You should virtually NEVER use a water softener as an iron filter and you should be very wary of anyone who suggests you do such a thing. Iron causes damage to a water softener's mineral bed and makes water softeners use a lot more salt. Eventually running measurable amounts of iron to a water softener will certainly result in expensive service calls. In home sales companies often do this to generate ongoing income from unsuspecting consumers. If you have an iron problem you should use an iron filter to remove that iron. If the water is very hard you can add a water softener which will then be highly efficient as it only has to do one job which is remove hardness. That is what a water softener is for. Using this method our average customer says they add salt about once per year when the water softener is properly applied. People who use water softeners as iron filters may find that absolutely amazing as they are usually using MASSIVE amounts of salt. And usually the person who told them to do such a foolish thing is selling them the salt!
The majority of people we see who have been sold a water softener as an iron filter never needed a softener to begin with, or the unnecessary maintenance and expense of adding massive amounts of salt and ongoing service issues. A lot of iron in the water often makes it act like the water is really hard when that is not always the case. Not to mention we have iron filters that require virtually no maintenance and require no salt or chemical additives. And the water will be great to drink without adding reverse osmosis like you would have to do with a water softener.
Water softeners use ionic exchange to remove hardness. A proper iron filter uses filtration to remove iron. The best type of iron filtration is to use an "oxidizing" filter for iron removal such as our Terminox™ ISM filter. Our "Terminox™" iron filters remove iron, sulfur, manganese, dirt, turbidity, smells, tastes and even harsh chemicals such as chlorine. They use no salt or chemicals and are virtually maintenance free. Just set it and forget it. You can find them on this page:
Also remember you should not drink the water from a water softener as a rule. You should either drink bottled water or add reverse osmosis ($199.87) to the kitchen sink for all of your cooking and drinking water. You can also connect up to two additional water using appliances, including refrigerators, freezers and ice makers to a single reverse osmosis unit when properly applied.