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 than this 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.

1. 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.

2. 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 for short) that prevents them from adhering to surfaces and forming scale.

What is the function of reverse osmosis?

The process of eliminating the dissolved solids and sediments with Reverse Osmosis is relatively easy. 

Reverse Osmosis works by using the pressure pump to push the water that you use in your household through a sequence of filters, including a carbon or sediment filter, RO membrane, and an activated carbon post-filter. 

It makes sure that all impurities are taken out effectively also from your brown well water, providing the user with clean, great-tasting water to drink.

Chemically unsafe water negatively affects the taste of water 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, 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 through which you can decrease and eliminate toxic organic as well as inorganic contaminants efficiently.

Advantages of reverse osmosis and water softener

Advantages 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 softener 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.
  • More flavorful water – Water that hasn’t been processed by reverse osmosis 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 any 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 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: – The cost of water softeners will cost you at least $2,000 to set up.
  • 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 to 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 in 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 Water purifiers do 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 semi-permeable membrane. The process can take a long time.
  • Removes vital minerals:- While the RO purifier eliminates impurities 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 is dependent on the needs of your home.

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:- The use of 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.
  2. Different functions:- While water softeners “soften” the water, reverse osmosis water systems purify it. If you only have a water softener, numerous impurities are present in the water you drink. If you only have reverse osmosis and hard water, it will not see much improvement.  
  3. Cost:- The cost of water softeners is high. They can save energy and extend the life of household appliances as well. Those who use reverse osmosis 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 trademark registered belonging to Pepsi Co Inc., utilize reverse osmosis to cleanse their water bottles. Look at the bottle.

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

To get the best water softening and filtration advantages, consider using a water softener as well as a reverse osmosis device in conjunction. 

It will supply your faucets, pipes, showers, and other 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. 

For starters, you’ll not need to purchase bottled water 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. 

When you have a water softener, 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.


If you’re in the Phoenix region, you are likely dealing with hard water. The water softener removes minerals like magnesium and calcium, which means that water won’t block your pipes, and it foams like it’s supposed to.

If you’re looking to drink water free of contaminants, then a reverse osmosis filter is vital. 

Particularly in restaurants or other establishments that offer water with a reverse osmosis filter will reduce the requirement to buy bottled water and guarantee that you serve customers with the best water you can get.

It is up to you to decide according to your need what is the best option for you from a water softener or reverse osmosis system.

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