Why do so many home owners in the South have a water softener?... Once they've enjoyed softened water, they don't want to live without it!
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Water touches practically every room in your home. Its quality affects how your water tastes and smells, the food you cook, how your skin and hair feel and even how your appliances, fixtures and plumbing look and last. There are so many ways that better water can make a difference in your life.
So why would you want softened water?
With a water softener your water will always be completely soft giving you a complete feeling of real luxury. Invest in your home with a quality water softener that will give you luxury you can see, feel and love...
To start enjoying the benefits of soft water in your home, all you need to do is...
- Make contact
- Discuss requirements and costs
- Arrange a confirmation visit and or installation
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Frequently asked questions
Is it OK to Drink Soft Water?
I am asked this question a lot, in fact it’s one of the first things people want to know when we install a soft water system.
In a nutshell, absolutely yes, you most certainly can drink soft water.
The reason why this question gets raised, however, largely boils down to one word - sodium. I’ll explain further…
The water softening process involves the exchange of ions. Sodium ions are introduced to replace the calcium or magnesium ions. Sodium is a component of table salt, which is a combination of chloride and sodium. As table salt, this isn’t good for you in large quantities. Sodium, on its own, as it is when introduced into the water softening process, is not considered an undue risk.
In fact, sodium is an integral part of our staple diet and a crucial element of cell function in the body. Nevertheless, the Government advises that too much sodium can drive up blood pressure and the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations have, therefore, set a 200 parts per million or ppm (equating to 200 mg/litre) as the maximum sodium content for drinking water.
Will my soft water come under the safe limits of sodium?
This will depend on where you live. The harder the water, the more sodium will be required to replace the constituent calcium and magnesium ions.
To give you some idea of the numbers, however, a water softener adds 46 mg/litre for every 100 mg/litre of calcium (in the form of carbonate) that’s removed from the water.
That means if your water has a hardness level of 200 mg/litre (or 200ppm), a softener will add only 92mg of sodium for every litre of water – way below the 200mg of sodium content threshold in the regulatory guidelines.
To put these limits into context, 400 mg of sodium – twice the recommended Government levels for drinking water - is equivalent to a pinch of salt. And our daily consumption of salt actually exceeds 3000 mg of sodium, or around a teaspoon of salt.
By comparison, there is five times more salt in a glass of milk than a glass of softened water, way below the threshold recommended by the Foods Standards Agency.
Do I need a hard water drinking tap?
It isn’t required by law to have a separate hard water drinking tap – apart from certain exceptionally hard water areas – although the UK Dept of Health, WRAS (Water Regulations Advisory Scheme) and UKWTA (UK Water Treatment Association) do currently recommend that you have one fitted, should you live in one of these areas. For further information, your local water provider will be able to advise you of the hardness levels of your supply.
Despite this, if you prefer to drink hard water as part of your soft water installation, the water softeners we install provide a ready-made hard water drinking option. That’s because they are fitted with a drinking water by-pass tap, which is fitted on your kitchen sink, from which you can draw an unlimited amount of hard water, should you prefer.
In exceptional cases, however, it isn’t advisable to drink soft water; firstly, if your doctor has placed you on a low sodium diet, and secondly, if you are reconstituting baby formula powders, as this can affect the delicate nutritional balance.
Apart from these provisos, if you want to drink soft water, then do so! If it tastes good – drink it!
Meanwhile, for further information go to: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2000/3184/contents/made
Is It Safe and Beneficial To Use Soft Water In My Boiler?
If you live in notoriously hard water areas like East and West Sussex, Hampshire and Surrey, central heating systems can take a real pasting. Boilers and pipework face a constant battle against limescale and other hard water impurities.
The fall-out from can be downgraded equipment and impaired boiler performance.
In 2013, research by the University of Plymouth found that a boiler with no limescale took 90 minutes a day to supply the average home’s hot water, whilst a boiler with 5 mm of scale took more than four hours. With 10 mm of limescale, this rose to more than six hours, adding hundreds of pounds to a household’s annual gas bill.
But it needn’t be like this. The answer is to have a soft water system installed. This can be a salvation – it really can.
One of the questions we are most frequently asked is, is it safe to have soft water in my central heating system?
The answer is, yes, absolutely. Indeed, soft water can actually protect your boiler from the ravages of hard water.
For many years, it was thought that softened water increased corrosion within aluminium boiler heat exchangers. But this myth has now been debunked. Indeed, the highly respected British Standards Institute issued a corrosion report as far back as December 2012 which confirmed that, in the long term, softened water has no adverse effect on aluminium heat exchangers.
Furthermore, the UK Water Treatment Association (UKWTA) also judged that softened water is perfectly fine if it is used in conjunction with a central heating system. Their website states:
“Ion exchange water softeners (such as the ones we instal at SJ Water Softeners) effectively remove the hardness salts which lead to lime-scale formation, for example as encrustation around taps, in heating systems and kettles – and sometimes causing “kettling”, boiler noise, in central heating boilers.
UKWTA go on to say that, in accordance with British Standard BS 7593:2006, the code of practice for treatment of water in domestic hot water central heating systems has been updated and now allows systems, including those with boilers with aluminium heat-exchangers, to be filled with softened water, provided that a corrosion inhibitor, specifically formulated for the purpose, is added and properly maintained.
The Solution - Kinetico and EcoWater Soft Water Systems
The two main manufacturers of soft water systems that we supply and install – Kinetico and EcoWater - are world leaders in the field.
The installation of a Kinetico or EcoWater soft water system in your home will not only prevent limescale build-up from occurring in your boiler and central heating system, but they will actually dissolve any unwanted detritus and help return your appliances to their original state.
As leading brands, they’ve fine-tuned their art, creating water softening products, complete with high pressure hoses, that use specially adapted food-grade resins which retain mineral salts that protect against limescale and remove excessive hardness from occurring - throughout your water supply.
EcoWater Softeners and Refiners are the most salt-efficient systems on the market, designed to boost efficiency of typical household appliances, like water heaters, washing machines and dishwashers. And with increased efficiency comes energy cost savings.
Meanwhile, Kinetico Water Softeners, as part of their regeneration cycle, go through three extensive stages to ensure water retains the correct pH levels, for healthy, non-corrosive drinking water, namely; Brine Draw, Slow Rinse and finally Back Wash. Furthermore, the Kinetico 2020c Water Softener complies with the British Standard BS EN 14743:2005, which prescribes requirements for the performance, safety and testing of softeners and is currently the only softener to have this accreditation.
At SJ Water Softeners, we believe passionately in the products we sell. People choose to have soft water in their homes for a variety of reasons – but often the impact that soft water can have on a central heating system is overlooked. So, please don’t underestimate the positive impact that soft water can make to your boiler. If anything, it’s the starting point for long-term success.
If you want to discuss having a soft water system in your home, call us today on 01243 607494 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can contact us by clicking here.
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