A water softener will virtually eliminate the effects of hard water. Tell-tale signs of hard water are scale buildup on showers, tubs, and fixtures. Softening with a traditional salt-based softener will lengthen the life of water-using appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and coffee makers. Not sure if your water is hard? Just click test my water and have it tested for free. Need help determining the size of the water softener you need? Click how to size a water softener.