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Advice on water softener please

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by ilovediy, 21 Sep 2007.

  1. ilovediy

    ilovediy

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    After trying a descaler for a while (with limited success) I'm now thinking of throwing in the towel and going to the expense of having a 'proper' water softener installed.

    1. Has anyone out there (in a very hard water area) been disappointed with the performance of their water softener eg in terms of reduced scum and scaling in the bathroom.

    2. We're a small household and I'm thinking of getting the Waterside MC250 model. Any views on this please?

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. JohnD

    JohnD

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    I've been using Permutits for many years and been very pleased with them. i live in a very hard water area.

    I'm now on my second, and the things worth looking for are:
    Either buy it from a company that offers servicing and maintainance, or a long guarantee, or buy it cheap enough that you won't mind throwing it away if it goes wrong.

    I have needed maintainance less than 5-yearly.

    Get one with a meter that runs the refresh cycle automatically when it has used enough water to need it, not one with just a time clock

    A large one, with a big salt bin, is less trouble as you need to refill it less often.

    Put it at a place which is convenient for carrying and emptying the salt bags (which weigh 25kg) and where salt spillage can be easily cleaned up. It will make metal corrode and rust away very badly and can attack wooden flooring or concrete. Vinyl flooring is OK. You will not want to carry the sacks up stairs or through the house. If you are frail I believe you can buy smaller bags at higher cost. the salt in "pebbles" is cleaner to handle than the granules.

    Have space for storing your supply of salt sacks. I have then delivered about a dozen at a time from the local company, it is less trouble and not more expensive than fetching them in the car. If one spills salt in the car boot it will rust a hole in it. Have a look at the floor of the delivery van and you will see. Store the salt in clean conditions as you will not want dirt falling into the softener.

    Make sure your central heating system has inhibitor in it. Sentinel say that their inhibitor is formulated to protect with softened water.
     
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  4. ilovediy

    ilovediy

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    Thanks very much John D. That's really really helpful advice (not least pre-empting the hole in the car boot!!)

    Is there anything between the different makes? (Other than making sure they have the features you describe.)

    Thanks again
     
  5. JohnD

    JohnD

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    sorry don't know. My supplier claims that some makes are better than others but i don't know how to tell the difference.

    He particularly says the cheap ones in B&Q are no good and not worth repairing.

    But if they are hundreds of pounds cheaper and you get a 1 year or longer guarantee they might be worth taking a risk on.

    I've only had Permutit, which used to be the top brand, but he tells me the company name was bought up by some other maker who sticks the badge on an inferior product now (my "new" one was a rebuilt Permutit).

    You could try the yellow pages and see what terms local specialists offer, and if they do repairs.
     
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  7. ilovediy

    ilovediy

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    Thanks JohnD for your earlier advice on water softeners.

    We've since had one installed, following your tips, and it's FANTASTIC. The disgusting scum and limescale has disappeared from the bath, basins and taps, which now require very little cleaning. And because the toilet surface is now 'slippy', the contents get flushed away properly 1st time :oops:

    A great investment. Cheers!
     
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