Water Softeners are used to treat hard water. They work by replacing the calcium and magnesium in the water with sodium.
You probably notice hard water in many forms around your home. The most noticeable signs of hard water is limescale around your taps, in your kettle and on the shower head to name a few. But what about the signs you can't see, such as scaled up pipes and inefficient heating systems? With a water softener this will no longer be the case, it will remove 100% of the hardness minerals in your water.
How does a water softener work?
Hard water is passed through an ion exchange resin. The resin attracts and removes the hardness minerals in the water leaving you with softened water. Once the resin is saturated it requires cleansing or ‘regenerating’. The resin is automatically cleansed by rinsing salt solution through it and flushing away the hard water deposits to drain. The regenerated resin is then able to continue removing the hardness to ensure a continuous supply of softened water.
What are the advantages of water softeners?
Proportional regeneration – reduces running costs with less salt and water usage
Micro-processor control – provides continuous softened water with no adjustment to water softener programme. The water softener thinks for itself.
What is the advantage of computer electronics then?
The biggest ‘running cost’ of a softener is the salt and, if you are on a water meter, the water which is used when regenerating. The technology used in a water softener constantly checks the water usage and the remaining softening capacity of the resin. It will only regenerate when it believes it is needed and even then will only regenerate the used part of the resin rather than all of it as non-electronic and timeclock units do.
Can water softeners cope with high flow rates?
Some makes of softeners restrict the flow of water to boilers – making them unsuitable for mains-fed systems. Our water softeners have one of the highest flow rates on the market. Easy to fit high flow installation kits are available to guarantee a constant stream of softened water to protect boilers.
Do I need to leave a supply of unsoftened water for drinking?
Fitment of separate hard water drinking tap is not required by regulation, except in exceptionally hard water areas (above 400mg/l) where the sodium content of the treated water (increased due to the softening process) exceeds the level laid down in the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2000. Fitting a separate drinking water tap is currently recommended by the UK Dept of Health, WRAS and the UKWTA. Having a supply of unsoftened water is particularly important for anyone on a sodium-restricted diet or families with young babies.
Is there a lot of sodium in softened water?
No. In fact, an adult who drinks 4 pints of softened water per day only add 310mg to their daily intake – which is less than 9% of the average total. Many natural and manufactured foods and drinks contain sodium which add to this total. For example two slices of bread contain 350 mg.
What type of salt should be used?
Water softeners use tablet salt which is easy to store and transport. It is readily available from builders and plumbers merchants.
Will softened water help dry skin conditions?
Many eczema sufferers notice benefits from the use of softened water.
Are water softeners expensive?
It’s a one off investment with a great pay back. A water softener is the one domestic appliance that can pay for itself. Think of the money saved on washing powders, detergents and shampoos. The improved efficiency of your heating system saves money too. And you’ll notice you’re not calling the plumber to fix pipe work and appliances damaged by hard water.
Why is it impotant to "size" the softener to my home?
In fact any size of softener will work in your home. However, if it is too small it will cost you more in salt and metered water to run it. This is because the resin tank capacity will be used up too quickly if the unit is small, the water is very hard and your family uses a lot of water each day. Our engineers can help you size the correct model for your home.
Other benefits of softened water? *
* Extracted from the independent Consumers Guide to Water Softeners by British Water.
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