Water Softener

(25 Posts)
SparePantsAndLego Sun 17-May-20 22:07:18

Our water is as hard as the Mitchells. I’m fed up with it. I’m fed up with tea scum, with needing to clean the bathroom as often as I do and fed up with my hair. Do you have a softener? Would you recommend it? Can you recommend any softeners and or installers in SE London?
I’m obviously not in a hurry, given the current situation...but I would be so happy to see the end of limescale in my life!

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Whitney168 Sun 17-May-20 22:10:39

We have one, and God yes, it’s marvellous (although it eats more salt than you can shake a stick at. No limes ale on showers, taps, etc.

We were told not to put drinking water through it though, so you might still need Brita to address the tea scum.

SparePantsAndLego Sun 17-May-20 22:14:32

Thanks, Whitney I clearly need to do more research. So, all of our water wouldn’t go through a softener?

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PigletJohn Sun 17-May-20 22:17:05

Once you've had one, you will never want to be without it.

Soft shiny hair, cleaner skin, hands not so rough, better tea, cleaner taps, bath and WC, less soap and detergent. Mirrors come clean with a sponge. Soft, absorbent towels. Your car will be cleaner and shinier.

PigletJohn Sun 17-May-20 22:24:21

some people think a softener puts salt in the water. It doesn't but it does replace the cacium with tiny amount of sodium bicarbonate, as used in baking powder and infigestion remedies. The sodium content is less than in milk. But if you are on a low-sodium diet, for example you have kidnet failure or a formula-fed baby, you are advised to avoid it. I use softened water for tea and hard water for the garden. you can use hard water through a Brita water filter for drinking, I asked them, they work a different way.

There are some figures on www.mumsnet.com/Talk/property/a2519090-Kitchen-questions-flooring-water-softener#57869870

This question comes up repeatedly.

SparePantsAndLego Sun 17-May-20 22:32:19

Thanks for that v useful info, PigletJohn.
I dream of just wiping my mirrors. Although, I fear Viakal will go out of business if I get a softener. From my (limited) research, I can see the cost of them varies very widely. How much is ‘reasonable’ to spend on one? I always invest in decent appliances, I’d rather buy well and buy once.

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Muchlywrong Sun 17-May-20 22:41:26

I always recommend this www.combimate.co.uk/ . Works really easily for people to maintain themselves.


WeveGottaGetTherouxThis Sun 17-May-20 22:45:12

Yes, I would highly recommend. I completely forgot to put salt in ours for the first 6 weeks of lockdown and the increase in limescale was so noticeable. Got my act together & refilled it, and we are limescale-free once more!

PigletJohn Sun 17-May-20 22:58:28

I'm not in touch with current prices.

Ask around for your local water-softener supplier and ask "do you repair weater softeners? And do you deliver salt?" If yes, continue.

they probably have a preferred brand, which they will guarantee and service. They may have an own-brand (the technology is out of patent, the materials are widely available, and there is usually only one moving part, supplied as an assembly with the meter, clock and valves in it, sold by one or two world-class companies.) They may also recondition and p.ex machines. I am currently on a recon which I collected from a firm in Essex when I used to travel there.

Companies that send a salesman to visit your home, or advertise in the Sunday papers, tend to be overpriced.

Cheap ones sold in DIY sheds or discount stores may not be repairable when they go wrong. Some local companies will only repair ones they sold.

sorry, got to go now

RandomMess Sun 17-May-20 22:58:42

I loved mine was amazing! Had a black kitchen sink fitted the works grin

We had a built in filtered drinking tap water fitted as well.

Atlantis AT210 is the one my independent plumbing place recommended. Takes up half a standard kitchen cupboard.

PigletJohn Sun 17-May-20 23:00:02


mine has a Fleck head in it, and the parts, going back years, are internationally available. I had the seals changed once.

theconstantinoplegardener Sun 17-May-20 23:01:03

I love, love, love my water softener. My kitchen and bathroom always look freshly cleaned; some irritating niggles with the boiler went away by themselves a few months after installation of the softener; shampoo, detergent etc lasts ages now as I only need to use a little.

