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Reverse Osmosis vs Water Softener: How Do They Compare?

If you’re thinking about installing a water conditioner in your home, you’re making the right choice. The water in northeastern Illinois is particularly hard compared to water from other areas of the country, and can cause quite a few problems.

The question now is: what type of water conditioner are you going to opt for? Maybe you’ve narrowed your choices down to a reverse osmosis system or a standard water softener? Perhaps you’re looking for information on both systems so that you can make an educated decision?

If so, you’re in luck. Let’s compare the reverse osmosis system with the water softener.

Reverse Osmosis System vs Water Softener


Let’s start off our comparison by discussing the taste of the water produced by the two systems. There is a fairly noticeable difference.

Because they eliminate essentially all of the minerals from water, reverse osmosis systems produce a water that tastes clean and pure. There are no supplemental tastes in water that has been run through a reverse osmosis system.

Water softeners, on the other hand, maintain many of the minerals which are found in water. Though softeners remove a great deal of the calcium, magnesium, and iron in water, they leave enough so that it affects the taste of the water ever so slightly.


If you’re looking to purify water inexpensively, you can do so with a reverse osmosis system. However, you should be aware of the fact that these systems have a limit as to how much water they can filter in a given amount of time. They don’t operate as quickly as other water conditioning systems.

Water softeners are a lot more expensive to operate, necessitating a decent amount of electricity. However, they will ensure that your water is soft, regardless of how much water you use.

Water Quality

Regardless of whether you choose a reverse osmosis system or a water softener, you will be reaping the benefits of high quality water. Both of these systems are capable of filtering out hard water minerals such as iron and manganese. Where these systems differ is in how much of these minerals they filter out.

Reverse osmosis systems are uber-effective in the removal of hard water minerals. They remove minerals to the point that water is almost entirely pure. This produces a very clean-tasting water, but it also removes some minerals which are an important part of the human diet.

Water softeners, on the other hand, remove the majority of hard water minerals, but typically do still leave some in the supply. Fortunately, this doesn’t pose a problem. These hard water minerals, when consumed in trace amounts, can be beneficial for your health. 


Now, let’s discuss what the maintenance of these two systems entails.

Reverse osmosis systems are fairly self-sufficient, requiring only a filter change around every 6 months. They require only small amounts of electricity to function, rarely ever facing breakdowns.

Water softeners, for the most part, are pretty easy to maintain. Barring any unusual problems, they require only regular salt changes and regular filter changes. So, while they require a little more maintenance than reverse osmosis systems, this amount of maintenance required is not substantial.

Reverse Osmosis System vs Water Softener: Which One Do You Choose?

Have you made your choice between a reverse osmosis system and a water softener? If so, all that’s left to do is have it installed. Looking for a water purification service in Warrenville? Johnson Water Company is the service you’re looking for.

Regardless of which system you choose, we can install it for you in a timely and professional manner. We look forward to eliminating the hard water minerals from your water supply.

Contact us today to get started!

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