Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to the most commonly asked questions are listed below. If your question does not appear or if you prefer to speak to a person, please call the store directly. We will be happy to assist you!


How do I change my 'Viqua' Sediment Pre-Filter?

If this is the first time you're changing the filter or if you're unsure how to do it, it's recommended to do the filter change during store hours in the event you require assistance.

It is important to replace with the correct filter, including the appropriate micron rating. If an incorrect filter is used, performance may be compromised - the filter may collapse or breakdown, causing expensive service calls and warranty issues.

Click here to download an instruction sheet

How do I change my QCRO reverse osmosis filters?

If this is the first time you're changing the filter or if you're unsure how to do it, it's recommended to do the filter change during store hours in the event you require assistance.

Click here to download an instruction sheet


How do I get my water tested?

Water has many different properties, so the simple answer is... it depends what you want to test it for.

If you want to know if your well-water is microbiologically safe (E.coli and Coliform), you will need to visit your local Health Unit They will give you a sample bottle and instructions. This is a free service and we recommend having your well tested on a regular basis.

Aquamart tests for the more common physical properties like hardness, total dissolved solids (TDS) and pH, as well as iron and tannins. We offer a free no-obligation, in-home water analysis if you are in the Barrie area or if you prefer to have your water tested in-store, we suggest you review our sampling procedures or call us for detailed instructions. Test results are skewed or invalid if the sample is not taken correctly. Some tests take only minutes, others take quite a bit longer.

If you want to test for more obscure properties, such as bacteria, microsystyn (blue-green algae), chlorine or turbidity, you can have your water analysed at the Aquatic and Environmental Laboratory in Craighurst (just north of Barrie). There are fees for this service and the water sampling requires special handling. Please visit their website for more information.

Rest assured, in most situations, removing unwanted properties from your water is fairly easy and will provide you and your family with peace of mind.

How do I maintain my UV Light?

Ultra-violet (UV) lights require routine maintenance and we strongly advise that the maintenance be performed in a timely fashion to ensure the water remains sterilized and safe.

Generally speaking, UV lamps have a useful life of approximately 9,000 hours which means the lamp requires annual replacement. The UV light may offer illumination beyond one year; however, the light will not have the intensity required to provide adequate disinfection. The quartz sleeve should be replaced annually as well due to the fact that build-up on the sleeve will impede the effectiveness of the UV light. Attempting to clean the sleeve is not usually recommended as it must be streak-free, fingerprint-free and scratch-free (cleaning chemicals may scratch the surface of the sleeve or leave a microscopic film).

Proper maintenance of any pretreatment is also required. For example, if a pre-filter is installed ahead of your UV light chamber, the filter cartridge should be changed on an annual basis as well. If not changed, the filter will allow small particulates to slip through and may compromise the function of the UV system.

Please remember Using genuine components ensures safety certifications and warranties remain intact.

How do I maintain my water softener?

A water softener generally needs little care and will last for many years if maintained properly. The following is a list of maintenance duties that should be carried out:

  • Check salt levels regularly. If you see water, add salt to no greater than half full.
  • When adding salt to the tank, ensure existing salt in the tank is not clumping, 'bridging', or crusting.
  • If your water softening system includes a sediment filter, ensure appropriate filter cartridges are routinely changed.

How does a water softener work?

Hard water is softened by removing the calcium and magnesium it contains. When hard water passes through the softening system's resin bed, the calcium and magnesium (hardness) ions are removed through an ion exchange process, leaving only soft water to pass through your home. Once the resin bed fills up with hardness ions, it must be regenerated (cleaned). Salt is typically used in the regeneration process, restoring the resin bed to a "clean" state so the ion exchange process can begin again.

What is the difference between "Hard" water and "Soft" water?

Hard Water

Water very commonly contains elements such as magnesium and calcium from dissolved rocks, leading to an increase in hardness levels. Depending on the source water, hardness can range broadly. In the city of Barrie and surrounding areas, hardness typically ranges between 10 GPG and 25 GPG.

Hard water can produce a rock-like scale that builds up in pipes, water heaters, plumbing fixtures, dishwashers and other water-related appliances. This scale will reduce water flow, clog valves and vents and create maintenance problems reducing the life of your appliances. You may see staining or scale build-up on sinks, tubs, showers and clothing; scaling deposits on your glassware; and damage due to scale in your pipes and appliances. You will also notice less lather from your shampoos/soaps and a filmy dry feeling on your skin. Some types of skin irritations are aggravated by hard water.


Soft Water

Soft water contains low concentrations of magnesium and calcium ions. Water is considered "soft" when the concentration of these ions are below 1.0 grain per gallon (GPG).

Soft water means less mineral and soap residue on your skin, hair, dishes and silverware, and it extends the life of your appliances, such as coffee makers, dishwashers, washing machines and water heaters.

Aquamart is able to complete a water analysis for hardness in-store. If you prefer, we can also direct you to a specialised water testing organisation that can provide a more detailed analysis for you. After testing the quality of your water, we will help you to interpret the results and determine if any treatment is necessary.

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