Hard Water

Hard water is prevalent in Buckinghamshire, West and Central London and South Oxfordshire with hardness values varying between 300 and 350 mg/l. This makes the area particularly vulnerable to the problems associated with hard water. Hard water is a real problem with real costs attached to it.

It increases housework and housekeeping bills. Lime scale and staining can be seen everywhere that water touches. Blocked shower heads, scale around taps, and furred heating elements are just some of the costly problems. The interaction with soap and detergent can be equally problematic with scum causing staining and affecting the cleaning ability of soaps and other cleaning products.

Water hardness can be measured and the following chart shows how it is classified.

hard water map

Measurement of Water Hardness(as milligrams per litre of carbonate hardness)
0 to 50 mg/l = soft
51 to 100mg/l = moderately soft
101 to 150mg/l = slightly hard
151 to 220mg/l = moderately hard
221 to 300mg/l = hard
Over 300mg/l = very hard

Official figures show that just 1.5mm of scale on a heat transfer surface (such as an immersion heater) can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 15%. Hard water adds to the cost of heating water in appliances such as kettles, washing machines and dishwashers. The build up of scale also adds to their servicing costs.

It has been estimated that hard water increases the need to use washing powders, soaps, shampoos, conditioners etc., by more than 50%. In total, hard water can cost a family several hundred pounds a year.

hard water damage

Soft Water

Protect you water systems

Scale build up causes untold damage to your hot water system, pipes, showers, taps, washing machine and dishwasher. A water softener can stop and even reverse hard water damage.

50% less detergent

Soft water saves you money. By using at least 50% less cleaning products your pocket and the environment will benefit from installing a quality water softener.

Sparkling bathrooms

Hard water leaves its mark everywhere, with a quality water softener you’ll spend much less time cleaning and more time enjoying soft water benefits in your household.

hard water scale

Softer laundry

Clothes and laundry feel noticeably different with soft water and because you’ll use fewer soaps and fabric conditioners, you’ll save money too.

Fresh, healthier skin

Soft water eliminates the scum that would normally cling to skin. Sufferers of skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis also often notice a significant improvement when they install a quality water softener.

How a Water Softener Works

Water Softeners are designed to remove the minerals, calcium and magnesium, that cause scale and scum from hard water.

They are intended to treat the whole house supply, so they are installed close to the point where the water supply enters the premises.

They involve a process called “ion exchange” which uses an ion exchange resin. The resin comprises tiny polymeric beads which are specially formulated so that they can be charged with certain ions. Calcium and magnesium, the causes of scale and scum from hard water, are referred to as ions. As water passes through the resin the calcium and magnesium ions swap places with the sodium ions on the resin. Sodium salts, unlike calcium and magnesium, are highly soluble so sodium does not cause scale or scum. When all the sodium ions have been exchanged for calcium or magnesium, the resin must be regenerated by recharging it with sodium ions. This is done by flushing the resin with salt solution (brine).

water softener operation

Softeners are supplied in different shapes and sizes. All have a tank to hold the resin through which the water is passed to soften it. They have a tank to store and dissolve the salt for the regenerating brine. Softeners regenerate automatically, this can determined different ways – some are fitted with a timer and some regenerate after a preset volume of water has been treated.

Because they actually remove almost all of the calcium and magnesium, they are very effective in:

  • Preventing scale in the hot water system and around taps
  • Removing existing scale
  • Reducing boiler fuel cost and heating system maintenance costs
  • Preventing soap scum, which is evident around the bath and sink
  • Improving the texture of laundry by preventing detergent scum deposits within the fibres of clothes, bedding, etc.
  • Reducing soap and detergent costs