If you have hard water, we recommend looking into buying a water softener system. A water softener system isn’t just one of those things businesses try to convince you that you need but serves no purpose.
Water softeners are the solution to hard water and its damaging effects on you and your home.
Hard water earns its moniker because of the higher levels of calcium carbonate and magnesium in the water, which is so harsh on your hair, skin, and plumbing.
The higher the levels of calcium and magnesium, the harder your water is, and the more film and buildup you’ll experience. In contrast, the water softener systems we provide come in salt-based and salt-free units that filter out those hard water minerals, making your water ‘soft’ to the touch.
Depending on where you live, your water will have different hardness levels.
If you are on the City of Ottawa system, your water comes from the Ottawa River. Water from the Ottawa River, once treated, is considered soft. It has 30 mg/L (out of parts per million) of total hardness.
Water sourced from groundwater or wells is often much harder due to naturally occurring magnesium and calcium. For example, the well system in Richmond has as high as 270 mg/L of hardness.
Even if your home’s drinking water is considered ‘soft,’ a water softener can further improve the quality and taste of your water.
Whole house water softener benefits are plentiful, both for your health and your home.
One of the benefits of water softeners is softer skin. If you’ve always used hard water to wash with, you may not know there is another way to feel. You’ve gotten used to feeling dry after a shower and needing massive amounts of moisturizer to help reduce irritation.
You’re about to be pleasantly surprised. It turns out that the type of soap you use, the moisturizer brand, or a genetic predisposition to dry skin might not be to blame. With all the harsh minerals out of your water, your skin won’t feel so dry after a shower because softer water is also gentler water.
Hair, especially for those with a lot of it, requires a lot of care. You spend a lot of time making sure you’re using the best shampoo, conditioner, and products that will keep it healthy.
You could be losing that battle before you even reach for the soap. Washing your hair in hard water could be the reason it feels dull, brittle, and looks damaged.
Just like your skin, hard water dries out your hair, and the minerals and ions can make it feel and look damaged.
Even with all the moisture-infused products on the shelves of salons across the world, the best way to get your hair looking and feeling healthy is to wash it in the right kind of water: soft water free of chemicals and damaging minerals.
If soft water can do that much for your skin and hair, imagine what it can do for your clothes! Remember the last time you bought a brand new, soft sweater that was going to become your new favourite? What happened when you washed it? It stopped being as soft, right?
Guess what? It’s not your laundry detergent. This is one of the effects hard water has on your clothes—just like your skin and hair—it can dry out the fabric.
It can also leave that mineral buildup soap can’t quite cut through, making you think your clothes are still dirty.
Soft water won’t leave the mineral buildup, meaning your clothes will become fresh and ‘healthy’ again, like your hair and skin. No more washing them twice because they still look dirty or lament the lack of softness!
We’ve mentioned the ‘earthy’ taste that can come from water. Depending on your water source, that earthy taste can have traces of everything from hard minerals to metallics like iron.
Everyone’s taste is different. For example, many people prefer soft water to hard water because it doesn’t taste like minerals, fluoride, chloramine, or other natural or chemical additives.
A water softener will help remove what you’d rather not be drinking. Instead, you turn on your tap and can drink fresh, professional-grade filtered water at any time.
Soft water is softer on everything. For example, soft water won’t cause scale buildup on your plumbing and appliances. Soft water will also help reduce scale-related plumbing problems in the future.
A water softener system will also help cleaning go more swiftly, in part because soft water reacts more favourably with soap, giving you lots of suds and bacteria-killing power.
As if all the health benefits weren’t enough, a water softener can actually end up saving you money on your electric bill.
Calcium is not a heat conductor. We know what you’re wondering: why does this matter to me? Well, the scale buildup that occurs from hard water is also happening in your hot water tank. The more buildup there is, the harder your tank will work, causing it to use more energy.
Soft water won’t leave a buildup and will decrease the calcium your water heater has to fight against. In addition, it will use an efficient amount of energy and keep your hot water costs down.
If you have streaks, film, or residue on your dishes, this is due to the calcium and mineral deposits from the hard water left behind once the water dries. You’ll frequently see them on coffee machines and wine glasses from the tap water if you have no soft water system. Because there is sediment in the water, it will scratch away at your beautiful glassware and the protective coating on dishes—causing soap scum and food to stick and making it harder to get your dishes cleaned.
We know that you’re probably loving all the benefits by this point, but you may not be so sure they’re worth the extra work of installing and maintaining a water softener.
Our water softeners are not hard to maintain. They don’t even need electricity. Water softener products run on the power of running water, meaning you don’t have to worry about extra costs on your bill.
You also don’t have to worry about turning it off and on. When you turn the taps, it gets to work. And while we can’t rule out all maintenance, we can assure you that the warranties of up to 10 years on certain products make it well worth it.
It can be obvious when your Ottawa home has hard water: water heaters may have issues from calcium ions and scale buildup, or your plumbing fixtures may show hardness minerals and clog pipes.
You may be struggling to get healthier skin, dealing with unsightly stains in your tub and shower doors or on your clothes.
A water softening system will reduce scale buildup in your water heater and water-using appliances and help you save money by running more efficiently and wearing down less quickly.
To summarize, softened water is better for your skin and hair, gives you softer clothes, and better-tasting water. In addition, a water softening system will remove contaminants in your water using activated charcoal, activated carbon, salt-based systems, or other technologies and leave you with the softest water you could want.
The most common water softeners are all relatively similar, with a few key differences that may change their compatibility with your needs. Knowing the difference will keep you from installing a water softener that doesn’t quite fit your family.
One of the most common water softener systems uses the negative charge of plastic or resin beads to attract particles like calcium and magnesium ions, removing them from the water. However, this process requires refilling softener salt and adding sodium to your drinking water and diet.
If adding salt to your low sodium diet doesn’t sound great for your high blood pressure, or you’d like a more environmentally friendly option—there are salt-free systems (also known as water conditioners) that you can choose from. Some use reverse-osmosis. Others use potassium chloride as a salt alternative to give you softened water. However, salt-free systems don’t remove particles or heavy metals. The most they’ll do is prevent scale buildup in your appliances and water heaters.
Are you ready to say goodbye to hard water, rough hair, flaky skin, unwanted additives, and scale? Say hello to a water softener.
Not every system will work for every home; it all depends on the physical layout of your home and what you want the water softener to do for you.
We can help you narrow down your choice to the water softener system that will work. We’ll do this by testing your water quality before we recommend anything. Then, once we find the perfect match, we’ll install it for you.
You’ll have clear, soft water in no time.
Wondering what’s in your water? Our free water quality test is what you need.