You’ve heard about hard water and are concerned about showering in it. If the only water you need to soften is in your shower, a water softener shower filter may be perfect for you. What are these devices, and how do they work?
A water softener shower filter replaces or fits onto an existing shower head and filters calcium and magnesium from the water stream. This filtration system is much less expensive than other water softener systems and offers several health benefits, as well.
Keep reading to learn more about water softeners for your shower, how they work, and how they can benefit you and your family.
Can I Soften Only the Water in My Shower?
Water that flows out of your shower head can be softened using a water softener shower filter. These small, easy-to-install devices allow only soft water to flow out of your shower head, filtering out the harsh calcium and magnesium that are found in hard water.
This can be especially useful if you only need to soften your shower water, and don’t mind hard water in your kitchen or bathroom sink. These smaller units are a far less expensive and more convenient alternative to whole-home systems, which soften all of the water used within a home, from the source. These are called point-of-entry systems, typically attach to piping in the basement, and can cost thousands of dollars.
Shower water filters, in contrast, are point-of-use systems, which soften only the water at a specific place of water use such as a single tap. They are a fraction of the cost of point-of-entry systems and can help keep your family healthier as well as save you money in the long run.
So why would you even want or need one of these devices, and what are the benefits of bathing in soft water?
What Are the Benefits of Filtration Systems?
Showering in soft as opposed to hard water has many benefits to health, as well as to your wallet, and the infrastructure of your home. Hard water can cause several health and hygiene problems including:
- Dry skin
- Irritated or itchy skin
- Dull, flat hair
- Significant hair loss
- Reduced effectiveness of soap and shampoo
- Soapy, irritating residue left behind on the skin
What’s more, hard water can harm your pipes in the long run by leaving mineral deposits behind. These deposits can affect water flow and can sometimes clog your shower head if left to collect over time.
Using a water softener shower filter can improve your skin health, help your hair stay healthier, reduce hair fall, keep your pipes lasting longer, and save you money on soap and shampoo, too. So how and why does a water filter like this work, and what’s inside it?
Read my ultimate guide to water softeners.
Do Inline Shower Filters Really Soften Your Water?
Water softener shower filters are highly effective at simply and quietly softening the water that comes out of your shower head. Some come in the form of a small canister that attaches to your existing plumbing, whereas other models completely replace the shower head in your shower.
Both types of filters accomplish this by passing your shower’s water through and around beads that are filled with positively charged sodium ions. These little beads attract and grab ahold of the calcium and magnesium in your water, replacing them with sodium ions. This allows the water that passes through the filter and into your shower to be free of these harsh minerals, and soft.
Something to keep in mind, however, is that the charged beads within your filter will eventually lose their charge and will need to be replaced. How often will this need to be done?
Combining water softeners and a shower filter
Water softener shower filters are a type of device that works by softening hard water as it passes through the showerhead. Hard water is water that contains high levels of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. When hard water is used for bathing or showering, it can cause several problems, including dry skin, hair damage, and soap scum buildup.
Water softeners work by removing the minerals from hard water, typically through a process called ion exchange. The process involves replacing the calcium and magnesium ions with sodium ions, which are much softer and do not cause the same problems as hard minerals.
Shower filters, on the other hand, are designed to remove chlorine and other chemicals from the water. Chlorine is commonly used to disinfect municipal water supplies, but it can cause skin and hair irritation for some people. By removing chlorine and other chemicals, shower filters can help to improve the quality of the water and reduce the risk of skin and hair problems.
Combined water softener shower filters are designed to provide the benefits of both water softeners and shower filters in one device. These devices can help to soften hard water, remove chlorine and other chemicals, and provide a more enjoyable showering experience. Overall, water softener shower filters can be an excellent investment for those who want to improve the quality of their shower water and avoid the problems associated with hard water.
How much does you shower water quality affect your skin?
Your shower water quality can have a significant impact on the health and appearance of your skin. Hard water, which is often high in minerals like calcium and magnesium, can leave behind a residue on the skin and hair, making it feel dry and irritated. Over time, this buildup can clog pores and lead to the development of skin conditions like eczema and acne.
