Anyone heard of or used the Aqua Bion water softener?

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When you go to the AquaBion site, or any vendor, no price is given. Just "phone for a quote"

I wandered into a Vodafone shop today and was amazed by the number of wall displays with no price but just said "ask a staff member".

They were all busy with customers!
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I have just had a look at the Combimate []. So far as I can see, its mechanism for reducing limescale is even less clear than that for the AmbiBion - e.g. "Combimate adds Combiphos to your water. This 100% safe food-grade natural material stops scale build-up on taps, boilers and appliances." The list price is £150 which is a lot cheaper than the AmbiBion but the magical "Combiphos" refills cost £28 and there is no clear indication how long they will last and therefore the real cost.

They suggest that it will help with both hard AND soft water treatment, imply that it can be used to treat all the water usage in the house but offer a lifetime limescale guarantee that is limited to £500 and only covers "descale or replacement of any hot water heat exchanger within a combination boiler or thermal store that is protected by a Combimate." - so not really that comprehensive then.

As to salt softeners, if I want to shower in sea water, I'll go to the beach and drinking sodium doesn't really seem a very healthy idea.

I get the impression that AmbiBion may be similar to a British product called "Scalebuster" but that this may only be for commercial / industrial use?
There is no salt in the water from a softener. If there ever is, it is badly broken and should be mended or thrown away. Salt cannot leak in during use, as the bin is unpressurised, though some is drawn in during the regenerating cycle, then rinsed away.

They do add a tiny amount of bicarbonate of soda, as found in indigestion tablets and baking powder. If you drink softened water for a month, you will pick up less sodium than is in a loaf of bread.
So you don't know how [hard water softeners] work then :rolleyes:
No, I don't. I have had a look at the Wikipedia entry and Googled extensively (e.g. HERE and HERE). None of that really helps but it does suggest that water softeners work by substituting salt for hard minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron.

What I have heard is that they work reasonably well but are large and require frequent refills with salt which does alter the taste of the water.

The point of this query was to see if anyone had actual personal, practical experience of the AquaBion.
"it does suggest that water softeners work by substituting salt for hard minerals"

no, they don't. Your Hometips guide is clumsily written by somebody who doesn't understand how ionic exchange works.

Milk contains five times as much sodium as softened water.

30mg sodium in a US gallon of softened water
170mg in a slice of bread
40mg in a can of diet coke
55mg in an egg
2,400mg in a teaspoonful of salt


useful chart (but American)

It is quite common for people to have a kitchen cold tap or dispenser for unsoftened water to drink. This is particularly desirable for FF babies or people with kidney disease prescribed a low sodium diet (they also cannot eat bread, eggs, ketchup, diet coke, etc).
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