We have a Harvey's water softener. It is in a cupboard in the kitchen. I check it daily and put in another block of salt when necessary. If ever I forget and the water comes out hard in the shower, it feels almost gritty. The difference is very noticeable.

SparePantsAndLego Sun 17-May-20 23:27:59

Thanks so much, @PigletJohn your time and input are appreciated.

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SparePantsAndLego Sun 17-May-20 23:30:16

I’ve also seen the other replies since typing.
It’s pretty unanimously in favour! Thank you I’ll do some more research.

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BubblesBuddy Sun 17-May-20 23:52:38

We have had one for 20 years and it’s never gone wrong. It’s excellent. You will have to have an in softened cold water tap in the kitchen though. (But you could fill the kettle with hot water!)

BubblesBuddy Sun 17-May-20 23:53:03

Un softened!

We1shBird Mon 18-May-20 00:30:41

We used these www.ewtechnologies.co.uk/ and they were great. Paid about £575 and got an extra tiny tap with a water filter fitted for free so use that for drinking. Our water used to be shocking but much better now. Pay about £11-13 for a 25kg bag which lasts about 3 months ish.

Rightmovenewbie Mon 18-May-20 17:07:06

I love ours, it’s from Tapworks. The only downside is that it takes ages to wash out hairconditioner.

Loofah01 Mon 18-May-20 17:38:17

Definitely recommend. We're renting in a place with one and I'm hating the idea of moving to our renovated house soon without a softener... Funds just go so far sad

Smallgoon Tue 19-May-20 10:28:18

Does anyone know if these can fit inside a unit that houses a belfast sink? Guessing that's the only practical place to have them?

PigletJohn Tue 19-May-20 18:53:13

they are very heavy when full of salt and water, so I recommend standing it on the floor, not the bottom of the cabinet. It connects to the water pipes and the drain with flexible hoses, they are usualy one or two metres long but you can get longer (they are the same fittings as washing-machine hoses, but made of food-grade materials and coloured white, not red and blue), so you can position it further away, or a plumber can extend your pipework. If you have a combi, get the higher-capacity valves and pipes (bigger diameter) for less restriction of flow.

You might have space in the corner of the kitchen, under the worktop, where it could go, but you need to access it for maintenance and to put salt in. I have a gap that can be acessed by rolling out the dishwasher; but my softener is a large model (tall) and is in the garage where the watermain comes in. If you use sacks of salt they are commonly sold in 25kg size which is very heavy to cart about and tip in. I now order 10kg bags, a dozen at a time, and I have not yet run out of the batch I ordered last June. Some machines take block salt, which is more expensive to buy.

A larger machine takes more salt and runs for longer between regeneration cycles and salt refills, which I find handy.

The space under a stone sink is quite small, and there are pipes in the way, so I doubt it will fit. They will often fit in an ordinary kitchen cabinet, though, unless you want a big one.

Smallgoon Tue 19-May-20 19:24:29

@PigletJohn Thank you, that's great advice! I have a boiler in the kitchen which will be housed in a tall larder. Was going to use the bottom half as a 'cleaning cupboard' so I guess that would be a good place for it, under the boiler.

Tarundeep Fri 11-Dec-20 12:20:36

I would advise you to go for a metered control water softener. It is more efficient compared to a timed version and used less salt & water during backwash.

You should be able to source them anywhere between £600-£1000 along with free bags of salt to start with.

ees2203 Fri 11-Dec-20 12:59:31

We have the Harveys M2 Minimax that cost £1,600 to fit but you really do notice the difference once its installed. We no longer have any limescare in our bath, kitchen sink or the kettle. But it seems more noticeable in a shower as the water feels almost silk like.

Cecilia2016 Fri 11-Dec-20 14:00:48

I love it. We had ours done a year ago by Harvey water

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