Have you ever been told that your home has “hard water”? If so, you’re not alone, as a large number of homes throughout Canada use hard water. Hard water is water that has an excess of dissolved minerals, including calcium and magnesium carbonate, among others.

While hard water does not harm your health, it will eventually wreak havoc on your home’s piping and plumbing fixtures due to mineral buildup. At the same time, plumbing fixtures and appliances run less efficiently when they use hard water.

Hard water issues are easily resolved by having a plumber install a water softener in your plumbing system. The key here is to determine the water softener that will work best for you. With that in mind, here are a few purchasing tips:

Determining the Size

There are two important things you need to determine when choosing the size of your water softening system: your household’s average daily water use (excluding outdoor watering), and the average grains per U.S. gallon of hardness your water has. To calculate your home’s average daily water use, simply estimate how many gallons each person in your family uses per day then multiply that by the number of people living in your home.

To determine how hard your water is, you can use the dish soap test. Add drops of dish soap to 12 oz. of your tap water, and then shake the water container to produce suds. Repeat until the water becomes frothy. The more drops of soap you add, the harder your water is.

Ten drops of soap equate to 1 grain of hardness. Generally, this warrants a 24,000-grain capacity system. If you base water softener size on family size, a family of 1-6 people requires a 40,000-grain unit.

Choosing the Tank

Preferably, the softening system must have a corrosion-resistant tank, such as a reinforced fiberglass tank. This provides you with a tank that boasts superior durability. It’s also recommended that you choose systems with as few moving parts as possible for minimal maintenance.

You will also have to choose between single-tank or twin-tank systems. Single tank systems have fewer moving parts and are pretty basic and straightforward, allowing for less upkeep. Twin-tank systems, on the other hand, are touted for supplying water 24/7.

If you are having trouble determining the type of water softening system best suits your home, know that you can always consult a trusted plumbing company that serves Stony Plain and other locations in Edmonton, such as Capital Plumbing and Heating. Professional plumbers can easily help determine a water softening system that matches both your budget and needs, as well as install your chosen system properly.