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Water filters and softeners

If you are experiencing problems with your present water supply, chances are a water filter or water softener could help. We supply and / or fit both water filters and softeners and can offer recommendations based on years of experience and previous customer experiences. Before you purchase any type of water filter or softener you need to make sure that the problem your experiencing is related to water quality and also make sure that a water filter or water filter and water softenersoftener will cure the problem, please contact us for advice.

 

Water filters

 

clean drinking waterIf you feel that your water does not taste as fresh as it perhaps should, or you just don't like the taste of your water a water filter may help. Throughout the UK water does vary in taste and indeed quality, there are also many impurities that may be present in your water. These impurities may enter the water stream at any point, although poorly maintained pipework is one of the main causes of pollutants such as lead or copper. There are also more alarming pollutants that have been present in some water supply's such as mercury, cyanide, chlorine and even bacteria and pesticides (albeit in small doses).

 

Ultimately installing a water filter in your home is your own choice, you will find many advocates of drinking filtered water and equally many people who are not concerned and do not filter their water. The important thing is if you do want your water filtered you choose the right system for your requirements and you get the system properly installed. Both of which we can provide assistance with and offer recommendations based on our experience.

 

water filter
Water filters

These are directly plumbed into your cold water supply and come with their own tap. Water is passed through an inbuilt filter and then through the supplied tap, bypassing your original tap altogether. The filters remove bad taste, Chlorine, heavy metals and other such undesirable contaminates and only need changing every 6 months.

 

reverse osmosis
Reverse Osmosis

Reverse Osmosis or 'RO' is like a much more powerful water filter, treating water at minute levels. As well as using filters a RO product uses extremely fine membranes that simply prevent non-water particles from getting through. A RO system can filter out as much as 95%- 99% of all minerals, chemicals, metals and even bacteria. A RO system requires a filter change every 6 months and a membrane change after 12 months.

 

This is an example of what a typical Reverse Osmosis unit can remove from your water:

 

Bacteria
95%+
Endrin
95%+
Glucose
95%+
Lindane
95%+
Methoxychlor
95%+
Phenol
95%+
Protein
95%+
Pyrogens
95%+
Sucrose
95%+
THM's
95%+
Toxaphene
95%+
Urea
95%+
Virus
95%+
Aluminium
97%
Ammonium
85 - 90%
Bicarbonate
91 - 95%
Bromide
88 - 92%
Cadmium
93 - 96%
Calcium
93 - 96%
Chloride
88 - 92%
Chlorine
95%+
Chromate
85 - 90%
Copper
94 - 97%
Cyanide
85 - 90%
Hardness
93 -96%
Iron
94 - 97%
Lead
95%+
Magnesium
93 - 96%
Mercury
94 -97%
Nickel
94 - 97%
Nitrate
50 - 90%
Phosphate
97%
Potassium
88 - 82%
Silicate
88 - 93%
Silver
88 - 92%
Sodium
88 - 92%
Strontium
93 - 96%
Sulphate
93 - 96%
Zinc
94 - 97%
Flouride
95%

 

As you can see filtering your water can make a big difference on the quality of your drinking water. Only by seeing what can be removed by a Reverse Osmosis system makes you wonder what you are actually drinking each day without filtering your water.

 

Benefits of filtering your water

  • Improved health by drinking purer water
  • Improved cooking cleanliness
  • Improved taste
  • Improved look
  • Removes odour
  • Reduced costs- you do not have to rely on bottled water
  • Piece of mind

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Water softeners

 

Throughout the UK many people suffer with 'hard water' (even without realising it, until they visit someone with comparable softer water) and many people find that hard water is very hard to live with. In hard water areas the earth is underlain by limestone bedrock and it is when the water passes through the limestone that is picks up calcium carbonate which is what makes water 'hard'.

hard water area

 

 soft water Soft to moderately soft; 0-100mg/l as calcium carbonate equivalent

 

 slightly hard water Slightly hard to moderately hard; 100-200mg/l as calcium carbonate equivalent

 

 hard water Hard to very hard; 200mg/l as calcium carbonate equivalent

 

 

What makes hard water bad?

  • scale and other hard water problemsScales up hot water tanks, pipes, boilers, washing machines, pots, pans, kettle, etc
  • Increase costs and usage of soaps, detergents, shampoos, descalers and bleeches
  • Feeling of hardness on your skin, clothes and hair
  • Can make your skin feel dry and itchy and your hair left feeling unconditioned
  • Reduce lather from your soap
  • Residue left in your bath, shower, basin/sink
  • Lacklustre shine on your glasses and crockery
  • Cleaning takes longer
  • More wear and tear around your home = increased costs

How water softeners work

 

There are generally two types of water softening systems available, a magnetic water conditioner and a ion-exchange system. As the name suggests a magnetic water conditioner works by altering calcium and magnesium ions through a magnetic force. In practice a magnetic water conditioner may not be the most efficient form of softener and in our experience produces questionable results. The second option ion-exchange and is a proven method of softening your water.

 

ion exchange
Ion-exchange

Mechanical water softeners use the process of ion-exchange to replace calcium and magnesium with sodium. The water softeners use resin beads to extract the calcium and magnesium ions found in the water. To achieve this as the hard water passes through the sulfonated polystyrene beads the hardness from the water attaches itself to the beads whilst simultaneously sodium on the resin beads is released into the water.

 

When the resin beads are saturated with the calcium and magnesium deposits the system needs to be recharged. This is achieved by circulating a salt (brine) solution around the system, this usually means adding salt tablets into the system where they will turn into a brine solution. This process is done automatically, the only thing you need to remember to do is to keep the salt tablets topped up.

 

Installation requirements

 

water softenerA modern mechanical softener is designed to literally fit under your sink, of course they can also be fitted hidden away in a cupboard. The actual installation is usually wise to locate the softener in the kitchen or utility room although other locations are possible. When installing a water softener it usually involves softening all of the water within the home, with the exception of at least one tap (as required under the water regulations).

 

A typical installation would usually require plumbing and pipework to allow the water from the main stopcock to enter and circulate to and from the water softener. Access to a draining point is also needed to allow wastage created from the water softener system to escape. Lastly if using a system that uses a electronic controller, a power source will be required.

 

Benefits of fitting water softener

  • Up to 50% cost saving on soaps and detergents
  • Laundry and clothing will feel softer
  • Sinks, baths and basins will become easier to clean
  • You won't need to descale as often
  • Your appliances such as shower will run better
  • Your water will feel better on your skin and hair

 

Things to consider

 

Although the effects of hard water are unpleasant before you have a mechanical water softener installed there are a number of important aspects to consider:

  • water softener saltBecause of the sodium content using the water passed through a water softener on plants, lawns and gardens is not recommended
  • Output water may not be suitable for drinking water- consult your physician first
  • Costs- for some people installation costs may prove expensive
  • Maintenance- although there is no real maintenance you must remember to regularly input salt tablets into the system