Difference between water conditioner and softener

11 December 2019

If you’ve just started to research the subject, you might think that ‘water softener’ and ‘water conditioner’ are interchangeable terms, meaning the same thing. Actually, there’s a big difference between a water conditioner and softener, both in terms of the scientific process going on inside the unit, and the properties of the water that leaves your tap.

When you’re investing hard-earned money to improve your home water supply, it’s important to know upfront that your chosen unit will suit your needs and lifestyle. So here’s our quickfire explanation of the difference between a water conditioner and softener, to help you decide which one suits you.

What does a water softener do?

In a previous blog, we’ve looked in detail at how a water softener works – but the basic principle is that it removes undesirable minerals like calcium and magnesium from the ‘hard’ water that enters your home supply. As the homeowner, the resulting ‘soft’ water will give you descaled pipes, more efficient heating, lower utility bills, added lifespan from pristine appliances – plus water that’s simply much nicer to drink and wash in. Bottom line, a water softener is the only way to turn hard water into soft water.

How does that compare to a water conditioner?

To be clear, a water conditioner does not soften hard water. In fact, these units don’t actually remove the calcium and magnesium at all, but rather alter the minerals’ chemical makeup to make them less prone to forming scale. Water conditioners can also remove sediment and chemicals like chlorine. But the fact is that all the financial benefits and pleasures of soft water are only achievable with a water softener.

So should I choose a water softener or conditioner?

At Cotswold Water Softeners, we don’t manufacture water softening units, so we can give honest and impartial advice. As such, we’d always recommend a good-quality water softener made by one of the trusted brands we work with. When your goal is to achieve water that is genuinely soft – and eliminate those damaging minerals entirely – only a water softener will do the job. And once you’ve counted the extra pounds in your pocket, and the endless benefits around your home, you’ll be glad you did.

Since 1998, Cotswold Water Softeners has helped countless families in the region to more efficient appliances, lower utility bills and better-tasting drinking water. Get in touch today and let us find the right water softener for you.