WATER PROBLEMS & SOLUTIONS
You already know the problems with hard water. You can see
them in your bathroom, in your kettle every where you use
water, but its the hidden effects that should really be
worrying you. Scale build will cause the premature failure
of any electric heating elements in your home. For example
in you hot water tank, in your washing machine, in your
dish washer, in your iron, in your kettle and in your electric
shower. Why? Scale forms when hard water is heated. It gets
deposited on hot surfaces forming a rock hard coating. This
insulates the heating element which causes it to over heat,
over heating means early failure.
The insulating effect of scale also means that it costs
more in energy every time you use it. 1.6mm of scale (which
isn't a lot) on the surface of any heat exchanger, boiler,
hot water tank, electric element etc. will reduce is efficiency
by 12%. In fact in a study conducted for the Water Quality
Association it was found that gas hot water boilers using
hard water used 29% more energy to heat the water than with
softened water and electric boiler s used 21% more. Don't
take our word for it, go and have a look at WQAs (water
Quality Association) web site on our Contacts
& links page.
Scale also builds up inside your shower valves, taps, electric
valves in washing machines & dishwashers again resulting
in early failure.
All this scale build up makes it harder to clean everything,
and more costly. Your new bathroom costing thousands is
under attack from day one, with water marks on shower screens
& doors, scale build up on the shower head, valves &
taps plus the grout between your tiles will dull & look
dirty. Just take a look on the side of a pack of wash powder
and note the differing amounts you have to use for hard
and soft water. The money & time you waste on fighting
scale with cleaners will pay for a water softener. And while
your saving all this time & cash you will be enjoying
the luxury of soft water; softer hair, cleaner fabrics with
longer lasting colours, more enjoyable bathing.
So why spend hundreds of pounds on a water softener when
I can buy a scale inhibitor for a few pounds? The simple
fact is that scale inhibitors whether magnetic or electronic
do not soften water. Go and read what the scientist have
to say. Links to these sites are on our Contacts
& Links page.
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR SOFTENER
How it works:
Our water softeners work by passing the incoming hard water through
a high quality resin column which removes the hard minerals and
exchanges them for soft ones. When the resin becomes exhausted
it is regenerated by drawing a solution of common salt called
brine-through the column. The hard minerals are then released
from the resin and flushed down the drain with any excess brine.
This exchange process is repeated as often as necessary. The amount
of salt used is proportional to the size of the softener &
the soft water produced. Large softeners cost the same to run
per gallon or litre of water as small ones.
How to select
the right size: Domestic water softeners are sized according
to the number of people using the soft water. Select the correct
size by using the "number of persons" in the price list.
This figure allows for the average water consumption taking into
account washing, bathing/showering & laundry. If you consider
your water consumption above average then choose the next size
up. The exceptions are the Twintanks, 9100SE & the HomeWater
softener which are suitable for any number of persons. The other consideration is the flow rate. If you have a megaflo hot water system installed and you have high demand items like power showers then you should opt for a high flow softener like the Water Boss or Homewtaer Twin 1". Theres no point in spending all that money on a mains pressure system and then reducing your flow & pressure by installing the wrong softener. For Combi hot water systems you will need a standard flow softener. Or with gravity systems (tanks in the roof & a hot water tank) any softener will do, as long as it can cope with the number of people in your household.
What sort of
control system:"Electronic meterd" softeners have control valves which
measure & record the amount of water being used and unlike
mechanical meters they can predict future consumption to save
salt & water. These softeners also use a special "uniform
bead size" resin & "counter current regeneration",
this set-up uses a minimum of water & salt during regeneration
around 30% less than a conventional softener. We have a couple on Timer softeners for low volume & flow applications.
softeners utilise two small softeners is one. This allows the
valve which monitors the water use to run each tank to its full
capacity before switching over to the second tank. As water is
being softened in the second tank, the first is being regenerated,
once complete its stands by until the valve switches over from
tank two back to one again. This duplex operation continues as
frequently or infrequently as required, each time using the capacity
of the softener to the full, saving salt & water (in excess
of 30% over conventional softeners). However the Homewater sosfteners use a slightly differnt form of duplex opperation where both tanks are in service (providing higher flow rates) most of the time. One will drop out of service to regenertate and then come straight back into service.
For advice or answers to any questions call,
fax or e-mail us. Contact us.
Things you need to
find out before starting:
Where does the main water pipe enter your house?
WHY The water coming into your house must pass thorough the
softener to become softened before it goes anywhere else.
Where is the nearest waste pipe or drain?
WHY During the regeneration process the softener needs
to wash all the hard minerals out of the soften to a drain or
Is there a power supply or socket near by?
WHY The control valve needs electricity to make it work.
Where is your stop
tap and does it work?
WHY You will need to turn your water supply off during
With your water supply
off, and as much excess water drained out your pipe-work as possible
you need to install a 3 valve bypass system in your pipe-work,
this will allow you to (if required) shut off the softener and
bypass it allowing water into the house while service or repair
work is being carried out. Its also useful if you move house and
want to take the softener with you. Now site the softener and
connect to the valves. Connect the drain, its best to use a stand
pipe like a washing machine trap. Connect the electric's and you
are ready to commission. Commissioning is different for each type
of softener, its purpose is to fill the softener with water, wash
the resin, fill the cabinet with salt, set up the valve timer
or meter, and check for correct operation. Full instructions are
included with each softener. Should you find the DIY route of
installation too difficult a plumber should be able to complete
a straight forward installation in around four hours. Should you
need any advice call, fax or e-mail us. Contact
MUCH DOES HARD WATER COST?
Add it all up, even
with the most conservative estimates hard water cost
you a fortune, British Water calculate that the average
family of 4 can save around £200 a year when using
soft water. Go and see British Waters Fact Sheet, links
on our Contacts & Links page.
On average a water softener will pay for itself in savings
in a few years. The average life of a softener is 20
years (but many last longer). And for those who are
not interested in saving their hard earned cash, soft
water is absolutely wonderful to use, to wash in, to
bathe in, to shower in and to wash your clothes in.