Water Softener Buying Guide

Discover our selection of water softeners and how they work to combat the build up of calcium and magnesium ions in your water. Learn about the different types of water softeners, water softener salt and how to prevent hard water in your system.

Solve Your Hard Water Problems

  Fix all of your hard water problems with a water softener. The water softener 

system extracts all the dissolved minerals that can wreak havoc on your plumbing 

and health. Discover our selection of water softeners and accessories online or in-

store today!

What is Hard Water?

Hard water is formed when water minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, build up during the water cycle. It can affect everything from your home's energy use to the health of your skin and your finances. In homes with hard water, problems are most likely to surface while doing household chores and bathing. That's because the minerals in hard water accumulate in, on, and around pipes, dishes, tile, and laundry. They also weaken the effectiveness of most soaps and cleaners.

While hard water is safe to use for drinking and washing, here are five benefits of soft water:

  • Longer lasting dishwashers, laundry machines, washing machines, and water heaters. The Water Quality Association study showed soft water increases the lifespan of major appliances that use water by 30 to 50 percent.
  • More efficient water heating, which results in more energy savings. For example, water softeners use as little electricity as digital alarm clocks, and water heaters that run on soft water use up to 29 percent less energy.
  • Softer hair, smoother skin, and brighter clothes after washing.
  • Household cleaning is easier and quicker, as there are less hard water spots on glassware and dishes
  • Increased savings, as you won't have to replace water-using appliances as frequently, you will reduce detergent use by more than 50 percent, and pay less for water heating energy bills.
To determine your household's water hardness, you can purchase a water test kit.

How Do Water Softeners Work?

  1. Hard water flows through a main water pipe or well and reaches the water softener.
  2. Inside the resin tank, resin beads attract and exchange hard water minerals with sodium.
  3. Softened water leaves the tank and distributed throughout plumbing in your home.
  4. After time passes, the "regeneration" cycle begins, which requires salt (i.e. more sodium) to be added to the water softener.
  5. Resin beads are rinsed of hard water minerals in the brine solution, which are flushed into a nearby drain. Resin beads are renewed and continue the water softening process efficiently and effectively. 

Types of Water Softeners

To choose the right water softener, multiply the number of people living in your home by the litres of water they use each day. On average, each person uses 251 L per day. Then, multiply that number by the grains of hardness in your water to figure out how many grains need to be removed each day.

Salt-Based Ion Exchange Water Softener

  • This is the most common type of system.
  • It replaces the hard mineral ions with sodium ions.
  • Available in one tank and dual-tank options.

Water Softener with De-Scaler & Iron Removal

  • This system gets rid of hard mineral ions, as well as calcium and iron ions.
  • Works in the same way as salt-based ion exchange systems.
  • Available in dual-tank.

Water Softener Salt & Maintenance

  • Water softener salt is available in clean pellets or nugget-style. Other types of salt are available for specialized applications.
  • Use water softener cleanser to keep your softener running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. The cleanser keeps your softener free of contaminants, iron, and hard water build-up.
  • Additional features, like low salt indicators, high flow valves, and water flow indicators, can make it even easier to maintain your water softener.

Note: Not all warranties are the same. Make sure you check the details to ensure coverage on parts, labour, tanks, and electronics.


Water Softener Features

Demand Initiated Regeneration

Demand Initiated Regeneration (DIR) senses when the resin needs recharging, allowing you to only recharge when necessary. This means you get to save on salt!

Valve Size

Valve size determines the flow rate in your water softener. Choose from High Flow to Ultra High Flow, depending on your household’s water needs.

Salt Calculator

This feature automatically calculates the salt required in the water softener, so you will know how much is necessary to run the system, saving you salt and water.

Are Water Softeners Environmentally Friendly?

In 2013, the Water Quality Research Foundation* found that septic tanks performed better with "efficiently operated water softeners." Ensuring a properly functioning septic tank is vital to avoid accidentally contaminating groundwater with poorly treated waste water. 
Most water softeners are energy efficient and contribute to a better environment by utilizing demand-initiated regeneration with salt-saving technology, so the system only recharges when necessary, saving salt and water.

*Water Softener Effects on Septic System Performance, Water Quality Research Foundation (2013)

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