Almost on a daily basis we are asked whether these are the same thing - no, they are not.
Water Softeners operate by removing the elements that cause limescale, predominantly calcium and magnesium, and do this very effectively. These are installed somewhere near where the water comes into the property in order to ensure that the maximum benefit is gained from the unit throughout the property - but are only designed to soften the water, not filter it. Once you remove the calcium and magnesium from your water, your soft water will protect your appliances from scale, you will use less detergent and your shower door and kitchen / bathroom taps will be gleaming!
Drinking water filters on the other hand tend to be installed near the point of use, ie: to feed a single tap, and generally are designed to make your drinking water taste better by removing elements, predominantly chlorine, which can give mains water a lot of its nasty taste.
You can also add filters to remove particular things that may be of concern - hardness, nitrates, hormones, heavy metals - the list is endless! One of the most popular systems if you need excellent results is a "Reverse Osmosis” system. This offers up to 5 stages of filtration and allows you to have control over the quality of your drinking water.
There are a range of water softeners and drinking water filters on our website - take a look or give us a call and our friendly sales staff will talk the options through with you.