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Do Water Softeners Remove Chlorine?

The short answer is: No, water softeners do not remove chlorine.

A whole house water softener creates soft water through the ion exchange process, BUT it does remove chlorine from tap water. If you’re on a public water supply, this can be a problem, because all public water has chlorine in it. Water softeners make water soft, but not chlorine free.

What does chlorine do?

We always tell people it is a great thing that our water supply systems provide chlorinated water. It sanitizes all the harmful organisms that would otherwise grow in our water treatment plants.

I like to think of it like a bread wrapper. It’s great the bread is in a wrapper at the store, because it protects it from contaminants. Once you take it home though you don’t eat the wrapper with the bread. Removing chlorine and harmful chemicals from your drinking water is like taking the wrapper off.

Also if you don’t do chlorine removal then the harmful chlorine can dry out your skin and hair, bleach clothes, destroy rubber gaskets, etc.

What happens to chlorine in a water softener?

If the level of chlorine entering your water softener is over 1 ppm, then the chlorine will destroy the resin. Resulting in you having to replace the water softener resin bed after a few short years, and you’ll miss soft water! Resin beads are made of a special type of plastic, so chlorine being corrosive breaks that down over time. Also you will still have the strong chlorine odor in your home, so it doesn’t make the water great to drink. Also chlorine being corrosive will break down the gears, pistons, and rubber gaskets inside your water softener. And we all know that’s not cheap to fix! So the smart move is to have a powerful chlorine remover before it enters the softening resin.

How do you remove chlorine from city water?

The best way to remove chlorine from your tap water is to install a whole house filtration system before your water softener to get chlorine free water. The most popular filtration system: a 20″ carbon block system, whole house filter system, water refiner, or a backwashing washing carbon system.

The bad news about just putting in a cartridge filter, like a carbon block, is you can only have one faucet running to remove chlorine. So the flow rate on a carbon block is very low, and not the best solution (but it is the cheapest). Also you have to change that filter pretty frequently to keep remove chlorine.

The next option is a whole house filter system to remove chlorine. Imagine your refrigerator filter in a large tank that water passes through before your water softening system, and it has no drain and no control valve. This tank can be filled with granular activated carbon, catalytic carbon, KDF, coconut shell carbon, coal based carbon, or a mixture of them. This tanks job is to remove the chlorine before it enters your water softener, so you don’t destroy the water softener resin. These tanks come in all different sizes, so depending on your water quality, water usage, the media inside the system, it can last many years with 0 maintenance. 

The other option is a whole house backwashing filter to remove chlorine. This type of filtration system DOES have a drain and a control valve. So every couple of days it cleans itself and repacks the media bed. The benefit to this type of system is you don’t have channeling created in your whole house filtration system. Water takes the path of least resistance, so in some whole house filter systems you can have one side of the tank used more then the other. 

Does Soft Water Have Chlorine?

If your home only has a water softener installed for hard water, then it will still have chlorine present. It’s best to have a whole house filtration system in front of your water softener, so you can have soft water without destroying your resin beads. And some tap water has more chlorine then a swimming pool, which makes it not great drinking water.

Do water softeners add chlorine to water?

Water softeners have no way of adding chlorine to the water. If you have chlorine in your water it’s because the city added it at the water treatment plant, and your water softener cannot remove it with just resin beads. The water softeners main job is to remove minerals like: calcium, magnesium, and iron ions. The calcium and magnesium is what creates scale buildup, and hard water that wreaks havoc on your home.

How does a water softener work?

The water softeners main job is to remove calcium (hardness minerals), and provide softened water to your home. Some people ask does water softener remove chlorine? The tap water can contain large quantities of chlorine, so you want to remove chlorine with some type of granular media or gac mixes. Catalytic filtration will remove chlorine along with chloramines. Some people don’t like adding expensive salt to there water softener all the time, but with a Kinetico® water softener you can save up to 80% on salt use. Plus, you remove hard water which salt-free water conditioners can’t do!

We hope this helped answer your question: Do water softener remove chlorine?


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