Do phosphate water softeners work (i.e., "Combi-Mate")

Living in a hard-water area, I'm finding that I have to replace the secondary heat exchanger on my Brittony 80 combi boiler about once every 12 months. At 130 a pop, that hurts. I've tried an electronc water softener and a magnetic one. Neither seem to help much. I'm wondering about buying a phosphate one such as a "Combi-Mate". They cost about 100. I'm wondering if this would be a good investment - or just more money down the drain.
Thank you.
Al D = = = = = = = = = = = = = to email me, first remove the three-letter animal from my email address.
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Phosphate dosing systems do not soften water. However, they should reduce or eliminate limescale buildup on your combi, saving you from your yearly exchanger swap out. It won't give all the benefits of an ion-exchange softener, which really does soften the water, though.
Electronic and magnetic conditioners are complete snake oil. No credible person in the history of the universe has been able to find any effect from using them on a domestic water system.
Christian.
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On Thu, 24 Nov 2005 18:26:59 -0000, "Christian McArdle"

Thank you for the info. So are these ion-exchange softeners the most cost-effective way to prevent heat-exchanger blockages from limescale? Can anyone recommend one that is affordable and effective? Are they easy to fit?

That's certainly my impression too.
Al D
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On Thu, 24 Nov 2005 20:36:17 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Al D) wrote:

Either the phosphate doser or ion-exchange softener will deal with the scaling issue, and if you are worried only about the scaling, then the phosphate doser will do the job effectively.
Having softened water means that apart from the water feeling more pleasant to the touch, it makes soaps, detergents and shampoos etc. work much more effectively, so you use less.
To give you an illustration, I've had a softener for 20 years (same one and still OK). In a household of 4, it gets through a bag of salt (about 5 if you buy 10 bags) every three weeks or so. There is more than a 5 saving in soaps, detergents and shampoos in that time.
So in effect, the capital cost is the only incremental outlay.
I have a metered model (Kinetico), although there are other makes with metering now. These use less salt than the timer based ones because they regenerate when a volume of water has been used. I would look around and then ask who the manufacturers are of the ion exchange tanks and resins and the valve. Most systems are made up from OEM components from a small number of manufacturers with Autotrol being one of the leading valve makes.
--

.andy


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or
But mine works

from
Mine works and there is an avalanche of evidence to prove they do. Even DPS recommend them.
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They do work and cost around 50 in Homebase, B&Q. The only problems that the on the body where the venturi is, the venturi holes can block up. When changing a canister use a paper clip to clear out.
Scale should block a heat ex but not pop it. Get on to Chaffataeux.
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On Thu, 24 Nov 2005 19:15:57 -0000, "Doctor Drivel"

Thank you for that. Do they actually prevent limescale, or just reduce it a bit? If I am now getting secondary-heat-exchanger blockages every 12 months, can you guesstimate how often I would have to change the component after fitting one of these ghizmos?

"pop" was a figure of speech. Please replace with "time" or "go" to get my meaning. I must learn to write in more formal English. ;-)
Thanks again,
Al D
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that
When
Reduce it a lot, or in some cases eliminate it.

10 years.

You cab descale a heat ex.
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On Thu, 24 Nov 2005 20:41:46 -0000, "Doctor Drivel"

Thanks for the tip. I must remember to do that!

I tried that once, but found that it was futile, without the suitable equipment to pump the acid through over a sustained period.
BTW, is the hot water drinkable after it has been dosed with phosphate? I understand that only a tiny amount is added.
I often used to fill my kettle from the hot water tap if the water was hot and thus save some electricity. I'm not sure if I can still do that.
Al D
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Al D wrote:

Minor point, but combimates don't have canisters - you refill them with silophos balls. Drivel is talking about some other device no doubt...

According to Cistermiser: yes since it is a food grade additive.
http://www.cistermiser.co.uk/pdf/q.csr.pdf
This may not be true for other similar sounding products.
When I plumbed my one in, I arranged it such that I could deliver either treated or untreated water to the kitchen taps (controled by a pair of valves). I was interested to see if it would also help reduce scale in the kettle, and also if you could detect any change in taste.
The answer seems to be only a little WRT to the kettle (most of the scale deposition in kettles seems to be precipitation as the water cools rather than when boiling in the first place). As for taste I can't taste any difference in the water when drunk neat (although we have a water filter which may be altering masking the effect), I am not convinced that there is not a small change to the taste of coffee however! (but it is very subtle if there at all and it may just be my imagination).

You could.
--
Cheers,

John.

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Which is in a canister.

People with heart complaints and young babies - NO.

Check the canister.

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On Fri, 25 Nov 2005 19:09:49 -0000, "Doctor Drivel"
Thanks, yes; My B&Q offering says "food grade" so I guess that means it's safe to drink...
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wrote:

Who makes it? Most are made by Permutit. Charge the canister every year.
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Doctor Drivel wrote:

No, they come lose in a bag with the new unit. You buy refils in a bottle. To refil you pour the balls into the dome of the combimate. No canister at any stage of the process.

Why? ISTM you are thinking of softening systems that raise the sodium content of the water. That is not what we are discussing here.
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You are confused.
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Doctor Drivel wrote:

I am, so please explain why you believe cardiac patients with young children should not fit a combimate.
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John.

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replying to Al D, Brian Reed wrote: My experience is that no only do they stop limescale buildup, they slowly remove what was in kettles etc. My plumber recently fitted a polyphos device for whole-house treatment & the results were amazing
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On 26/01/17 12:44, Brian Reed wrote:

well they are what is in most detergents, so yes, they do work to stop limescale.
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On 26/01/2017 13:27, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

They were a large part of washing powder but they pollute rivers and cause algae blooms so there are restrictions on them now.
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A phosphate worse than death? I thought we were trying to stop putting phosphates down into the drains as its a bit like a fertiliser when it combines with other stuff. Brian
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