You probably already know if there is an issue with your water supply. It might be the build up of scale in your water-using appliances, the scum on your glassware as it comes out of the dishwasher or even the lack of bubbles when you run a hot bath.
Whether you are a homeowner looking for a better water experience or a business owner who needs to cut down on costly maintenance bills, the solution to your hard water problems is the installation of a water softener. There is a plethora of products on the market so we have put together a water softener buying guide to help you to make the right choice:
When are Water Softeners Necessary?
In some areas of the UK (around 60%) the geological make-up of the rocks can have an adverse effect on the quality of water in your homes and businesses. This is due to the leaching of chemicals such as calcium and magnesium into the water supply as it moves down off hills to the sea. This water phenomenon is known as hard water and particularly affects most areas of the South East of England.
What is Hard Water?
As well as containing more magnesium and calcium ions, hard water can also contain iron. Rainwater that hasn’t absorbed these chemicals from surrounding rock is known as soft water and doesn’t cause the same problems that hard water does.
What are the Problems of Hard Water?
Although hard water isn’t unhealthy, it can cause problems for households and businesses and may sometimes taste unusual. It is possible to test for hard water but you may not need to. Some examples of costly and annoying situations that water softeners can help with include:
- Water that doesn’t lather well
- Smears on glasses as they come out of the dishwasher
- Scum marks on bathroom fittings
- Scale in kettles, appliances and pipework
- Blockages in boilers and pipes
What Exactly Does a Water softener Do?
By adding a water softener to your home or business water system you can counteract the above issues and save money both on appliances and washing products such as shower gel and washing up liquid. Put simply, a water softener uses an ion exchange process to remove the minerals that are making the water hard. The ion exchange works because the unwanted minerals such as magnesium or calcium have ions with a positive charge, which stick to negatively charged polystyrene beads inside the water softener leaving your water almost mineral free.
How Does a Water softener Get Rid of Unwanted Chemicals?
It uses a process called regeneration to rid itself of the minerals that have built up around the polystyrene beads. It only does this when it becomes necessary and takes around 30 minutes. During regeneration the water softener uses salt mixed with a quantity of water to clear particles. Once the tank has been flushed through it is ready once more to soften the water. This regeneration process does not prevent water softeners from being used with systems that drain to a septic tank.
Do Water Softeners Make Water Drinkable?
Whilst water softeners may change the taste or smell of your water for the better, it won’t remove impurities. It’s a matter of personal taste, many people drink the softened water in preference to hard water. If desired, you could have your drinking water supply altered to a filtered water option.
How Much Maintenance Will my Water Softener Require?
It will be up to you to check the salt levels in your water softener at least once a month. At Aquasof Softeners and Salt we offer a Health Check Plan for your peace of mind. Whilst a health check is not compulsory it will ensure the consistent smooth running of the softener and assists with maintenance rather like an MOT. Prevention is better than cure and you’ll also receive a degree of labour cover included in your check as an added bonus.
How Do I Find Out Which Type of Water softener I need?,
There will be a water softener out there that is best suited to the composition of the minerals in your local water and to your household or business water usage rate. Water softeners usually express capacity in gallons per minute but always refer to the experts for specific advice.
At Aquasof Softeners and Salt our customers are our top priority. Whether you are interested in some advice about a new water softener, need to buy a new batch of salt for your system or would like some help with maintenance, we have the expertise to help you. Get in touch today to receive the full benefit of our experience.