Water Softeners vs. Flow-Tech
You’re doing a deep clean of your house, making sure it doesn’t look like a mess army attacked. You feel like a successful general fighting for cleanliness. That is until you discover the rooms where you’re losing the battle. The bathroom. The kitchen. Everything hard water touches is slipping away from your kingdom.
You desperately try to scrub away the scale buildup, but it’s too powerful. You throw your sponge down. That’s it! Time for the cavalry. You need help. You need a way to cut the scale off at its source. But what could do that? Water filtration.
Here at Monkey Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Air, we’ve seen people all over Los Angeles battle with hard water scale for over 14 years. We know how frustrating and tiring it can be. That’s why we made this article to break down two of our most popular water filtration options.
We promise you will know the similarities and differences between water softeners and Flow-Tech by the end of this article. You will also understand how they work and what option will best fit your needs.
What is Water Filtration?
Water filtration is a way to treat your home’s water to get a desired outcome. Water softeners and devices like Flow-Tech are whole-home water filtration systems that can reduce the harmful effects of hard water on your home. To find out how hard your water is, you must first have your water tested for hardness minerals.
Once you know you have hard water, you can compare your water filtration options.
To explain how water filtration options differ, we first need to break down how they work. Stay with us because we’re going to get a bit scientific. Don’t worry, though. We’ve made some fun examples to cut through the confusing cr@p.
What is a Water Softener and How Does a Work?
A water softener fights scale buildup by reducing the hardness minerals in your water. It does this by adding salt to your system in a process called ion exchange.
Cue record scratch moment, right? Breathe. You got this. A water softener consists of two parts that help with this scale-fighting process:
A resin tank - filled with resin beads soaked in a salt and water mixture. This is where you can stop the scale in its tracks.
A brine tank - filled with salt to keep the resin tank working.
Water from the city comes into your plumbing system through the mainline and enters your water softener through a resin tank. Water then passes over the beads to start the softening process.
Once inside the resin tank, the minerals in hard water switch places with the salt in the beads. This swap happens because salt is a weaker mineral than hard water minerals.
Example: Think of the resin beads filled with salt as couples at a dance. Your resin tank is the venue. When hard and tough minerals in your water enter the venue, they’ll kick the weak salt away from their resin bead partners. The salt then exits as the hardness minerals, and resin beads continue their dance.
This is ion exchange in a nutshell. Once the resin beads are full of hardness minerals, the water softener resets in a process called regeneration. To carry on with our example, the salt that left the dance tells a bunch of their salt friends about what happened. The salt friends say, “We won’t take this anymore!” and they realize by themselves they’re weak, but together they can push the hardness minerals out through a drain.
What is a Flow-Tech and How Does Work?
A water filtration system like Flow-Tech, on the other hand, is a small device that sends a low-level frequency through your water to prevent scale buildup. This frequency makes minerals in hard water temporarily stick to each other instead of your pipes or your body.
Let’s simplify this definition.
Example: Flow-Tech’s frequencies work like those little experiments we did back in grade school where we played with magnets and sewing needles to make a DIY compass. Rubbing the magnet against the needle temporarily magnetized it, making it stick to certain things.
In this case, the low-level frequencies would be Flow-Tech’s “magnet,” temporarily making the minerals in the water stick together. The harmless minerals then exit your fixtures and wash down the drain.
Similarities Between Water Softeners and Flow-Tech
You can get a lot of the same benefits from a water softener and Flow-Tech. Both of them:
Prevent scale buildup - These water filtration options protect your fixtures and appliances from unsightly and damaging limestone buildup.
Break apart previous buildup - You heard us right! If you’re new to the water filtration party, water filtration can slowly eliminate the scale already built up in your plumbing system.
Reduce cleaning time - Water filtration’s scale prevention can also reduce the time it takes for you, your clothes, and your fixtures to get clean.
Extend the life of household items - Scale damages everything it touches. If you get rid of it with a form of water filtration, you can make sure your investments last!
Below is a table to show how many things water filtration can protect.
Are you surprised by some of these? Not only can scale from hard water clog up your fixtures, but it can also etch into glass doors and cups, making them appear cloudy.
Differences Between Water Softeners and Flow-Tech
Due to the way these water filtration systems work, they have some key differences when it comes to:
Softening water - While both filtration options reduce scale buildup, only water softeners reduce hardness minerals in the water.
Maintenance - Water softeners require maintenance in the form of keeping the brine tank stocked with salt. Flow-Tech doesn’t require maintenance.
Water additives - Flow-Tech doesn’t use salt, whereas water softeners do. This salt, however, can’t be tasted since it’s a small amount.
Eco-friendliness - Since Flow-Tech doesn’t need to replenish like a water softener, it doesn’t waste water.
Water texture - Water from a water softener will feel differently than water from a Flow-Tech. Water from a Flow-Tech won’t feel different from what you’re used to, while softened water will feel smoother on your skin.
Space used - Flow-Tech is an all-in-one unit that is significantly smaller than a water softener. Flow-Techs are about the size of your hand, while water softeners can be as tall as you are!
What Water Filtration Option is Best for Me?
There are different ways to tackle your home’s scale issues, but how you want to solve them depends on what’s important to you.
If you want an option that:
Removes hardness minerals
Provides smooth feeling water
Consider a water softener.
If you want an option that:
Doesn’t remove beneficial minerals or require maintenance
Takes up less space
Consider a Flow-Tech.
Want to find more ways to protect your home? Read our other articles to become your household’s plumbing expert.
If you’re ready to slay the scale dragon in your life, call us to schedule an appointment or book your next appointment online.