To quote the installation manual for the Greenstar 40 HE plus:
"In exceptionally hard water areas a device to prevent
scale formation may be fitted or, alternatively, the maxi-
mum temperature reset to about 45°C which may
reduce the risk of scale formation. The installation of a
scale inhibitor assembly should be in accordance with
the requirements of the local water company. Artificially
softened water must not be used to fill the central heat-
ing system. An isolating valve should be fitted to allow
for servicing. "
According to Wessex Water, my water hardness is 280 ppm, which is
classified as hard.
Should I install a softener?
Is it a good idea to set the maximum temperature to 45C? (Presumably
this is the DHW temperature?) Would this result in any loss of
Your choice is:
1. Ion-exchange softener, which will have additional benefits, such as
preventing horrible stains on the sink/bath/toilet, feeling nicer on the
skin and using much less detergent. They cost a lot.
2. Phosphate dosing capsule, which will reduce scaling on heating
appliances, but have few additional benefits. They have moderate cost.
3. Electronic/magnetic conditioner, which help boost the bank accounts of
the charlatans that sell them.
It would increase both safety and efficiency, as it help reduce the boiler
return water temperature. It would help a shower mixer remain at a stable
temperature and flow. The main disadvantage is that it isn't so good for
Must a water softener go in the kitchen? I don't have a utility room,
and intend to put the new boiler in the loft.
I guess it wouldn't be practical to put the water softener in the loft
due to the frequent need to refill with salt?
The problem is putting it near the water path to the outlets that you
require to be softened. In most houses, the incoming water main passes
through the kitchen and outlets are taken off either directly or via a tank
in the loft.
If you have a loft tank, the water softener can be anywhere on this line,
including the loft. If the cold water outlets are taken off at mains
pressure before the loft, the softener must be installed before those take
offs (but after the kitchen drinking tap and the outside tap).
A modern metered softener doesn't actually use much salt. I wouldn't
hesitate to put one in an easily accessible loft, except that my house is
entirely mains pressure, so the softener must be placed in the kitchen. When
repiping the kitchen, I used a three pipe solution, with hard cold, soft
cold and soft hot pipework. Unfortunately, I can't actually afford a
suitable high flow softener ATM, so the soft pipework is hard.
I always thought water became too hot for hands at around 40 degrees.
This site http://www.tap-water-burn.com/ seems to confirm that.
"Even though this is a 'relatively-safe' temperature, exposure to
water set at 110° F is painful; the human pain threshold is around
110 = 43.3 C
108 = 42.2 C
106 = 41.1 C
Just use tap water. A lot simpler than pressurising the condensate. The
condensate may have all sorts of cr*p in it, too. Even hard water doesn't
matter, as you shouldn't be topping up frequently.
In a hard water area the cold inlet to the boiler's hot water heating
circuit should be softened, with an ion-exchange softener, as it will
scale up in no time if not.
I don't believe actually filling the sealed side of the boiler with soft
water makes any difference, I do. To have a separate un-softened feed to
top up the boiler with would be an extra pain to provide and would be
nigh on impossible on those boilers that have a built in filling loop.
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