What is hard water?
Rain water is naturally soft, but as it falls, and then flows underground, it
picks up the minerals calcium and magnesium, turning it hard. The Greater
London area suffers from hard water, at over 200 ppm, and while our local
water supplier has a duty to ensure the water is potable (drinkable), it is
under no such obligation to make the water soft; despite the obvious damage
it can cause within your home.
The Building Regulations state that where water hardness exceeds 200 ppm,
provision should be made to treat the supply of water to water heaters, and
the hot water circuit of combi boilers to help reduce the rate of accumulation
of limescale, as well as the consequent reduction in energy efficiency.
How bad is hard water?
Hard water can cause your pipework and all plumbing related appliances, such
as shower heads, taps, toilet cisterns, and boilers, to block up with limescale.
It also leaves dishes/glassware looking streaky and smeared. Clothing can
feel stiff and rough after washing, especially towels. It is also one of the
main causes in washing machine and dishwasher breakdowns. For your convenience, some of the more commonly-asked questions are answered below:
Is soft water safe to drink?
Soft water is perfectly safe to drink, yes. However, because you may notice a very small change in texture and taste Plumbingwerx is always more than happy to install a separate tap, with a dedicated hard water supply.
Will it affect my boiler?
There is no evidence to indicate that soft water negatively affects a boiler, despite years of research by the UK's leading boiler manufacturers. However, for peace of mind, a bypass is always fitted when the softener is installed, so that you can top up your central heating system with hard water, should you so choose.
What are the running costs?
Plumbingwerx only supplies water softeners from market-leaders Harvey Water Softeners, where each unit is rigorously tested to the highest standards at the facility in Woking, Surrey. The salt used in the units costs the average family (two adults, two children) approx. £5 per month. Also, because each unit is non-electrical, it won't increase your home's regular energy costs. Harvey Water Softeners were held to have the most cost effective non-electric water softeners on the market, in a recent online review by Pure Choice.
What are the benefits?
If a water softener is something you're thinking about then the chances are that you have already carried out your own research. However, please find below some of the main benefits for you and your home:
- Lowers your energy bills by at least 10%.
- Eliminates unsightly limescale deposits on baths, basins, sinks, and showers.
- Removes any limescale already present, giving shine and sparkle back to your taps, and showers.
- Saves you money, by allowing you to spend up to 50% less on washing powders, soap, and washing up liquid, as well as bath, shower, and hair washing products.
- Eliminates the need for specialist limescale removal products.
- Reduces the cost of service, maintenance, and replacement of boilers, water heaters/kettles, dishwashers, washing machines, thermostatic/electric showers, and taps, in addition to extending their lives.
- Can improve skin conditions such as eczema, as well as cause skin and hair to feel softer, and less dry.
- Is much gentler on clothing during the washing process, causing it to feel softer, and the colours to remain brighter for longer.
What bout the supply of block salt?
If you already have a Harvey Water Softener, and need additional block salt, please get in touch to renew your supply directly from Plumbingwerx. Alternatively, if you live within the SW16 postcode area you can take advantage of the free delivery option.
If you would like to arrange for a free home visit, and in-person demonstration of how a water softener can work for you, please feel free to get in touch.