What and how much of it are you wanting to filter out of the water?
Most people just think it is a good idea to have a filter, but they have no visible dirt in the water, so really, they don't need a filter but... someone said (usually someone selling filters) it was a good idea and they install one.
Ahead of a softener is not a good idea unless you have a softener with a control valve that gags on any build up of invisible dirt. Like big box brands and Kinetico. With those and regular softeners, a filter can cause resin failure due to reduced flow and pressure caused insufficient back washing because of the filter.
I have installed my whole house filter before the water softener. I went under my house cut into the cold water inlet before it even goes to the water heater, came out into the garage to the water softener and sent it back to that line. In other words my cold water from the city goes to the filter and then to the water softener and back to the original line which feeds the water heater. I use Potassium Chloride instead of salt. Less corrosive to metal and better for you. I have a Kenmore 350 Series W/S. In have had it for almost 2 years with no problem. Simple - City Water to filter, Filter Water to W/S, soft water to W/H. :thumbup:
The only reason I can see to have a filter after the softener is if you are afraid of softener failure and the softener medium getting into the lines. What else would the filter pick up after the softener has filtered the water.
thanks to all for the responses, i have one other question. i did just that and had it installed before the water softener which to me helps in keeping the softener and new tankless heater last and operate better.
but the other question is (please do not blast me just wondering) should i also install a water filter in the kitchen sink for drinking purposes or am i going a little too far with filtering the water.???
I've sold, installed and serviced thousands of water softeners and can tell you a prefilter on most of them will eventually reduce pressure and gpm, which causes failure of the resin. Unless your water is visibly dirty, you don't need and shouldn't want a prefilter on the vast majority of water softeners.
The choice is yours as to what you want to protect, and I'd have to ask what that is because you aren't protecting the softener from invisible dirt. The resin filters that out and with proper water pressure and gpm flow, backwashes it out of the resin every regeneration.
ALL waters have invisible dirt. So what? The current cultural thinking that we would do well in a pristine environment, meaning our houses, water, hands and clothes so clean you can have no "germs" and could eat off the floor, seems IMO to be a leading cause of lots of kids and adults having allergies and other immune problems because of over protecting kids and ourselves from any and all 'dirt', preventing the body to build immunity.
If you are really into that ultra clean thinking, I suggest filtering the dust laden air you breath. Twenty five years ago who would have thought that people were so prone to paranoia that they'd pay like ten times more for a bottle of drinking water (per gallon) than a gallon of gas? Maybe the next big money maker thing is the face air filter... And trust me, many women and feminized men today would have their kids wearing one!
You look at the cartridge and see it getting discolored and think it is removing dirt, more likely is the trapped air in the filter cartridge oxidizing ferrous iron in the water which converts the iron to ferric iron/rust in the cartridge. Or a 3 month build up of invisible dirt found in all waters that you drank for how many years without problems? BTW, resin is a very good dirt filter, although you don't want to use it as such.
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