How Effective is RO in Reducing Hardness of Water?


Do RO water purifiers reduce the hardness of water? What are the major functions of this type of water purifier? What are the specific benefits one can get out of it?

Are you confused about water treatment products? Are RO purifiers the same as water softeners? If not, then what are the functions of these two kinds of filtration systems? Can RO Purifier help in softening water? If you have all of these questions, then you are at the right place. Let’s check them out!

How does reverse osmosis works?

RO systems are pretty simple when you go right into it. An RO purifier uses a membrane-style filter to capture the harmful contaminants present in the tap water like Arsenic and Uranium.

Basically, the water is pushed through a membrane using a home’s normal water pressure coming from a pressure tank. The contaminants are captured within the membrane fibers leaving the treated or purified water that comes out from the other side for safe drinking and cooking.

There is more than the technical info mentioned about these systems, but that’s how much RO systems work, and they do work quite well!

What are the benefits of a RO system?

  1. It helps in reducing 90% of dissolved pollutants from the water.
  2. It helps in removing heavy metal contaminations.
  3. It can help in removing pesticides from the water.
  4. It helps in removing organic impurities.
  5. It helps in enhancing the taste.
  6. It can provide a continuous flow of safe drinking water.
  7. It offers various levels of purification.
  8. RO water purifier is quite easy to maintain and the replacement of the membrane mainly depends on the quality of water and its usage.
  9. Its size ensures that it can easily be fitted anywhere without much hassle.

When is an RO system needed?

Water that is processed from a water softener can be used for all purposes except for drinking. It cannot be used for consumption directly as a softener will reduce the hardness but won’t change the existing TDS levels in the water. It is important to use an RO system for drinking after the softener.

What is a softener unit?

The water softener unit is specially designed to remove the hardness from the water which is a combination of Calcium & Magnesium salts from the water through a process which is known as ion exchange. Hard water contains a high concentration of dissolved minerals between 120-180 PPM and anything below this limit is mildly hard, and over this is very hard.

The resin present in the water softener is mostly charged with sodium ions from the brine that contains the brine tank during the regeneration process. The calcium and magnesium that come in contact with these resin beads are exchanged for sodium on the resin, converting hard water into soft water.

Here are some benefits of a water softener:

  1. It can provide cleaner and shinier glassware, mirrors, silverware, tiles, or any other plumbing fixtures.
  2. It can provide softer, cleaner, and smoother skin.
  3. It can give brighter laundry.
  4. The usage of soap or shampoo reduces by 75% because of the rich lather softened water.
  5. It provides extended life of water equipment like water heaters, coffee machines, ice makers, dishwashers, and laundry equipment.
  6. It saves money on monthly energy costs and damages to appliances.

When does a water softener is needed?

Groundwater derived from bore wells, tube wells, hand-pumps, and wells is hard in nature. It is because water is a universal solvent and absorbs the minerals like calcium and magnesium as it travels through the earth’s crust and beneath the ground.

A water softener replaces these minerals with less destructive minerals. Water hardness causes the scale to form inside the pipes, water heaters, or even boilers. These scales then shorten the life of these household products.

Difference between a water softener and a reverse osmosis system

A water softener is made to tackle hard water which is a common water quality problem. Consuming hard water over the long term can lead to dry skin and cause water spots on glasses and silverware. This process of softening can remove the ions, which makes the water hard because of calcium and magnesium ions, and replaces them with sodium or salt.

RO purifiers usually filter water. A water filter can help to remove unwanted impurities like contaminants and minerals from the tap or well water. Those impurities are not limited to sodium, chromium, copper, chlorine, lead, pesticide, fluoride, arsenic, radium, sulfate, magnesium, potassium, calcium, nitrate, and phosphorous. RO is different from other water purification systems because it uses an RO membrane to remove up to 99% of TDS.

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