Replacing filters in pitchers, refrigerators, faucets, and countertop is expensive, time-consuming and so easily replaceable with an inexpensive whole house water filtration system. If you already have or intend to purchase a water softener, the whole house water filtration system is placed upstream of your softener to remove harmful chemicals that dramatically affect the performance and longevity of your water softener. To create pure water the under sink reverse osmosis water system finishes the water for drinking, ice making, and cooking.

Water filter pitchers are filled from the top and have built-in filters that water must pass through before being poured out for drinking or other use and create roughly half a gallon of water.

Refrigerators have built-in filters that supply water and ice through the door.

Faucet-mounted filters attach to a standard faucet and can be switched on and off between filtered and unfiltered water.

On-counter filters.

Under-sink filters are generally reverse osmosis filters installed under your sink and send water to a specially installed faucet.

Whole-house water treatment devices treat all water entering the house, not just the water used for drinking. Treatment is applied to all water entering your home, removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Some common waterborne contaminants include:

Aluminum
Ammonia
Arsenic
Barium
Cadmium
Chloramine
Chromium
Copper
Fluoride
Bacteria & Viruses
Lead
Nitrates/Nitrites
Mercury
Perchlorate
Radium
Selenium
Silver
Uranium

Source: WQA.ORG

Lawns and plants don't need softened water, and this is a tremendous waste of softened water. Any time a water softener is installed, the water supply pipes for the outside faucets should be connected upstream of the water softener.

Salt is only introduced into the softener during the periodic regeneration process. The resin beads that remove the calcium and magnesium (hardness) in your water are flushed with a brine (salt) solution. Brine releases the calcium and magnesium from the beads.

Hard water is not a health risk but is a nuisance because of mineral buildup on plumbing fixtures' and poor soap and or detergent performance. Water is a good solvent and picks up impurities easily.

Hard water is water that has high mineral content. Hard water is formed when water percolates through deposits of limestone, chalk or gypsum which are largely made up of calcium and magnesium carbonates, bicarbonates and sulfates.