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Whole House Water Softener

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:59 am
by PerryGunn
No, I'm not offering to sell you a super-duper, whizz-band best-thing-since-sliced-bread, whole-house water softener :wink:

I'm looking to buy a super-duper, whizz-band best-thing-since-sliced-bread, whole-house water softener and wondered if anyone has one and can offer any tips on selection/must-have features or can recommend any particular brands?

Thanks

Perry

Re: Whole House Water Softener

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:34 am
by Stuart Truman
We've had a kinetico one for about 20 years and it's only needed repair once. Awesome thing and saved us a fortune in boiler repairs. The reason we bought it was the boiler at the time kept breaking down due to hard water.

When we got it we had young kids and the washing machine was on all the time so we chose a high capacity model that's about the size of an oil drum. They're physically smaller now but a decent supplier will be able to advise.

One thing to watch out for, get one that takes standard salt tablets.

Re: Whole House Water Softener

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:37 am
by mad4slalom
we had to go to a lot of trouble during the last war to eliminate heavy water in germany,as it would have caused us a lot of problems later too. :wink: ... :tumbleweed:

Re: Whole House Water Softener

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:38 am
by mad4slalom
did you say HARD water ? :rofl:

Re: Whole House Water Softener

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:43 am
by Stuart Truman
mad4slalom wrote:did you say HARD water ? :rofl:
Yup.

Re: Whole House Water Softener

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:08 am
by Gargybloke
When I moved into the house down in Poole 12 years ago I realised straight away it was a very hard water area.

The kitchen was being replaced so I got a water softener from Wickes and put in under the sink. I am not sure I believed all the hype at the time but they do work very well. Decreases the amount of cleaning required everywhere enormously. Good for all water appliances and nice to wash in softwater. Not that expensive to run and easy. Only the kitchen cold tap and dishwasher is not put on it.

The model was very similar to this

http://www.wickes.co.uk/water-softener- ... vt/421700/

Plumbing for it is pretty simple. It needs power too. A model that auto regenerates is good.

Shortly after I moved in there was a leak in the hall caused by the copper hot tank above leaking due to corrosion. After draining the tank, it was so heavy it took two of us to remove it because it was so full of scale so think what is happening to your pipes!

I buy the salt from local DIY shops mainly.

Re: Whole House Water Softener

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:14 am
by markeg
Does the salt affect car washing at all? Hard water is a complete PITA for washing the car (major water spots issue) but I've always been wary of water softeners because of the salt addition - how do you guys get around that?

Re: Whole House Water Softener

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:34 am
by Gargybloke
The water doesn't taste salty at all but it isn't recommended to drink it. Not noticed any particular rusting on all cars I have washed with it. They are easier to wipe dry.

Re: Whole House Water Softener

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:24 pm
by Stuart Truman
Why does yours need power? Mine is an auto recycling type and has two cylinders in so it's always working. It uses water power to drive the recycling action.

Re: Whole House Water Softener

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:38 pm
by Gargybloke
It has a clock and electronics to work out how much water has gone through at a set "hardness" so it knows when it should regenerate.

A model without power needs sounds good.

Re: Whole House Water Softener

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:54 pm
by Stuart Truman
Mine has mechanical clocks, turned by the water. No electricity needed. Last year we had to have all the supporting structures that hold the cylinders up replaced as they are plastic and the salt had finally made them brittle. One of the best investments in the house we've made.

Re: Whole House Water Softener

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:27 pm
by MrPT
No idea about best brands, but here's a tip - make sure the thing you fill with salt doesn't look like a bin, just in case you are tidying up the next day after a house party and find that it's full of pizza crusts and cocktail sticks.

:?

Re: Whole House Water Softener

Posted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:37 pm
by PerryGunn
To resurrect and update this thread, as we're having the new bathroom installed and wanted to avoid it becoming rapidly coated with limescale, last week we had a water softener installed and we've noticed the benefits immediately. After reading lots of reviews we went for a Harvey's twin-tank softener, installed outside in a frost-free enclosure and also had an additional outside tap installed so that we have one hard water tap for watering plants and a soft water tap for washing the cars.

I even 'detailed' the sink this weekend, starting with a chemical washdown with diluted brick acid to dissolve the old limescale stains, followed by a good buff-up using my DA polisher with Britemax metal polish and a sacrificial white Chemical Guys Hex Logic pad - it was an opportunity to prove to Cindy that all my car-cleaning kit could come in useful for household chores :D

Re: Whole House Water Softener

Posted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:03 pm
by Leesfarm07
I fitted a kitchen recently for a customer and they had a kinetica softener. They swear by it even though it cost in excess of a grand to have installed. Theirs uses large blocks of salt similar to house bricks that slowly drop into the machine. When the salt block gets to a certain level you just drop another one in. Theirs doesn't have any power to it either

Re: Whole House Water Softener

Posted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:18 pm
by PerryGunn
Leesfarm07 wrote:I fitted a kitchen recently for a customer and they had a kinetica softener. They swear by it even though it cost in excess of a grand to have installed. Theirs uses large blocks of salt similar to house bricks that slowly drop into the machine. When the salt block gets to a certain level you just drop another one in. Theirs doesn't have any power to it either
Exactly the same as ours - takes 2x 4kg blocks of salt - all water powered. Apparantly Harveys manufacture versions for other companies such as Kinetico