With more than 30 years’ experience in the residential and commercial water treatment industry, Mark Nelson is a Class 1 Drinking-Water Operator and a CBWA (Canadian Bottled Water Association) Certified Plant Operator. As founder and president of Nelson Water in Ottawa, Mark focuses on dealing with challenging water treatment system designs for problem water. He also heads the largest water bottling plant in the city of Ottawa with a delivery network throughout the Valley.

Guaranteeing the Quality of Your Water Conditioner | Water Softener

Quality drinking water is considered a foregone necessity for good health and wellbeing in the industrial world. While the ECCC (Environment and Climate Change Canada), sets standards for regulating the levels of potential contaminants in drinking water supplies, the most common cause of poor quality drinking water is actually hardness.  We refer to water being hard when levels (calculated as grains of hardness) of minerals such as magnesium or calcium are too high.   While the level of relative water hardness can determine the potential long-term damage to household water using appliances, even lower hardness levels can affect the taste of drinking water, leaving an unpleasant after taste in hot beverages such as tea or coffee.  Auspiciously, there are a number of different types of water conditioner | water softener devices, which can remove the particles of magnesium and calcium, reducing the hardness of the water. Not all these devices are made to the same standards, so it is important to ensure that your chosen system is of the highest quality.

Why Choose a Water Conditioner | Water Softener?

There are a number of water treatment options available to the domestic household consumer, but Water Conditioners, known historically as Water Softeners are typically considered the most economical and readily available option.  Softener | conditioners typically employ a process called ion exchange, to remove hard minerals like calcium and magnesium. However, some higher quality units, with specialty media and filters, can also remove potentially harmful chemicals like chlorine and with more sophisticated water treatment systems, such as reverse osmosis, contaminants such as lead and copper.  There are a number of different styles of water softener | conditioner devices. The price of water softeners can vary greatly and a more expensive price tag does not necessarily indicate the best quality. This said, there are a number of ways to ensure that you purchase a good quality system.

Guaranteeing Quality

The foremost method of ensuring you buy a good quality water softener or conditioner is to check the certifications. Reputable industry groups certify most higher-end units. These certifications provide the assurance that the device or system has passed the industry standard tests and any manufacturer claims have been tested and validated. One of the most prominent certifications to look for are the Gold Seal from the Canadian Water Quality Association, however, there are a number of other certifications which are noteworthy including the UL listed Product, a seal for UL Recognized Components, a CE mark and a certificate for the Uniform Plumbing Code.

Another method of ensuring quality is to check the manufacturer warranty. A warranty is frequently a manner for a manufacturer to indicate the confidence they have in their own product. It is a good idea to compare the warranties offered by different manufacturers. High quality products are usually supplied with a comprehensive warranty.

Additionally, it is a good idea to choose a manufacturer with a strong reputation in the industry. Established reputable dealers will often provide free water testing to confirm the extent of hard water issues and if there are any other issues with water contaminants. Generally, these dealers will be members of CWQA and deliver a high standard of service, which includes a wide product line to suit all requirements and expert installation. This will ensure that your water softener delivers great quality drinking water for years to come.