water softeners?

Hello,
Has anyone used water "softeners" like the one screwfix sell, part no.
20315 or in conjunction with a sediment filter as part no. 72063
If so, what are your opinions?
I put "softener" in quote because I am not sure whether they actually
soften. I notice screwfix do not mention "softening" and choose the
phrase "scale reduction" instead.
We are in hard water area and getting bored of having to de scale the
kettle! I also wonder what the inside of the washing machine must look
like but perhaps I have been made paranoid by those calgon adverts? ;)
Do these make a big difference; are they worth it; and if so, is it
worth paying more for the one with the sediment filter?
I notice that in the same section screwfix sell "magnetic scale
reducers" and "electronic scale reducers" which I thought were snake
oil? Perhaps you will tell me if I am wrong?
Reply to
Fred
AIUI; 'hard' water has dissolved 'bit's in it that you can't see but deposit themselves on the insides of kettles / taps / irons / everywhere.
I 'looked' at these 'We can't tell you why it works, but grease our palms with silver and we'll let you take one away with you' devices and basically couldn't comprehend what they were supposed to do nor get overwhelmed by a desire to part with hard-earned money.
Eventually after much reading of the DIY groups webpages and reading the discussions, I purchased a 'proper' Resin cartridge cum Salt 'Water Softener'. It's brilliant! I can pretend to 'understand' how it works; put Salt IN and the nasty bits go OUT. No magnetic fields, pulsing or static, doing something 'magic' to the water .... just plain old Sodium IN, Calcium OUT.
Astoundingly- everything that water comes into contact with; my little body, my hair, the bath, toilet, sink surfaces; handbasins, worktops, oven fascias, clothes, etc. etc. become easy to clean. No more rinse-aid, no battery of cleansing products, the saving on detergents etc. is impressive. I can't quantify it because I never kept financial records to that level of granularity - but we hardly ever buy such cleansers anymore; bath bubble stuff, perhaps purchased weekly now lasts for several months ; ....
Although my opinion is biased but I wouldn't 'trust' any of the devices that didn't have a Calcium~Sodium Ion exchange mechanism .
But as they say; a fool and his money are soon parted and these vendors haven't gone bankrupt overestimating the gullibility or intelligence of their market.
Reply to
Brian Sharrock
Would you be kind enough to state what softener you bought and from where? Also, what kind of running costs are associated with it (e.g. how much salt does it get through).
Thanks,
Styx
Reply to
Styx
If you want to know, get your hands on the (Haynes) Washing Machine Manual - getting the heater out is two blade connections (plus another for earth), a nut to loosen (8mm on mine), tap the nut and pull (hard!) the heater out towards the back. Our water is probably the hardest (chalk area!) and 6 years' worth of scale wasn't too bad. No calgon snake oil either. Chip what you can off with something wooden or plastic (so as not to damage the element). Run it under the tap - doesn't need to shine, leave it somewhere to dry off, then give it a shove back in, tighten nut so it seals around its gasket and then reconnect the wires. I only did it as part of a main bearing change - that's holding up very well so far.
J.
Reply to
Part timer
So why do YOU call it a softener (even in quotes)? It's not: it's a scale inhibitor plus sediment filter.
20315
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is just a scale inhibitor.
See
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I notice that in the same section screwfix sell "magnetic scale
Reply to
John Stumbles
In message , Part timer writes
fitting a water softener will not stop your kettle scaling up - softened water is neither pleasant nor good to drink due to its salt content.
Reply to
Si
snip
After careful; consideration and much internal debate; I went for the twin cylinder water-meter-motor powered type. { Essentially, any cylinder will become 'spent' when it's resin has absorbed /exchanged its sodium ions for calcium ions. The cylinder needs to be purged by flushing through with brine when calcium ions are exchanged / given-up and the resin is refreshed - ready to 'soften' a fresh load of 'hard' water. Some (electrical) controlled devices determine when to purge by means of a timer set to pump brine through the cylinder(s) at a predetermined time. The type I bought uses an intergrating water-driven 'meter' which decides on a volume used basis when to purge the cylinder .Its claimed that 'salt' is not wasted.]
A web search revealed that 'West Midlands Water Company' had the least expensive model (at the time).
I purchase salt off the interent for convenience - a quantity / price break for me is ten packets of two 4Kgs blocks which costs about £35 (delivered to the door).. A pair of salt blocks lasts three adults (showers, baths, washing machine, dishwasher, tolet etc. ) for _about_ one month.
