Tap ceramic valve horrendously corroded - do I need a water softner?

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I've just come to replace the valves in our kitchen tap. It's a £180 CDA tap that went in just over 5 years ago (Because of course it did!)

Anyway, it's not gone well - the valves, and spline and handles are horrendously corroded to the point I actually broke the splines off each of the old valves, and I've damaged the hot water handle trying to remove it.

So that irritation aside - surely this isn't normal? I've noticed since we moved here that the water seems quite hard, but I worry it's getting to a point where it's actually going to be doing genuine damage and costing me money.

I'll post up some pics later, but do I need a water softener or something?
 
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You mean corrosion of the brass?

Not limescale?

What cleaning chemicals have been used?
 
A water softener will prevent the limescale deposits, but won't do anything for corrosion.

Some substandard types of brass will corrode significantly, due to their zinc content being lost over time.
Quality manufacturers use brass which is resistant to that.

CDA is not a quality manufacturer. It's what's usually included by default with a new kitchen, such as those dubious deals where you buy the kitchen and get the appliances half price / free / other.
 

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