Water Softener for combi in very hard water area

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Andy Hall wrote:

It's not relevant when comparing one ion exchange with another.
Which was I thgink the point under discussion - the complex ones don't soften the water better, they just use less salt.

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wrote:

OK.
.andy
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Superficially that is correct. However, my experience is that the washing machine and dishwasher last a lot longer, she doesn't make me descale the taps etc every 6 weeks, the car is easier to wash( not rinse), so I think it's worth it!
By the way, I don't believe the electronic controllers are worthwhile when compared with a crude timer. The chance of buying electronics spares after a few years can be very iffy and if you have a large enough loft tank, the volume of water in the tank may maintain a lower hardness level even if regeneration is a day delayed. Anyway, you soon notice if the soap doesn't lather, and do something about it. Generally, refill it with salt! Regards Capitol
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Capitol wrote:

You have missed the point. I was comparing the cots of a 1000 quid microprocessor equipped machine with a simple 300 quid 'recharge every week timer' machine.
My point being that all the expensive one does is save on salt.
But you can buy about 140 months of salt with that 700 quid, so if - say - the 1000 quid one saves half teh salt - at 60 a year on the cheapo, thats 30 quid a year saved for the extra 700 quid. Now to borrow the 700 quid you are probably talking about - say - 6% APR? so it costs you 42 a year to save 30?
Its a no brainer.

Precisely. I have one that wasn't too expensive, and does regenerate automatically depending on flow rate. I preprogrammed water hardness in. That seems to be about right. I only notice hardness building up when it runs out of salt.
However if I could have got the flow rate on a cheaper model I would have gone for it. Maybe there is a cheap high reate one out there, but I didn;t come across it.
BTW on electronic descalers, these only ever claimed to stop scaling by adjusting the crystal types of the calcium solids. They don't soften the water as far as soap goes at all. They merely stop (allegedly) hard scale developing - the chalky stuff is supposed to stay in suspension and run out with the waste.
If you want a better wash and less soap, you need ion exchange and thats it.

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much_to_do wrote:

exchange) water softener.
We chose a sensotronic 614 which was quite expensive at 800 but I wish we'd done it years ago - it's FANTASTIC
DO IT ASAP
Nick
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That 800 pay for a lot of phosphor canisters.
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.andy
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It is pretty certain he wants descaled water.
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Well, let's see now. Title of thread:
"Water Softener for combi in very hard water area"
.andy
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He is confused with terminology. He doesn't want his system scaling up.
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Here's the original question:
"I know this has been discussed many times before on this NG but just wondered if anyone had any personnel recommendations drawing from their own experience rather than anecdotal evidence."
Anyway, how can you have "descaled water". The scale occurs as a deposit on solid surfaces. A phosphor descaler will address that but not soften the water.
.andy
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Nick Brooks wrote:

Any decent ion exchange unit that does he flow rate you will need - and that IS important for a combi on mains pressure feeding showers - will make the world of difference.
DO IT ASAP. As the man said.
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It works very well, but, bath water is more then a little scummy, doesn't bother me but could easily bother others.
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I have an electronic box made by Aqua Dial. It is about 80% plus successful. I also have a phosphor canister descaler. This is better. I haven't put both together. but it would be a nice experiment.
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I have looked at this thread http://tinyurl.com/3ef9x and others on Google Groups to try and answer my questions, but found nothing definitive.
I am renovating my house and plan to install a completely new gas-fired central heating and hot water plumbing system. The renovation includes a loft conversion, so I want to avoid a system that involves header tanks. I am assuming that this means a sealed system for mains pressure hot water.
The heating system will be underfloor heating (typically 55 deg C), plus supplementary heating (probably conventional radiators at 80 deg C flow) for when the weather turns really cold.
I would like to install a water softener (not a water conditioner) that is compatible with a sealed system and a few on this newgroup have recommended an ion exchange type. Does anyone have a personal experience, successful or otherwise, with a water softener and sealed system that might influence my choice of softener and boiler. What makes of these do you have?
The main supply water pressure at my property is 2.8 bar (measured one February lunchtime). My wife and I have three small children, one bath, two showers and three toilets as well as a frequently-used washing machine and dishwasher. With the old oil-fired vented system we used to have, our water bills show a consumption of about 200 cu.m. per year.
A difficult question I know, but can any expert out there recommend a "dream" boiler-type/storage tank/heat exchanger so that I could start to put together a system specification that has a good chance of working? I would rather err on the side of buying good quality equipment than a cheap solution.
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John Aston wrote:

