What is Hard WaterHard water contains higher than average levels of minerals or metals, such as calcium, iron or manganese. Hard water causes problems for domestic users due to limescale build up in water systems and higher amounts of detergent required for washing and cleaning.
The Destructive Power of Hard WaterHard water can cause expensive damage for the householder. Limescale builds up in pipes, tanks, water cylinders, immersions, showers, washing machines and dishwashers, potentially causing substantial damage and significant financial costs.
Hard water also requires higher use of soap, shampoo, soap powder, detergents and cleaning products which add to household running costs. It can also lead to poorer wash outcomes with more wear and tear on clothes and potentially itchy skin from detergent residues.
How does a Water softener work?A water softener removes salt and minerals that cause the water to be hard. Mains or well water is fed through the water softener valve into the resin bed of the water softener container. All calcium and magnesium ions are attracted to the negative charge of the resin beads leaving the water free of water hardness and also removing iron, manganese, heavy metals, radium, aluminium, ammonium and other undesirable contaminants e.g. sediment, dirt and organic matter.
Advantages of using a Water Softener
- Easier cleaning - with no limescale cleaning of sinks, showers and tiles is much easier
- Softer hair and skin - softened water can help improve eczema and dry skin
- Protects appliances - softening your water can increase appliances life span by up to 40% as it prevents limescale build-up which can lead to extra repair and replacement costs for home appliances.
- Reduced water heating costs - eliminating limescale on water heater elements can improve efficiency by up to 25% and reduce fuel and utility bills.
- Cleaner plumbing and showerheads - residues from hard water can clog showerheads and pipes: extend the life of your plumbing system with water softening
- Save money on soap and detergents - softened water can save you up to 50% on your requirements for soaps, soap powders and detergents.
- Reduces detergent residues in clothing after washing - no need to use a fabric softener and less detergent residues protects against skin irritation.
Locating your water softener systemWater softener units can be fitted in boiler rooms, utility rooms or garages or outside on an external wall in a sealed cabinet near to the incoming water mains.
What are the annual costs for a water softener?A modern water softener uses only around 2 euros of electricity and between €20 to €50 worth of salt supplies per year - depending on the amount of mineral deposits in the water and the volume of water usage. Taking into account potential savings on cleaning / washing products and appliance repairs, which can run into several hundreds of euro per year, a water softener will not only improve your quality of life but also provide annual cost savings.
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