faq's (frequently asked questions)
what problems exist in water ?
Rural water hardness usually exists at two to four times city levels, causing limescale in pipes, immersions, showers, header tanks, washing machines, dishwashers, hot cylinders, irons and kettles. Well water has wide ranging problems including lime, iron, toxic metals, odour & bacteria. The problem of irregular pressure also exists in many water schemes. Any water problem can be corrected with a selection of equipment after water testing.
what is a water softener ?
A water softener is essentially a pressure vessel filled with insoluble co-polymer beads plumbed directly to the incoming mains. Hard water is fed through the vessel and lime clings to the beads. A control valve periodically feeds a brine solution over the beads and diverts removed lime and brine out to a drain. The next cycle begins with over 99% of lime being removed. Existing scale in pipework dissolves and the combined savings pay for a softener many times over.
what about salt ?
The salt used in water softeners is bought from farm or builders suppliers. Axal Pro is the only tried and tested low impurity salt that performs at 100% effectiveness. A bag lasts for about two to three months for small families and over one to two months for larger families. Sodium levels in soft water exist in extremely low levels within safe EU water limits.
Doctors may advise that the low sodium levels in soft water may still have marginal trace sodium levels although sodium is eliminated when using reverse osmosis filters for perfectly healthy and safe drinking water. Because common salt is actually sodium chloride and all chlorides are removed during the softener regeneration process, it is true to say that softened water contains zero salt and only marginal trace levels of sodium, (low sodium) often below the level of many supermarket bottled waters and carbonated beverages.
Many myths exist about common sodium chloride salt along with confusion about sodium. Sodium does not actually have a salty taste, it is chloride that gives salt its taste. For this reason "Lo Salt" condiments using potassium chloride, provide the salty taste because of the presence of chloride. Foods appearing to taste very salty such as salted potato crisps and salted peanuts, although higher in sodium by weight than most foods, generally have lower sodium contents by product weight compared to breakfast cereals such as Kellog's Cornflakes and virtually all supermarket tinned soups.
is special plumbing needed ?
No, but when building a house, run a single mains supply, looping it to a garage or shed before the pipe enters the house. This will help to save on the cost of outdoor cabinets or excavation later on. Call for advice when building or get your plumber to call us. None standard mains plumbing can usually be corrected with a bit of investigation.
what size softener do I need
Hardness and overall water use will determine softener size. Smaller systems cope with large families, however, larger water softeners have higher capacity, longer life and salt storage. Modern outdoor cabinets housing all sizes of water softener can be sited on external walls near to the incoming mains. Softeners can also be fitted in hot presses and under sinks.
what if I have a private well ?
Private well water may appear to have clear water but often has dissolved contaminants and varying levels of toxins and bacteria. It is always essential to have your well water tested before choosing a water treatment system for the particular water problems. Never assume standard softeners or filters can be used on well water, seek advice.
what is reverse osmosis
Reverse osmosis is extremely effective for eliminating of sodium, chlorine, chlorides, fluorides, nitrates, nitrites, heavy metals, lime, pesticides, cryptosporidium, colour, odour taste, grit, sediment and much more. Reverse osmosis systems should be ideally fed from a soft or artificially softened water source. If water is hard, filters will need to be changed more often and pumps may have a shorter life. A dedicated filter tap or a three-way mixer tap needs to be fitted to the sink top when installing a reverse osmosis system.
The guarantee that water is as safe for human consumption, even if there is an absence of mineral content in water, is whether a water sample can pass all tests available outlined by the highest levels of testing procedures of the EPA, HSE, EU, WHO, backed by the world's leading experts regarding water intended for human consumption.
A bottled water rating site called Mineralwaters.org that constantly reviews over 3,200 international bottled waters in over 128 countries by their website visitors, consistently list the highest rated waters at the top of the list as those containing little or no contaminants or minerals, categorised as "Spring Waters" of which Volvic and Evian are two well known brands. At the bottom of the list are a heavy selection of hard "Mineral" based bottled waters, high in many substances along with an over burden of mineral content, often failing EU tap water limits.