Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Water Conditioners vs. Water Softeners

 We have been unsatisfied with our water for some time.  Admittedly, compared to the well water we had in the last house this is no surprise.  This house has a Sterling water conditioner.  I have had trouble figuring what it does.  It does not remove iron or other scaly minerals.  On the other hand it does not require replacement media.

The water guy here today recommended a water softener.  He says that water conditioners are effectively worthless in this area, and the original owner was taken.  He also says to install a reverse osmosis system for drinking water and the refrigerator ice maker.  (Idaho plumbing code only allows softened water on hot water lines, not cold water.)  The smart softener which uses less media (in my case, potassium because of my heart disease history) is about $2600.  The reverse osmosis system for the kitchen is about $1600.

Comments?  Experience?


  1. Get a price also on an Iron filter (uses a media to collect the iron then uses air to oxidize the iron off the media) and a whole house RO system.
    Not knowing your water content I cannot comment further. But a potassium softener will not work as well as a salt softener, and is more expensive to operate and lasts about half as long.

    Check with your doctor before giving up on the salt softener. They don't add as much sodium as you think and will likely not affect your heart.
    Do you have an assay of what minerals are in your water?

  2. First thing you need is a water report. If you belong to a water district, they will have an Annual Water Quality Report. Otherwise you will have to find someone to analyze your water. Once you know your water quality, then you can decide on the appropriate treatment.

    I will add that a whole house RO system is big and expensive and it is unlikely you need it.