As you have been searching for a water softener for your home, you may have noticed that some mention that they are tested and certified. What does it mean if a water softener has been tested and certified? An independent third party has looked at the system and validated that it meets certain criteria. We will cover why it is important, what certifications to look for, who these third parties are and where you can find a certified water softener.
WHY DO CERTIFICATIONS MATTER?
Water comes into contact with everything in your home, plus you use it for drinking and cooking. Certified products are rigorously tested by independent, third parties to ensure that no harmful substances leach into your home’s water from the system. This means your water is safe to use under normal circumstances as defined by the standard
These third parties also examine the claims made by the manufacturer about performance. They test the products against industry standards to make sure they do what the manufacturer says they do. They also test for structural integrity, confirming that the product will handle normal use without being damaged. The product must be retested regularly to maintain certification.
On top of testing for safety, performance, and structural integrity, these independent third parties conduct audits of manufacturing facilities. This ensures that the products are consistently made to meet the standards they are certified for.
WHAT CERTIFICATIONS SHOULD I LOOK FOR?
When you’re looking for a water softener, there are a few standards that are important. These standards are developed and defined by NSF International and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
Products certified to this standard are residential water softeners that include cation exchange resin that is regenerated with sodium chloride or potassium chloride. A water softener that meets this standard reduces hardness below 1 grain per gallon (17.1 parts per million), providing soft water. It also must meet material safety and structural integrity requirements.
WHO CERTIFIES WATER SOFTENERS?
There are three independent organizations that certify products for at least two of the above standards and are accredited by ANSI. These include the Water Quality Association (WQA), NSF International, and the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO).
WATER QUALITY ASSOCIATION
The WQA is a not-for-profit association for the water treatment industry. In addition to certifying products to all of the above standards, they educate and certify people who work in the industry. They also provide information on water and water treatment for the public. The WQA’s certification mark is the WQA Gold Seal. Most Puronics products, including our water softener systems, carry the WQA Gold Seal for one or more standards.
This organization began as the National Sanitation Foundation, first developing standards for luncheonette and soda fountain equipment. In addition to helping establish safety and performance standards for various industries, NSF International provides testing and certification to their standards. The NSF mark indicates that a product has met one or more standards. Some Puronics products are tested and certified by NSF International.
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PLUMBING AND MECHANICAL OFFICIALS
The IAPMO Group is a membership-based association that develops uniform plumbing and mechanical codes. They also test and certify products, including water softeners, however, they do not provide certification for NSF/ANSI 372. Water softeners that have been certified by IAPMO carry their Water Quality Platinum Seal.