Water softeners

Any recommendations as to technology and suppliers for a whole house water softener?
Needs to cope with a 37kW combi and two bathrooms in a 3 bed semi.
Allegedly those that measure water throughput to calculate when to regenerate are more efficient than those with a simple timer but apart from that I haven't discovered much yet.
Cheers
Dave R
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Support the above. The timer settings are very conservative. There was some comment about *squirreling* from the guy who installed ours. Something about conventional ball valves in header tanks leading to a trickle flow through the resin and creating a short circuit path.
regards
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Tim Lamb

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writes

Which model do you have?
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Nuwave MD600
Roughly (250w x450d x800mm h) This is quite a tall unit compared with the original.
regards

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What I have found is that the seem to specify how much water a day and how much water between recharges but they don't specify a maximum flow rate. Which is kind of important if you are trying to use the water softener to treat water going through a combi boiler to the hot water taps.
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http://www.harveywatersofteners.co.uk/no-salt-water-softeners
A somewhat bitter commentary on arcane water magic.
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David WE Roberts wrote:

I dunno what I have but its the size of a big waste paper basket and really works well as a whole house water supply - it does throttle the water a bit even on 19mm connections, and AFAIAW its a timer type rather than a flow measurer.
tow of us - one who leaves taps running all the time - use a 25kg salt pack about every month.
Water is nearly always fully softened. I set it to 'nearly maximum hardness' as we are full chalk aquifer supplied here.
For some reason et 'hardness measuring kit' it came with didn't work at all.
Its perfectly capable of softening as fast as I can run a tap.
after ten years there is barely perceptioble scale build up on the most used hot tap.
Definitely a total AAA+++ in my book.
A bar of soap lasts about a year :-)
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The Natural Philosopher wrote:

I found what I have
http://www.tapworks.co.uk/Residential%20Products/AD%2011.aspx
IIRC it was about 600 notes ten years ago.

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On 18/06/2012 12:20, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

53.3 litre/minute
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Long post, this one. I was intrigued by the two categories "Electric" and "non-Electric" because the non-electric don't seem to have to stop to regenerate, and seem to use less water for maintenance. Comments welcome.
http://www.harveywatersofteners.co.uk/softened-water-faqs/does-the-harvey-s-softener-perform-a-backwash
"When someone asks us this question it is generally because one of our competitors selling an American manufactured water softener has told them that theirs does have a back wash and that ours does not.
To understand the answer fully you need to be aware of the different design criteria used in each country.
In America the water quality varies tremendously from city to city and, even more so, between all the private bore hole supplies. Nearly half of all American water softeners are sold to homes that have a private bore hole supply. The quality of water is unpredictable and many of the supplies have high turbidity (dirt in the water).
To counteract this they design a softener that has a high free board and a back wash. Free board is an area above the resin in the cylinder into which the resin can expand when backwashing during regeneration so that particulate matter that has come into the top of the bed can be released and backwashed down the drain. This was always the traditional way. Effective in dealing with the problems of dirty water but extravagant in consumption of water and salt.
The typical American water softener is tall to accommodate this additional space but as most American homes have a basement with plenty of room this is not a problem over there.
In England the design criteria are different.
Our water supply is virtually all municipal and of very high quality in respect to turbidity. There is no need for a backwash as there is no dirt in the water.
Our design goes three stages further to take advantage of this situation.
We remove the freeboard altogether to enable us to make a very low softener to fit under the sink.
We reverse the flow to upflow service and downflow brine enabling the benefits of increased efficiency due to countercurrent regeneration (long technical explanations needed to explain this one).
We remove the back wash cycle and thus save on water consumption during regeneration.
An altogether better and more elegant solution to making a very efficient water softener to fit under the sink.
(Any ingress of debris enters the bottom of the cylinder and cannot get into the resin due to the screening and is removed during regeneration).
Meanwhile, our competitors have followed our lead with modifications to their softeners to try and emulate us but they cannot change their fundamental design which still incorporates many of the features from their American sold machines.
Ours is a new design for water in England. Better, more efficient, with much more accurate metering and designed for the job!
The best that can be done with our current knowledge and materials.
So don't be sold on something inferior."
Own trumpet blown loudly. Do they have right on their side?
Cheers
Dave R
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On Mon, 18 Jun 2012 12:41:42 +0100, "David WE Roberts"

Bear in mind the ones which use blocks of salt are often much more expensive to run than those which can use generic salt tablets because of the much higher price of block salt. This can more than wipe out any supposed advantage of metering rather than timing.
For example Harveys block salt is about 50p to 1 per kilo delivered (lower for 40kg order quantity. Pellet salt from the same supplier(and weight of delivery) is 30p to 80p per kilo.
Plumbase sell single 25kg bags of tablet salt for 29p/kg.
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On Monday, June 18, 2012 12:41:42 PM UTC+1, David WE Roberts wrote:

Yes, IMHO although I think he exaggerates the advantages of his machine. The resin will act as a filter and catch any solid particles in the water supply. In fact, you can get greensand or activated charcoal filters which look very like a softener, having the same pressure vessel filled with the filter media and a softener-type control valve on the top.
I think 'More efficient' means it uses less water to regenerate, but I doubt that there is a great difference. They all use resin beads, all are regenerated by flushing with brine; I don't see much scope for great water savings, but haven't looked at any numbers.
I'd be wary of anyone selling a softener that requires the purchase of their special super-salty salt blocks. Sofetners regenerate with brine and I don't think the differences between salt block brine and granular salt brine have been researched.
Most UK made softeners were, up to about 10 years ago, usually assembled in the Uk and nearly all used the US-made Autotrol (?) control valve.
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