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Water softener - no separate unsoftened tap

(23 Posts)
KateBlush Mon 16-Nov-20 15:06:20

Hello, we were about to get a softener installed but my plumber is having difficultly isolating the kitchen sink (old house, pipes under solid floors). One option is to have softened water throughout entire house and install a filter to filter softened water leaving the kitchen tap - I don't think this would eliminate the sodium though. And despite being filtered, wouldn't the drinking water still taste 'softened'? Would this be unpalatable? We also have a Quooker but I think this would operate okay with softened water...

Anyone else softened their house's entire water supply without ill effects?

OP’s posts: |
PigletJohn Mon 16-Nov-20 15:54:06

yes

except the garden tap

it contains a tiny amount of sodium bicarbonate as used in baking powder, indigestion tablets etc (it doesn't contain salt). One Panadol Extra soluble contains 17 times as much as a glass of water.

it's worth knowing that softened water contains less sodium than milk, coca cola, Perrier etc, and there is more sodium in a slice of bread than sixteen glasses of softened water.

If you are on kidney dialysis, or for other reasons need to cut out sodium, so you never eat ketchup or cake, unsoftened tap may be important.

IMO it makes better coffee and (especially) tea, but your tastes may differ.

previous thread

LittleOverwhelmed Mon 16-Nov-20 15:55:45

It doesn’t taste very nice... (we have softened water, but with a separate supply for drinking).

LazyFace Mon 16-Nov-20 16:29:26

I agree, soft water is not nice.

hedgehoglurker Mon 16-Nov-20 16:31:11

We removed the softener in our house installed by previous owners. All water in the kitchen was softened, including a Franke 3 way filtered tap. I couldn't use it for drinking cold, making tea or cooking with as even the filtered water tasted foul to me. (We fitted a new filter cartridge on moving in.)

I had a few weeks of transporting large jugs of water from the Utility room (the only unsoftened tap) to use for cooking and drinking before I got too fed up and had the softener removed.

We still have the filter tap, but actually drink the mains water which comes out faster and luckily is perfectly pleasant tasting here.

FakeFlamingo Mon 16-Nov-20 18:30:14

My husband has high blood pressure so we couldn't accept the added sodium, however little it might be - given that we drink it plus use it for cooking. As a result our whole kitchen had to be left out of the softener connection as the plumber couldn't isolate only the tap. We decided that not having soft water in our dishwasher was a compromise we could live with. We use dishwasher salt instead. Our washing machine is not in the kitchen so that's ok too. Softened water tastes different - I wouldn't say better/worse but I tasted it and it wasn't for me.

KateBlush Tue 17-Nov-20 10:34:56

Also have a high BP sufferer in the house so fast going off the idea of softening the whole supply. Now researching salt-free 'water conditioners' as next best possible option.

Anyone with experience of an Aquabion or EcoPlus Whole House Water filter?

OP’s posts: |
FrownsAndDimples Tue 17-Nov-20 10:40:40

I find it doesn't taste very good but you could get used to it. Just a thought, if there's no other solution do you happen to have an American fridge which is plumbed in? That could be your 'water tap'.

GU24Mum Tue 17-Nov-20 10:59:17

We had one in our house and two separate sinks and taps in the kitchen to boot. That was one of the first things to go as I really don't like the taste of softened water.

We've still got the cut-out hole in the cupboard though as we still haven't done the kitchen up, nearly 13 years after moving in to somewhere which needed it!

biddybird Tue 17-Nov-20 11:55:48

I have softened water throughout my house with an extra RO (reverse osmosis) filter under the kitchen sink, connected to a drinking water tap.
The water that comes out of it is pure H20 and has no 'softened' taste.

The only thing I regret is not getting a hard water supply to the dishwasher, as soft water is extra hard on dishes and especially glassware. I have to wash all glasses by hand now.

biddybird Tue 17-Nov-20 11:56:50

Oh and softened water is bad for house plants too, so I use the RO water for them.

KateBlush Tue 17-Nov-20 12:03:41

Interesting about RO system biddybird. Is it bulky? Are the cartridges expensive to replace?

OP’s posts: |
FakeFlamingo Tue 17-Nov-20 13:35:14

Is a RO filter different from the Harvey's filter that I have fitted for drinking water? Anyone know the answer?

Nightowlsleeps Tue 17-Nov-20 13:59:23

I have softened water in the house. I also have a Quooker with a cube. This makes the water taste great and the tea and coffee are better.

I have a Kinetico water softener if that helps, but they have moved on from providing the slightly salty water of several decades ago. The taste of water is regional. If you go on holiday to Wales from London, the soft water will taste odd, but you get used to it.

As well as the garden water, you will need to make sure there is a bypass to the water softener to fill up the the radiator circuit if you ever drain it. It is just a switch that you flick to use mains water. I don’t know why, but it may invalidate your boiler guarantee if you don’t.

biddybird Tue 17-Nov-20 16:44:16

@KateBlush it takes up about half of the space underneath a standard kitchen sink. The filters are replaced during an annual service and that costs around £70.

biddybird Tue 17-Nov-20 16:45:13

@FakeFlamingo RO removes more of the impurities than carbon filtration (the latter is what Harvey's uses). There is a lengthy explanation here:
www.kwater.com/blog/reverse-osmosis-ro-vs-carbon-filtration-which-one-is-a-better-fit-for-your-drinking-water-2/

biddybird Tue 17-Nov-20 16:49:25

The other thing to be aware of with an RO system is that it uses a lot of water. I think it's something like 8l of mains water to yield 1l of pure water. But as I only use it for drinking and plants that's fine with me.

FakeFlamingo Tue 17-Nov-20 18:57:00

@biddybird thank you for that. Eyes opened. grin

1990s Tue 17-Nov-20 19:59:14

What does softened water to do to glasses? I’ve noticed no difference...

I’ve got a softener to whole of house including drinking tap, had for about two years. Seems great!

LazyFace Tue 17-Nov-20 20:27:27

RO water is so wasteful, I takes 4 litres of water to produce 1 l of RO water.

biddybird Wed 18-Nov-20 20:35:05

1990s In the dishwasher, it makes the glasses cloudy over time.

PigletJohn Thu 19-Nov-20 10:16:41

I think that's the aggressive dishwasher detergent, though.

We hand-wash "best" glassware in the sink with softened water and WUL and it seems fine.

biddybird Thu 19-Nov-20 17:36:53

@PigletJohn I do the same, with my new glasses and Fairy Liquid, and no problems (touch wood).

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