THE TOP TEN MOST ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT WATER TREATMENTby Janice Macdonald on 06/02/13
Here are the ten most frequently asked questions we hear from new water softener customers.
#1. Do I really need a water softener?
Answer. The water hardness in KW, Cambride and Guelph is over 25 grains per gallon. The water in your home comes from a well and so it contains calcium. While this doesn't seem problematic, it will eventually cause lime and scale build-up on your plumbing, fixtures and in your water heater. So the short answer is -- YES!
#2. What are the other benefits of having a water softener?
Answer: Your water will "feel" nicer in the shower and bath. Your laundry will be cleaner and you will use less soap. If that's not enough, it will increase the value of your home.
#3. How long does a water softener last?
Answer: The life expectancy of a cabinet water softener (all in one unit) is about 12 years. A two piece unit will usually last longer, about 15 to 20 years. Of course many factors come into play, for example, is the softener large enough for the family, and therefor not overtaxed. Also, the resin in your softener is constantly subjected to chlorine (Guelph), chloramine (Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge) and this can damage your resin bed. Still, water softeners are very reliable, and as long as it is North American manufactured, you should get a good long run for your investment.
#4. Isn't all that salt damaging the enviroment?
Answer: Newer models of water softeners use far less salt than most people think. Estimate 1 large bag per adult, per year. Maybe a little more if you are a big water user, but regardless, you won't use a truckload of salt unless your softener is set incorrectly, or the water usage in your home is huge.
#5. What kind of maintenance should I expect to do?
Answer: None! Keep one or two bags of salt in the salt tank, and forget about your softener. Newer models have self-charging capacitors, so in the case of a power failure the memory and program will remain intact. You should never clean out your salt tank, as this may introduce air into your system which, although easy to fix, is just a make-work project. Let the salt level go down, and all the water and salt will exchange and keep your tank clean by itself.
#6 Are there any common service problems?
Answer: YES! Our number one service call is related to salt, not to the softener itself. Keep your salt level below the halfway mark to avoid bridging. If the salt in the tank becomes a solid block, it will not disolve and so it cannot recharge your resin. PLEASE, half-full or less! (Unless you own an EcoMax softener, which has a dry salt bed between regenerations).
#7. Why are some softeners SO expensive?
Answer: Hard to believe in the 21st century, but there are still some water softener commissioned sales people out there in franchised shops. If the price seems high, it probably means you are paying someone extra to tell you what you already know--you need a water softener. It's not rocket science, a little internet research can save you many hundreds of dollars.
#8. Will a water softener take out iron?
Answer: If you have a private well with iron issues your water softener MAY take out trace iron. It is not designed to do so. An iron filter will do a much better job AND it will protect your softener from damage caused by iron in the resin bed. It's easy to test the level of iron in your water with a small water sample.
#9. Reverse Osmosis? What's that?
Answer: Many people want to remove the chemicals from their drinking water. This is the perfect solution. 20 years ago, we sold one reverse osmosis unit to every 10 or so softeners. Today we sell 1 for every 2. It is the least expensive way to protect yourself from chemicals (chloramine mainly). The newer systems are so easy to maintain, with twist off filters, that ANYONE can do it. Also, having a source of pure water at the tap will reduce bottled water usage for you and the enviroment.
#10. I have more questions, who should I ask?
Answer: This was a trick question, sorry! Call the shop and speak to someone about your water situation. We'd love to serve you.