The 19 Best Pieces of Water Softener Advice You'll Hear Anywhere

If you are in the market for a new water softener, you will want to read the 19 best pieces of water softener advice you'll hear anywhere before you make your choice. If you are still not sure and have more questions, contact the water softener experts at WaterSmart. We'd be happy to sit down with you, answer all of your questions, and help you choose the best water softener for your family's needs.


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"Purchased a water softener, price was reasonable, sales staff was very informative and not pushy. Install was quick and clean and he gave instructions on the unit. I would highly recommend Watersmart Systems." - Rob Morgan
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1. Choose the right model of water softener for your needs. The right softener will use less salt and less water which is better for the environment and your budget.


2. Choose a demand initiated regeneration (DIR) softener for highest efficiency. Demand initiated regeneration water softeners only regenerate when needed, unlike timed softeners which regenerate even when water usage is low. DIR models will save water and salt when water usage is low and will also provide enough soft water when your usage is higher.


3. Find out how hard your water is so you can select the right water softener for your needs. You need to determine the actual water hardness level in your area in order to choose the correct size and set up your water softener. Click here to look at helpful maps for Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, and the surrounding areas showing the hardness of water in each area.


4. If you have a private well get your water tested. People who have a private well will need to get their water tested for hardness and iron. You will need to increase your grain hardness rating to take into account the amount of iron in your water. You should add 3 grains per gallon of hardness to your hardness total value for every 1 milligram per litre of iron.


5. Purchase the correct size of water softener. Water softeners come in many different sizes. You don't want to purchase one that is too small or too big for your needs. To determine the correct size of water softener for your home, use the handy calculations below.

# of people


50 gallons

of water per day


# of gallons to be softened on a daily basis




grains per day that your softener will use





size of the softener

(40 000 / 32 000 / 30 000)


30 000 /

22 000 /

20 000   


grains per day


days between regenerations

10 000 backup reserve






(3-10 days is ideal size)



6. Determine your household's actual average water usage; don't simply use your city's average.  To determine your household indoor water consumption, look at your fall and winter water bills. Divide your recorded fall or winter bill water consumption (provided in cubic metres/M3) by the number of billing days for that billing period. Next, convert the cubic metres into gallons by multiplying by 264.


7. Don't add an extra person to your water usage calculation if you have a dishwasher. Do not listen to salespeople who try to tell you that you need to add another person to your calculation of water usage if you own a dishwasher.  According to,  dishwashers, in fact, use less water than hand washing your dishes.


8. Have a professional install your water softener. Don't take any chances with your installation. Let a professional do it for you. If you are concerned about the cost, remember that installation is free for any water softener that is purchased from WaterSmart. Read more about our installation service here.


9. Set your water softener to the most efficient setting. Make sure you have your water softener set at the most efficient setting. If you have purchased a unit from WaterSmart, our trained technician will make sure that it is programmed to run at optimum efficiency.


10. Install a separate cold line for drinking water.  If you prefer not to drink softened water you can have a separate cold line installed for drinking and cooking purposes.

11.Purchase a water softener with a silencer.  Water softeners create very little noise. The only sound you will hear is the movement of water through the unit during the backwash. If you are concerned about the noise you can purchase a model with a silencer.  WaterSmart Systems have a silencer on the valve to cut the noise by approximately 50 percent.


12. Consider purchasing a machine that has controls to minimize water usage. Some machines are designed to minimize the amount of water used during regeneration. Often, one cycling a week will be sufficient for a family of four.


13. Purchase a water softener with a Teflon composite o-ring. Seal kits are a common replacement on water softeners in the Kitchener-Waterloo region because of the chlorine used to sanitize the water here. Teflon Composite o-rings are less susceptible to the effects of chlorine than rubber o-rings. All of WaterSmart's water softeners use Teflon composite o-rings.


14. Keep your resin clean. If your water contains iron, check for iron deposits in the resin bed. Keeping your resin clean will improve the efficiency of your water softener. There are products that you can pour into the salt tank to attempt to clean the resin, such as Iron-out. It costs about $15.


15. Check for salt build-up in the brine tank. To keep your unit running efficiently you should occasionally check to see if a crust of salt has formed in the brine tank. If so, you can vacuum it out. Then clean the tank with soap and water and rinse it well.

16. Check the resin tank injector. If the resin tank injector is plugged with "dirty" salt, then you should shut off the unit's bypass plug, run a manual regeneration, and finally clean the injector and injector screen.


17. Check the state of your salt tank on a regular basis. If your salt tank is over half full of salt with no water in it, pour 20 to 40 litres of warm to hot (not boiling) water into the salt tank.


18. Use the right salt. There are 3 types of salt: rock, solar, and evaporated. Rock salt is the cheapest but it contains more insoluble material. Because of this, solar and evaporated salt will keep your softener cleaner. If your water softener regenerates a lot then you should consider buying solar or evaporated salts to avoid fast build-up in your machine.


19. Use potassium chloride if you are concerned about excess sodium in your drinking water. Potassium chloride is an alternative to buying the more common sodium chloride to use in your water softener. It is more expensive but doesn't have the sodium of the regular salts. You can use potassium chloride in most units but you should check your owner's manual before switching, just in case.


The Best Advice: Come to WaterSmart to Purchase Your Water Softener


WaterSmart has been in the water softening business in the Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, and Guelph region for more than 20 years. We know this area and the special water needs it has. Let us help you choose the best and most efficient water softener for your needs. Contact us today!



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