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Reduce limescale in water?

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by Evostance, 3 Jan 2019.

  1. Evostance

    Evostance

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    We suffer from quite bad limescale in our area, and I think it is slowly damaging things we can't descale such a shower valves, pumps, taps etc.

    As an example, our 2 year old shower mixer is now leaking, and after about a day, there are red/pink splatters all around the bath where residue has been left from the water.

    Is there a sometimes I can put on the mains in feed to the house to reduce this?
     
  2. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    water softener
    I don't know much about them but you weren't supposed to drink from the early ones? Not sure if that is still the same.
    people had a bit of plumbing done so that they had fresh mains water at the kitchen ( and sometimes the bathroom) basin.
     
  3. oldbuffer

    oldbuffer

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    1. Ion exchange type of water softener (Harvey, Kinetico etc.)
    2. Kitchen cold and outside taps should be off the mains before the softener.
    3. They need re-filling with salt every so often. (Depends on usage, water hardness).
    4. The salt is used to flush the resin with a strong brine solution, usually in the early hours of the morning. The resin is then washed several times with fresh water, so that only tiny traces of salt remain.
    5. The minute traces of salt which get into the water should not be drunk, particularly by those with heart conditions or the very young, hence the kitchen tap coming off the mains.
    6. With the correct rate of regeneration, no further lime scale will form, and that which already exists will be gradually dissolved.
    7. Salt is cheapest bought in bulk (e.g. 20 x 25Kg bags), but is then a problem to store.
    8. Not a good idea to put in loft, as they are heavy when full, and you have to carry the salt up.
    9. Some (most?) combi boiler manufacturers don't like softened water flowing through the hot water side of the boiler. Check warranty.

    I've had (the same) one for 30 years in London (hard water) and wouldn't be without it.
     
  4. JohnD

    JohnD

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    If you are on a restricted sodium diet, bear in mind that a bucket of softened water contains less sodium than a slice of bread, a can of coke, a glass of milk, a can of beans, a burger or a bottle of Perrier.

    If you are avoiding all those sources on medical advice, then it makes sense not to drink softened water.

    If not, you are wasting your time.
     
  5. Evostance

    Evostance

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    Hmm, that's a little bit annoying since I don't have anywhere to put it other than in the loft but this then means washing machine etc don't use it. The alternative is in the garage, but that then softens all water.
     
  6. JohnD

    JohnD

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    So put it in the garage. You can store your salt bags in there (keep the salt away from cars, tools etc and never carry it in your own boot).

    You can run a new hard water pipe for the garden tap (and a drinking water tap if you wish).

    The washing machine will greatly benefit from soft water.
     
  7. Paul Stacey

    Paul Stacey

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    Salt softener are expensive and require regular maintenance and salt. It's always recommended you install a separate drinking supply especially if you have up in children - you should NEVER use salt softened water to make baby formula.

    A better alternative is a water conditioner. They are not 100% effective - as a salt softener is. They vary widely in their effectiveness so be careful what you buy - it's a good idea to ask for their independent laboratory tests to show how effective they really are (it's important to ensure they are independent, internal testing can be tailored to give favourable results). Water-King have a good reputation. They are a but more expensive than the much less effective in-line conditioners, but you don't need a plumber to fit them and they freely give out their independent tests.
     
  8. DIYnot Local

    DIYnot Local

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