Man Micromat / Eco-hometec system boiler Megaflow / Duo-tank stainless steel mains pressure hot water cylinder EcoWater 514 Sensatronic water softener Mixed underfloor / radiator heating system 1 Bath 2 Showers 3 Boys
Not cheap but all quality products and work well together (apart from the boys who fight)
Nick Brooks
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Thanks, Nick. I am assuming that you got Eco-hometec to do the design. May I ask if you were pleased with their competence and response? I'm thinking of going to them for a quote.
Did they install the system as well?
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On Thu, 15 Apr 2004 23:48:30 +0100, "John Aston"

I'll throw something in here John.
Eco Hometec are a distributor for MAN Heiztechnik (part of the MAN BW company that make the big diesel engines and trucks) based in Hamburg
http://www.man-heiztechnik.de/index_e.php
The other is MHS Boilers and both sell the Micromat EC product.
I researched good quality boilers a year and a bit ago and shortlisted to this one, Keston, Viessmann and a couple of others. My main issues were build quality, specification, reliability, spares availability, technical support etc.
I put together a very detailed questionnaire and emailed it to each supplier. I also contacted MAN Heiztechnik in Germany and spoke to their technical department and to a product manager, specifically on how they are selling the product. It is a high end boiler, no question, and that is reflected in the price - north of 1k.
I received a somewhat satisfactory reply from Keston and from Viessmann but the one from Eco Hometec was much more detailed and they answered every question. I had asked things like the prices for the six most expensive spare parts and so on. Frankly they did a lot of work to answer my questions that the others didn't bother to do.
I also checked out Eco Hometec's filing at the Registrar of Companies and they are not large, but I felt set up adequately to address what they are doing. They specialise in the selfbuild and discerning markets and sell directly to the end user or installer, not through plumbing and heating merchants. I visited their place in Doncaster - on an industrial estate on the edge of town. I guess that they employ around 15-20 people including service engineers in different parts of the country. There is a demo room set up with all of the boiler types that they sell and you can see any of them in operation - they'll show the components and how it all goes together etc.
The Micromat is an extremely well engineered and solid machine made from quality components. There was no comparison to the Glow Worm that was installed before and ended up in the skip not long afterwards.
In terms of design, I didn't need a lot of help apart from figuring out the correct setting for the boiler controller to drive the motorised valve setup that I have.
I did the installation except for the commissioning and everything else went smoothly.
I don't think that they will do complete installations but may organise someone for you. I believe that they do do designs including UFH if you want it. I'm pretty sure that they won't attempt to do things beyond their ability.
In terms of purchasing, this was uneventful as well. The questions were answered, and I deliberated for several months. They called me on an agreed basis each month to follow up any issues and then quoted - didn't hassle me for the order.
If you are going for a HW cylinder, I would recommend getting one with a pocket for a temperature probe and getting the probe accessory for the boiler. This gives much better control of the hot water temperature and reheating than a cylinder thermostat does. The outside temperature sensor is included with the boiler.
I'd certainly buy the same boiler again and from them, so certainly I'd ask for a quote and ask your other questions.
.andy
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Eco hometec did specify the boiler and tank as well as the UFH design and although their service was generally ok I wouldn't use them again. The reason for this is that I have learnt a lot more about heating from this group in the last year and it is possible to buy an identical system for MUCH less if you shop around Having said that you do get the peace of mind that everything will be appropriately sized and there is a good chance it will all work together
Nick Brooks
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Nick, what would you suggest to John as an alternative?
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