According to my 'Salt Consumption' spreadsheet;- in one calendar year the machine consumed 31 blocks a a , calculated, cost of £51.
HTH
Reply to
Brian Sharrock
Calgon isn't snake oil; it's just really expensive for what it is. You can buy Sodium Sesquicarbonate softener in Tesco for a fraction of the price of Calgon.
Reply to
Rumble
£5 a month
Savd easily by how long the soap lasts and the cleaners we don't have to buy to take off limescale.
Mine as about £500, and detects how much water goes through so it klnos when to recycle etc.
Only problem is it restricts flow rate a bit. And takes up a whole kitchen unit.
Reply to
The Natural Philosopher
Thanks, that's very useful information. I live in the East Midlands and the water around here seems to be very hard - constantly having to deal with scale in the bath/shower/toilet, not to mention the damage it may be doing to the CH.
Styx
Reply to
Styx
I figured around £500 to £700, last time I looked into them (about 6 months ago).
Any estimate on how much the flow rate drops? When we had a new Combi boiler fitted 2 years ago, we measured the flow rate a found it was enough for the combi with a thermostatic mixer-type shower running of it. We actually get a pretty good pressure of water at the shower head, but if a softener drops the flow rate too much that might all go to pot...
Styx
Reply to
Styx
The double cylinder type of softener doesn't suffer from any diminution of flow rate. one cylinder is always available for the 'path'. When the integrator in the mechanism determines that the resin in one cylinder is depleted a valve switches the incoming flow through the 'quiescent cylinder. This depleted cylinder is then purged and once refreshed becomes available for switching into the flow. A single cylinder system will of necessity permit unaoftened water to be allowed past itself during the purging cycle.
The pipework is fitting a set of valves into a 'Pi' configuration (to permit isolation) . My unit is about the size of two/three large packets of Cornflakes- it doesn't occupy a 'whole' kitchen unit' even though I left lots of space for access, there's lots of space for brillo pads, sponges, pan scourers, washing-up liquid and the other junk that gets shoved into a kitchen cabinet.
Reply to
Brian Sharrock
Since it seems to contain some sort of ion exchange resin to "inhibit" the scale, I presumed it did so by the process of softening.
I am wondering, having read the other replies, whether this is half a softener, in as much as it seems to contain a cartridge of resin but lacks the recharge mechanism?
Does anyone know exactly what this is and how it works?
I did note that screwfix did not go as far as calling it a softener and that's why I used the quotes to signify that I was not sure. That it appeared on the same page as some other magical scale inhibitors made me ask whether this too was just another of the same.
Reply to
Fred
If it claims to offer descaling, then the other technology is phosphate dosing. There are products that do this such as Combimate, whereby a small amount of chemical is leached into the water and prevents scaling of surfaces such as the heat exchanger in a boiler or HW cylinder. It doesn't soften the water in the sense of ion exchange so no saving on detergents. The chemical in that one is in pellet form and added every few months.
If this device is the same technology, then perhaps it's a cartridge replacement. The same type of mechanical container forms the basis of water filters, reverse osmosis devices and the like and these all have exchangeable cartridges.
Reply to
Andy Hall
In message , The Natural Philosopher writes
Whatever, it's not healthy to drink. Or am I wrong about that?
-- Si
Reply to
Si
It isn't unhealthy particularly.
As a comparison.....
There's about 110mg of salt in the average slice of bread, a 300ml glass of milk has about the same and a litre of softened water contains about 75mg.
Whether you like the taste or not is something else.
Reply to
Andy Hall
The water produced is 'Softened' ; that's not equivalent to _Soft Water_. Soft Water has flowed 'cross granite and /or been filtered thorough volcanoes ..... although soft water pours out of taps in Liverpool and Lancashire it bears little resemblance to the diluted chalk that exits my taps in a ;Hard Water' area.
The 'softened' water has an elevated amount of Sodium but I can't taste it. It seems to make a decent cup of tea /
coffee without any scum and both beverages are transparent. It's great for bathing in, washing clothes / dishes etc. etc. ...but not apparently for watering plants.
The 'experts' say if shouldn't be drunk - it's not supposedly potable - but the same experts have lectured me about the evilness of bacon butties, hamburgers, chips, red-meat, dairy products, chocolates, red wine, whiskey ..... .....'
Drinking 'softened' water hasn't done me any h a r rrr ...gh!
Reply to
Brian Sharrock

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