Some answers to those frequently asked questions …. Can’t find the answer here? Give us a call or drop us an email . . .
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What is hard water?
Water is classified as hard if it has a high mineral content mainly of calcium and magnesium. Water hardness is measured in ppm (parts per million) with soft water being less that 60ppm and hard being over 150ppm. Our water in Kent ranges from 150-300ppm, in some areas we have even recorded 340ppm!
Why do I have hard water coming through my taps?
It’s a question of geography 60% of the land in the UK consists of limestone so when rainwater (which is naturally soft) falls onto the limestone some of the minerals are absorbed into the water. Water companies are not obligated to remove these minerals so when the water gets to our taps the minerals are still in the water.
Is hard water dangerous or hazardous to my health?
No it’s not dangerous. People drink it, cook with it, bathe in it and use it to heat their homes on a daily basis it’s just a nuisance. Limescale clings to our taps, shower screens and even our hair and skin gets clogged with it leaving our skin dry and our hair dull, clothes – particularly towels – can feel rough and hard after just a few washes this is because they retain small crystals of limescale in them. If you live in a hard water area of the country simply take a look in your kettle that will show you why limescale is a pain. It forms like that in the places you can see it but also where you can’t so just imagine what it is doing in places like your heating system, dishwasher and washing machine! Mmm!
Are water softeners expensive? Can I do without one?
A water softener is a ‘one off’ investment a bit like a dishwasher or washing machine, but the difference is that a water softener will give you a great payback. It can pay for itself in two to four years depending upon the hardness of your water and the model you choose through the various savings it will bring you such as the maintenance and replacement of your appliances plus the money you will save on soaps, detergents and shampoos. With soft water you need far, far less of these products to achieve clean and shiny hair, clothes and dishes! And having soft water will make your heating system more efficient too, with no limescale build up blocking pipes and radiators and reducing the heat output of your boiler. You should notice the amount of gas or oil you use to power your heating system going down – which especially with the prices at the moment it is a really worthwhile result from having a water softener installed. If cost is an issue we offer a number of different models and payment options to suit all budgets give us a call and we can give you all your options.
What about the installation of a water softener, will there be any mess?
A typical installation will take around 4-5 hours however this will vary from home to home. You’ll hardly notice the work taking place. Our engineers are extremely efficient and courteous, and of course will always do their best to cause the minimum amount of disturbance. While no mess at all is not always possible everything will always be cleaned and tidied so everything is as it should before we leave.
I’ve heard that electronic water softeners are complicated to use?
Simply no – they’re really easy. Once they are installed and set up for you it’s up to you how much information you want from your machine. If all you want is to occasionally add salt then we will set your machine to suit however with the latest smart technology some of our machines offer a wealth of information at your fingertips. The ESM+ range can tell you your average salt and water usage and those with Wi-Fi connectivity can alert you to unusual water usage such as leaks and can even be remotely shut off – extremely handy when travelling abroad! All the day to day running is controlled for you and all machines have safe guards in place to ensure they are not disrupted during power cuts.
If I have a water softener installed, how quickly will I notice any difference?
Very quickly. It will depend on the type of water supply you have in your home but most people notice straight away and certainly within a week when you bathe or wash your hair, get clothes out of the washing machine – you’ll notice! And over a short period of time you’ll start to notice other things around the house – the shower screen will stop scaling up, kettles will stop furring up and when you next get a gas or oil bill you’ll definitely notice that the heating system is using less fuel to power it. Very few people say they notice a difference if they have a new boiler installed, pretty much everyone who has a water softener installed notices immediately and within a week are totally converted.
When is the best time to have a water softener installed?
Because they are relatively simple to install you can do this whenever it suits you, many people have one installed when they have a new kitchen or bathroom installed – to help keep their new investment sparkling and looking like new. Others have one installed when they have discovered major limescale build up problems in their heating system, often their plumber or heating installer will recommend one if the heating system has failed due to the limescale build up caused by the water flowing around it.
You say I can save money by having a water softener installed. How much?
Good question. It will depend on the size of your family of course. British Water – an independent group – estimate that the average four person family in a hard water area spends between £200-£250 more on washing powders, detergents, soaps and shampoos and conditioners in a year than a family with a water softener fitted. Having a water softener fitted will reduce your heating bills by at least 10% which in this day and age is a significant saving. In addition, having a water softener will extend the life of any appliance that has water flowing through it – your washing machine, your dishwasher even your kettle!
That all sounds great but can I drink softened water? I’ve heard that sodium in softened water can be bad for you?
Firstly, just because you have a water softener doesn’t mean you need to drink softened water however if you do it’s not a problem for most of us – and many people do drink softened water. An adult who drinks 4 pints of softened water a day would only add 310mg of sodium to their daily intake – that’s less than the amount of salt found in two slices of white bread. We choose to subscribe to the British Water Code of Practice that says a tap supplying mains drinking water should be connected where reasonably practicable to the hard water supply (we install a hard water drinking supply to the kitchen sink) and most of our installations come with a hard supply included in the price. Having a supply of hard water is particularly important for anyone on a sodium restricted diet or families with young babies for whom sodium intake should be limited.
I have to put salt into the softener regularly. What kind of salt and is it easy to get a supply?
Only salt recommended for water softener regeneration should be used in softeners. You can order it right here on our website or order over the phone if you prefer and our driver Graham will deliver it straight to your door – he will even stack it all away for you – easy!
When can I expect to receive my salt?
Most orders are delivered within just 2 or 3 days however in busy periods this can be up to 7 days. If your order is placed online you will receive an email confirmation giving you the next available delivery slot, if this is inconvenient please just let us know and we will be happy to change it for you.
What is the delivery cost?
Delivery is free for all orders meeting the minimum requirements however a small delivery charge will be added to washing powder products when they are ordered individually, please see the product pages for more details.
Is there a minimum delivery amount?
Yes there are different minimum orders for our products. Please see the relevant product page for amounts.
Do I have to be home to take the delivery?
You do not have to be home to take your delivery as long as you provide us with instructions of where you are happy for the salt to be left.
Can i organise a specific delivery date?
Yes, if you require a specific delivery date please call us and we will endeavour to arrange a day that suits you.
Can i pick my salt up from you?
At the moment we have no public access available for pickups however we are working on making pickups available from the Maidstone area – watch this space!
How do I pay for my salt?
We accept most methods of payment either via this website using WorldPay card payments or Paypal, Cash or cheque on delivery, card payments over the phone, BACs payments and approved credit accounts for our business users.
Do I have to pay for my salt before delivery?
No you can choose to pay on delivery if you prefer.
Do you offer additional discounts?
We can offer extra discounts for large orders and business rates for trade customers, please call the office for a quote.
I live in A flat will you deliver to me?
Yes however we ask that our drivers are not required to walk up more than one flight of stairs.
What is the difference in the brands of salt you sell?
We sell different brands of salt as our customers have different preferences and believe some last longer than others, however all the brands we sell are of the highest quality. We do not stock the cheaper brands that are available from other distributors as some of these can block your softener and are not as efficient. We guarantee all of the brands we sell.