Softening your shower water with a water softener shower filter can help to reduce these effects by removing the minerals and other impurities that can lead to dryness and irritation. This can leave your skin feeling softer and smoother, and may even help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
In addition to improving the health and appearance of your skin, improving your shower water quality can also help to reduce the amount of soap and other products you need to use to get clean. Softened water lathers more easily, allowing you to use less soap and shampoo, which can help to save money over time.
Do I Need to Replace or Refill this Type of Water Filter?
Over time, the positively charged beads in your water softener filtration unit will lose their charge and will need to be replaced. If the beads no longer have a positive sodium ionic charge, there is nothing for your filter to exchange for the calcium and magnesium, and the water flowing out of your shower will still be hard.
Replacing the beads in your water softener shower filter is a matter of replacing the cartridge, as opposed to the entire housing unit. The cartridge filled with charged beads sits inside of the filter housing and simply swaps out, and the old cartridge can be thrown away. How often should this be done?
Manufacturers’ instructions may vary, and how long the filter lasts will also depend on how frequently the shower is used. But generally speaking, your shower filtration unit’s cartridge should be replaced once every 4 – 6 months to ensure that soft water is always available for your next shower.
Maintenance requirements for water filtration at your shower head
Maintaining a water filtration system at your shower head is an important aspect of ensuring the system continues to work effectively over time. Regular maintenance can help to prevent the buildup of minerals and other impurities that can clog the system and reduce its effectiveness.
One of the most important maintenance tasks is to replace the filter cartridge on a regular basis. Most shower filters will require the filter cartridge to be replaced every three to six months, although this can vary depending on the specific model and the quality of the water in your area.
In addition to replacing the filter, it is also important to clean the showerhead itself regularly to prevent the buildup of mineral deposits and other impurities. This can be done using a mild cleaning solution and a soft cloth, or by soaking the showerhead in a cleaning solution overnight. By performing these simple maintenance tasks, you can ensure that your water filtration system is working effectively to provide you with clean, healthy water for your showering needs.
How Much Do Shower Water Filters Cost?
The cost of a shower filter can vary depending on the type and brand of filter you choose. Basic shower filters can be purchased for as little as $20, while more advanced models with additional features such as a water softening function can cost over $100. Premium brands, such as the Pentair shower unit, will cost more than an Amazon generic model.
Shower filter costs
A water softener shower filter will cost anywhere from $50 to $200 on average. But compared to a point-of-entry or whole-home water softening system, you’ll save thousands on the unit and installation, as most shower filters can be installed by hand in a single afternoon. You’ll also save money on maintenance, as water softener shower filters are a relatively hands-off device, and don’t need much attention.
This makes a water softener shower filter a much more economical solution for an individual or family, especially if your sole concern is the risks of bathing in hard water. Of course, factors such as the filter lifespan, product warranty, and user ratings should be factored into your decision about whether to buy one of these models.
Replacement showerhead filter costs
The replacement cartridges for a shower filter will cost you between $20 and $50 on average, and you’ll likely need two or three of these per year as the old head filter loses its charge and needs to be replaced. Of course, the more water you use, the higher your annual maintenance costs will be.
Conclusion About Treating Water at the Shower Head
Water softener shower filters attach to your existing plumbing or replace your existing shower head. They then filter water through positively charged sodium-filled beads to capture the calcium and magnesium that makes water hard. Innovative water solutions like an inline shower filter can be cost-effective solutions.
This softened water is much better for bathing, as bathing in hard water can cause dry, itchy skin, cause hair to fall out, reduce the effectiveness of soap and shampoo, and damage plumbing. The cartridge for your showerhead filter will need to be changed out every 4-6 months to ensure you’re getting soft water every time you bathe.
The entire filtration unit will cost you between $50 to $200 on average, and subsequent replacement cartridges will cost between $20 and $50. Bathing in filtered shower water is a great way to save money over a whole-home water softening solution, as well as increase the safety and gentleness of your shower’s water.