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Should I Install My Whole House Water Filter Before or After the Water Softener?

If you want to protect your home’s water supply, you might be thinking about installing both a water filter and a water softener. This is a great idea, as it can remove a variety of contaminants and make sure your dissolved ion concentration, including magnesium and calcium, are appropriate.

At the same time, how do you properly install the system? Which one goes where? If you install one of them before the other, will the entire system become ineffective?

In general, if your water supply contains high levels of chlorine or sediment, then you need to install the water filter first. On the other hand, if your water supply has high levels of magnesium and calcium, then the water softener should be installed first.

How do you decide which order is right for your water supply?

An Overview of a Whole House Water Filter

If you want to filter all of the water that comes into your home, then you need a whole house filter. A whole house water filtration system should be installed at the point where water enters the home. That way, all of the water that runs through the pipes in your house has been through the filter.

There are different types of whole house water filters available, and you need to think about the contaminants you have in your water supply. Then, you can customize your water filter to meet your needs. For example, the contaminants you find in city water might not be the same as the contaminants you find in well water, so you will want to get your water tested before you decide which water filter is right for your needs.

An Overview of a Whole House Water Softener

In general, there is only one type of water softener available, and it is designed to soften the water throughout your entire home. A water softening solution is designed to be installed at the point where your water enters your home. Therefore, any water softener should be a water softening system that will soften all of the water in your home.

Do You Really Need Both a Water Softener and a Water Filter?

The answer depends on what is in your water and if you want to do something about it. That is because a water filter cannot do what a water softener does, and I water softener cannot do what a water filter does. Therefore, if you want to soften and filter the water in your home, you need to purchase one of each.

For example, when you test your water supply, you may find that it has a variety of chemicals in it that are designed to purify it. At the same time, the extra chlorine can impact the taste of your city’s water supply. On the other hand, you have been dealing with limescale buildup throughout your home during the past few years, so you need to soften the water as well.

In this situation, you will need a water filter that can remove some of the contaminants in the water supply while also investing in a water softener that can remove the limescale buildup throughout your home. 

Given that hard water is very common in the United States, and much of the country also has chlorinated water running through its pipes, it is advisable to invest in both a water filter and a water softener.

Deciding Whether a Water Filter or a Water Softener Should Go First

So, once you have a water filter and a water softener, how do you install them? The answer depends on what you are trying to filter, and there are a few factors you need to think about before you install your water filter and water softener.

Some of the most important points that you need to consider include:

Do You Have Well Water or City Water?

You need to think about whether you have municipal water or well water running through your home. The majority of people have a municipal water supply, but depending on your location, you may have a private well.

Well water usually comes from an underground aquifer, while public water systems generally come from groundwater. If you have city water, you are more likely to have common chemical contaminants, which means that you may want to put your water filter first.

On the other hand, if you have well water, your water may be a bit hard, which means you want to install a water softener first.

Remove the confusion for city water and take a look at the DROP City Smart Water Softener. This smart softener combines a catalytic carbon filter, that removes chemicals, and a high-performance ion exchange resin, to soften the water, all into one unit.

Is the Water Chlorinated?

You should also check and see if your water is chlorinated. If you have city water, there is a good chance that your water is chlorinated. If you are using well water, then the chlorine level in your water is probably pretty low.

Regardless of where you get your water from, you should test the chlorine level before you decide to install your water filter and water softener. If the chlorine level is high, you need to install your water filter first because you want to protect your water softener. If your water softener is exposed to high levels of chlorine, you may shorten its lifespan, which can increase your expenses.

Do You Have a Lot of Sediment?

You may also want to check and see if you have a lot of sediment in your water supply. If you get your water from the city, most of the sediment is probably removed before it reaches your home. On the other hand, if your water comes from a private well, you may still have some sediment present in your water supply. Examples include dirt, dust, and even sand. You may be able to see these contaminants with the naked eye.

Obviously, this sediment is bad for your plumbing system, and it should be removed by a basic water filter. You may still want to place your water softener first to reduce the hardness level before it reaches the water filter, but you need to make sure your water softener has a sediment filter.

If your water softener does not have a sediment filter, you may want to put the water filter first, or you may want to get a different water softener that comes with a sediment filter.

Again, there is no right or wrong answer, but you may want to extend the lifespan of your water filter and water softener by thinking carefully about which one comes first. Consider the factors above when deciding how you want to rough in and install these systems.

Get the Best Water Filters and Water Softeners From DROP

Regardless of whether you are looking for a water filter or water softener, you need to make sure you purchase a quality appliance. We are DROP, and we have a variety of water filters and water softeners from which to choose. We want to place you in control of your water supply, and we can help you figure out which water filter and water softener are best for your needs.

Take a look at our selection today, and give us a call if you have questions about which systems are right for your home. 

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