Domestic Water Softeners

Discussion in 'OT (OFF Topic) Forums' started by ShinyF1, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. ShinyF1

    ShinyF1 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Hello all

    I am after some advice about putting a water softener on our domestic water supply. Aside from the scaling of appliances and pipes, the main reason is to relieve my eczema suffering wife and daughters, which hard water seems to aggravate.

    I have a terraced three storey house, with a GF kitchen, plus two upper mains fed bathrooms operating off a 210 litre Megaflo. I think the main into the house is still in lead.

    What is the best type to go for, as I've seen salt filtered and electronic described, and what are forum members' experiences of them [if any]. Are there any pitfalls?

    Any advice / recommendations greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks

    Sean
     
  2. Satch

    Satch Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Been through all that and for exactly the same reason: No.1 son had eczema that vanished when he went to study in Plymouth and return during his holidays at home.

    Magnets/electronic gizmo's made SFA difference but when we had an ion exchange softener fitted immediate improvement.

    After a lot of research went for the middle size of one of these. Need to be careful because there are some true rip-offs merchants in the market.

    Monarch Water

    Most difficult bit was the plumbing in terms of the drainage as our mains supply in in a silly place. Still nothing a bit of creative pipework did not solve.

    Works well, 5 x 25Kg bags of salt tablets (£50-ish) have lasted over 6 months and we use a lot of water.

    Oh and softened water (out of a watering can in my case because it make to sense to soften the outside water tap) is great for the final rinse when washing cars!
     
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  3. MicB

    MicB Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    You want the salt block type for best effect.....fitted into my own home and elsewhere.......latterly we have been fitting Kinetico.
    It is probably best not to soften all water so there is a little bit of extra plumbing involved. Outside taps and your principle kitchen tap are best left unsoftened........whilst you have got the plumber in why not put in a filter tap for drinking water, coffee etc.?

    Mic
     
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  4. Alfie

    Alfie Authorised Forum Sponsor Authorised Forum Sponsor

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    I went through the exercise myself sometime ago. I ended up going for a Twintec softener as these are made by the same guy who invented the kinetico softener. They use blocks of salt and require no electronics. The water is lovely and soft. Thoroughly recommend them.
     
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  5. blondebier

    blondebier Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Timely post OP. I've been thinking about getting one of these too.

    For the guys that have these installed...

    Do they work on mains pressure systems too? or is it only suitable for stored water in a gravity fed type setup?
     
  6. MicB

    MicB Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Mains pressure.......soften the water before storing.

    Mic
     
  7. snoop51

    snoop51 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Just curious but why not soften all water?:dk:
     
  8. blondebier

    blondebier Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Thanks Mic.

    How long does the softening process take? (I don't expect you to know the answer to that.)

    Does it have to be stored post softening?

    Just wandering if you could put a break in the supply as it enters the house and then run softened water at mains "ish" pressure to all outlets.

    I only ask as we have just had a new Viessmann combi fitted and we don't have stored water any more...
     
  9. npuk

    npuk Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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  10. Satch

    Satch Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    All water softeners will tend to reduce the pressure and hence flow rate to some extent, so you need to understand your needs.

    I went for the Monarch unit because it had the lowest pressure drop and highest flow rate of any unit that would fit into the available space.

    Even so, it services only our cold water tank (and hence all the hot water supplies) and one electric shower because fitting it directly into the mains supply would have meant nothing other than softened water anywhere including outside taps.
     
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  11. MicB

    MicB Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    You will not want to soften water for consumption.....will not hurt you if you do but you will not want to......and why waste salt on the garden especially if you use a lot of water on the garden.

    Mic
     
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  12. MicB

    MicB Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    The water is softened as it passes through the softener.....from then on it does not matter whether it is stored or not.......your combi will benefit from having softened water passing through it in the same way that all appliances and water systems benefit.

    Mic
     
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  13. Piff

    Piff Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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  14. HR17

    HR17 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Probably not wise to drink softened water due to the elevated sodium content. Other salts such as magnesium and calcium etc are replaced by sodium in water softeners, which is more soluble and less scaling, but obviously not too good for one's body. It wouldn't cause a huge amount of harm, but if you have high blood pressure, heart/kidney problems etc. then it may cause concern, though its always wise to avoid too much sodium. Also, the ion exchange resin found in water softeners can harbour bacteria, so will need sterilising every few months. You'd be drinking stale/contaminated water if you don't treat it regularly. It would be wise to keep your kitchen tap for 'normal' mains water for drinking and cooking.
     
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  15. snoop51

    snoop51 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Guess I'll stick with the hard water in Essex then and just reminisce about the lovely soft water in Yorkshire.:)

    To be honest with the amount of building muck that's in my son's clothes, softened water wouldn't do much anyway.:D
     
  16. verytalldave

    verytalldave Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    WARNING............Babies must NOT be fed using formula milk made with salt block softened water.
    Their kidneys cannot cope with the salt levels and is potentially fatal when then they are very young (under 3-6 months).
    Most adults can drink artificially salt block softened water with no problem. The salt levels are still very low unless you drink large quantities.
     
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  17. OP
    OP
    ShinyF1

    ShinyF1 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I notice you're also in London - which of the Kinetico 'agents' installed your softener?
     
  18. robpow

    robpow Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I'm confused now, I thought someone said the water doesn't actually go in the water you drink but is used for processing the liquid in the tank. I want to fit a water softener too, mainly to save appliances and for bathing, but am also concerned about the drinking water. Maybe an in-line Brita type filter for the drinking water is better?
     
  19. MicB

    MicB Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    It is not confusing......soften all water except the principle kitchen tap from where you get water for consumption, cooking etc., ideally and additionally filter unsoftened water specifically for drinking.......a dedicated drinking water tap by Franke or similar.

    Mic
     
  20. robpow

    robpow Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Umm, yes that's what I'm thinking too, but why is the softened water dangerous if the salt doesn't go into it? What happens to the water?
     

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