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How Do I Choose the Best Hard Water Shower Filter?

Water softening shower filters can be installed right in the shower head.
Plumber's tape will be needed when installing a hard water shower filter.
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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 21 August 2014
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Water that has high levels of dissolved minerals is often referred to as hard water. People who shower in hard water will often have several problems, including dry skin and white, scaly build up in tubs and shower stalls. One way to get rid of hard shower water is to buy a hard water shower filter. Unlike a water softener, a shower filter removes minerals from the water, along with heavy metals, chemicals, and sediment. These filters are generally simple to install, since many of them simply replace existing shower heads.

Hard water has a much higher mineral content than other types of water. Some of the more common minerals in hard water include calcium and magnesium. Hard water is created when water in the ground picks up high quantities of these minerals.

Taking frequent showers in hard water is not necessarily considered dangerous, but it can lead to some discomfort. For example, without a hard water shower filter, hard water in a shower does not usually rinse away soap as it should. This can lead to a build up of soap residue on the skin. For many people, this can lead to dry or irritated skin.

Hard water can also leave calcium deposits on the surfaces of tubs and shower stalls. This white, scaly build up is often very difficult to remove, and it can even cause problems deep in the pipes. To treat hard water, some people install water softeners.

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Water softeners can be installed in the waterlines of certain homes and dwellings. These units usually use salt to remove the unwanted minerals from the water. They are often rather large and expensive, however, and they can also be costly to maintain. Someone who can not afford to install a large home water softener unit is often better off installing a simple hard water shower filter.

The shower filter can be installed right in the shower. It filters out the excess minerals that cause hard water. Most of these filters also remove several other water impurities that a typical water softener can not, including dangerous chemicals and heavy metals, such as mercury. Some of these filters also remove sediment that may be present in the water.

Installing a hard water shower filter is generally very easy. Just about any do-it-yourselfer can accomplish this task with a pipe wrench and plumber's tape. First, the old shower head should be removed, and plumber's tape should be wrapped around the threads at the end of the pipe coming out of the wall. The new hard water shower filter can then be screwed onto the pipe. Most of these shower filters already have shower heads on them, but if they don't, the old shower head should be screwed on to the filter.

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Discuss this Article

Phaedrus
Post 5

Buster29, there are a lot of ways to find out if your water is hard or not. There may be some home testing kits at a local hardware or home improvement store. A professional plumber could tell you right away if your water is too hard, but be prepared to pay a fee for his service call. If your home already had a water softener unit installed, it's fair to assume the previous owner already has some information you might need. It may be that your current water softening unit is in need of maintenance or it needs to be replaced with a newer, more efficient model.

Buster29
Post 4

Can anyone tell me how to tell if I have hard water? I've noticed stuff that looks like powder on my shower head, but there was a water softener unit installed before I bought this house. Could my water still be considered hard even with a working water softener?

Ruggercat68
Post 3

I've heard that just about every part of the country has some degree of hard water, so it might be more important than we realize to get a hard water shower filter. It isn't just the places where you can see an obvious build-up of crud. I'd say go to a local home improvement store and do some comparison shopping. One hard water shower filter might be cheaper than the rest, but you'll go through a lot more of them in the long run if they don't work well.

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