A carbon filter is a component that filters a whole range of impurities from drinking water. But whether to place the carbon filter before or after the water softener is a good question.

Ideally, the carbon filter should be placed before a water softener because it will remove chlorine from the water, which is good for the softener resin’s life span.

The Role Of A Carbon Filter

A carbon filter has a key role to play in a water purifier system. It removes contaminants and improves the smell and taste of the water. Carbon filters are good with organic compounds like herbicides, VOCs, and unwanted chemicals in the water.

Whole house filtration system

This is because they have an activated carbon filter that absorbs these impurities when the water passes through it.

The pores in the activated carbon trap big and small organic molecules and microscopic particles. It’s the diameter of these pores that control the rate of the diffusion of these organic molecules.

These filters are used at two different stages in the purification process—pre-RO and post-RO. Carbon absorption is a popular filtration method in homes because it deals well with everyday compounds like chlorine and also fights microorganisms.

However, it does not remove heavy metals or hardness from the water. That’s the job of the water softener.

Carbon filtration systems use solid block and granular activated carbon, but both of them work on the reverse osmosis technique. Despite its skills, where you place it in the purification system is an important decision.

Do I Need A Carbon Tank With My Water Softener?

Water softeners are only meant to soften hard water. So, if you are looking for a solution to your chemicals and chlorine problem, you will need a carbon tank too. And if you do get one, make sure it has the backwash feature which means it will clean itself.

What Will Activated Carbon Remove From Water?

Activated carbon is a filtering material. According to the EPA, it can remove about 14 recognized pesticides, 12 herbicides and 32 other organic contaminants. It is also effective in removing chlorine which will make your drinking water smell and taste better.

Are Carbon Filters Good For Well Water?

Yes they are. Carbon filters do a good job of getting rid of organic compounds, unwanted chemicals and microorganisms that come from different sources of water. This includes natural sources like rainwater, well water and water from springs, lakes, streams and such.

Should Your Filter Be Before Or After Your Water Softener

The question of placing a carbon filter before or after the water softener is pertinent because they all have different roles in the purification system.

Water softeners are typically used to treat the hard water that is provided by the municipal plant. This is only one of the steps in the process of water purification. It is not just enough to have a purification system.

You should arrange it such that the process is effective and none of the appliances get strained doing their job. That’s why it is important to place the carbon filter before the water softener.

This is because one of the key things that the carbon filter does is removing chlorine. If this is done before the water proceeds into the water softener, the resin in the tank lasts for a longer period of time. This eventually significantly increases your water softeners' life expectancy.

If the chlorine in the water is not removed, chloramines might cause damage to the rubber seals, gaskets, and O-rings in the water softener, thereby increasing the costs of your water softeners maintenance.

Thus, you must use the carbon to remove the disinfectants before they enter other appliances like the water softener or even your water heater.

But in case you have a water softener that has high-chlorine resistant resin, you might want to consider installing the carbon filter after the water softener. Even in that case remember that it should be placed before whatever UV filtration systems you have in place. But this is a rare exception to the rule.

Does The Carbon Filter Go First?

Well, it’s not the first line of defense because you want the basic impurities and particles out of the way so that your more expensive carbon filter does not get clogged. So, add a sediment filter to the process. After that comes the carbon filter.

Put Your Carbon Filter Before Your Water Softener

Hopefully, you have a clear answer to questions in relation to placing a carbon filter before or after a water softener. It’s always best to place it before the softener unless you have one that has a resin that is resistant to chlorine.