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Anyone got/recommend a whole-house limescale filter?

(18 Posts)
vicky228 Thu 31-May-12 12:39:12

I've just spent a fortune on a plumber to replace various boiler and toilet parts which had got furred up with limescale - fairly horrifying given that the boiler at least is only 2 years old.

He suggested we get an in-line limescale filter to stop any further build up of limescale. You can get them per appliance but since I am permanently trying to descale showers, toilets, kettle, iron etc I'm thinking we might as well get one that deals with the whole house.

Has anybody else got one and found it worthwhile? And if so, what sort?


PigletJohn Thu 31-May-12 16:13:06

I think you mean a water softener.

You can also get filters to go on a drinking water dispenser, that takes out heavy metals, chlorine etc as well. They are very small and unsuitable for whole-house.

You can also get devices that claim to magnetise the water, they don't work.

I would very strongly recommend a water softener (the ion-exchange resin type, that you put salt into). The salt does not enter the water that comes out of the taps, it is used to regenerate the resin so that it can absorb more calcium, and is rinsed down the drain.

vicky228 Fri 01-Jun-12 21:14:22

It was the magnetic one that the plumber had recommended to me - really useful to know that they don't work, as we were almost decided on getting one fitted! I did wonder why they were so much cheaper than the water softener...

I had in my head, though, that the salt water softener things affected the water so that you couldn't drink it. I take it I'm wrong on that too??

Thanks so much for the advice so far.

PigletJohn Fri 01-Jun-12 21:46:12

The ion exchange put a tiny amount of Sodium Bicarbonate into the water in exchange for the calcium it absorbs. I am told that in a day you drink less sodium in softened water than is contained in a slice of bread or a dollop of ketchup, but I expect someone will be along with the figures.

However people on a restricted-sodium diet, such as those on kidney dialysis or bottle-fed babies, are advised not to drink it. This is usually arranged by having the kitchen cold tap connected to the incoming water main upstream of the softener. Many users (including me) don't bother, as tea tastes better with softened water.

If you get one, you will be stunned at how clean your taps, WC, draining board become, and how soft and silky your hair and towels. wet shaving is also much more pleasant than in hard water. You will save money on soap, detergent, household cleaners, fabsoft and hand cream.

happyAvocado Fri 01-Jun-12 21:55:37

is is one of those you have?

We are in an area with very hard water.
Does it take a lot of space? Is it fitted in the lott or by the boiler?

RandomMess Fri 01-Jun-12 21:57:48

I adore my water softener best money we every spent grin

PigletJohn Fri 01-Jun-12 22:21:01

mine is a softener similar to the Waterside and Culligan ones. I have a Permutit, it used to be the top brand but they went bust and the name was bought up by someone else. The current one was a recon exchange, the old one lasted about 20 years.

There will probably be a water softener company in your town. They probably repair, service and assemble softeners (the parts and materials are easily available in the trade) and deliver sacks of salt. See what they recommend and sell, and verify that they will repair it when it goes wrong. If you get a cheap one from B&Q or mail order you may have to throw it away when it goes wrong.

It has to be fitted next to the incoming water main, usually in a corner of the kitchen but mine is in the garage. It must have access to a drain for the regeneration water to go down, and usually an electrical socket as well. It will be very heavy when full of water and salt so usually stands on the floor. You need access to tip a sack of salt in it every couple of months. Don't put it in the loft. I buy 20kg sacks which are rather heavy. You can get 10kg bags which are dearer. Try not to carry them in your own car as any salt spillage will rust a hole through the boot very quickly.

Fitting a softener is as difficult or easy as fitting a washing machine for the first time. Suppliers or plumbers will probably do it for a fee.

happyAvocado Fri 01-Jun-12 22:30:08

thanks PigletJohn, I am in London, so should have access to many water softener companies

I had to replace enough bits and pieces in the last 14 years to pay twice over ofor one of those smile

Pannacotta Sat 02-Jun-12 09:01:21

There was a long thread on here a couple of months ago on this, you'll fin dit if you do a search, think water softeners was in the title.

happyAvocado Sat 02-Jun-12 12:03:34

thanks Pannacotta

Rhubarbgarden Sat 02-Jun-12 21:03:39

I've been meaning to get one of these for years. They sound wonderful. I grew up in a soft water area and the limescale where I live now does my head in.

IvanaHumpalot Wed 06-Jun-12 16:42:28

We bought a Culligan one. It sits in a small cupboard in the kitchen and uses salt blocks rather than the loose kind. More expensive but far less faff.

NeedaClearout Wed 06-Jun-12 18:04:29

We've got a Patmore softener which is great. It fits under the sink and takes up less than half the space there. No electrics and no servicing or maintenance needed. Previously had a Waterside which was cheaper to buy but cost us a lot in repairs, also needed yearly servicing. It used to leak and overflow which was a worry as it was connected to the electric supply.

Whoatemyporridge Thu 26-Jan-17 13:41:06

A water filter in the bathroom anyone? We be decided to install one prior to a new bathroom installation). We're living in London and the water is terrible in here, causing a dry and itchy skin after each shower not to mention a bath. Is it worth to install a shower filter?or are there any other more effective options available? HELP!!

mando12345 Thu 26-Jan-17 20:18:05

I would put one under the sink to do the whole house rather than just the bathroom. We have a kinetico fitted under our kitchen sink. Easy to install, I would never ever be without one, makes cleaning so much easier.

bottersnikes Fri 27-Jan-17 15:23:25

We would love to get one of these, but aren't sure where it would go.
Our water stopcock is on a kitchen wall (used to be the outside wall, but isn't now due to an extension), not in a cabinet, and is nowhere near a drain.

Would that mean we couldn't have a softener? Where else could it go?

Alwayscheerful Fri 27-Jan-17 16:35:35

Can anyone give me an idea of cost?
Our incoming water mains is in the cloakroom downstairs which means there is also a drain outside, there is more room in the corner the adjoining kitchen - a corner cabinet and a socket but access would be a bit awkward.

Binkybix Sat 28-Jan-17 20:42:42

I'm thinking of this too as we have a pump for pressure that keeps breaking I think due to lack limescale. I've heard soft water is better for eczema

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