What is hard water?

Hard water is water which contains a high amount of dissolved minerals, primarily calcium and magnesium. The hardness of your water supply very much comes down to the area in which you live. It is dependent on the types of rocks that the naturally soft rainwater passes through when it hits the ground. The rainwater is filtered by stones and mineral deposits. If it passes through soft rocks such as limestone and chalk, it will collect calcium and magnesium minerals thus becoming ‘hard’. 

How is hard water measured?

Water hardness is measured by the number of mineral deposits in your water at a value of parts per million (ppm).  To give you an idea, a soft water area would have under 60ppm. A very hard water area would have more than 180ppm. There are various tests that can be done to determine the level of hardness to your water. It’s safe to say that if you are getting limescale and soap scum buildup around your home and your detergents do not lather well, you are living in a hard water area!

How does a water softener work?

Water softeners use a process called ‘ion exchange’ to remove the calcium and magnesium minerals from your water as it enters your home. The hard water enters your home, passing through tanks filled with resin beads to which the calcium and magnesium ions in the hard water are attracted. In the softener, ion exchange takes place removing the calcium and magnesium and releasing sodium ions into the water thus making it soft.

Water softeners need to clean or regenerate using a salt to clean away the calcium and magnesium mineral deposits they’ve collected. 

Can I drink softened water?

Due to the ion exchange process, softened water will have a slightly higher amount of sodium than hard water does. This should not be of concern however. There is actually more sodium in a glass of milk than in a glass of softened water. Many people in fact prefer the taste of tea or coffee and cordial made with softened water. It’s certainly worth noting that millions of people have been drinking softened water since the 1920s and there have been no reported health related problems. It is still recommended however that you also have a separate hard water drinking tap installed where possible. This means that there is still a choice of which water to drink.

Will softened water work in my heating system?

It is a common misconception that softened water can cause problems in your heating system. However, installing a water softener will not produce water that can damage your boiler or central heating system.

  • British Standard BS 7593:2006 States you CAN use softened water to fill a central heating circuit with the correct corrosion inhibitor
  • There is NO proof that softened water will corrode a boiler
  • A water softener can be installed in ANY home, regardless of the type of heating system
  • Use Sentinel X100 corrosion inhibitor
  • If you are unsure, your plumber simply needs to open the bypass when filling the primary circuit.


How much does a water softener cost to run?

After the initial installation, water softeners are actually very low cost to run and maintain. Many models do not even use electricity and those which do use very little. You will need to top up the salt levels but, depending on your usage, this can cost as little as £5 per month. The resin will also need replacing. This often does not need doing for 10-15 years (although can be more frequent depending on the water in your area). As with any household appliance which gets regular use, it is also recommended that you get a service around once a year. It’s worth remembering that the savings you can make on your bills will more than outweigh the running costs of a water softener.

How can I bypass my water softener?

When we are closed for holidays such as the Christmas break or have a full diary, you may be wondering what you can do if you have any issues with your water softener before we can get to see you. Luckily it is really simple to bypass your softener. Just follow the steps in our blog, How To Bypass Your Water Softener.

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Love the water softener big thank you to the installation guys, would highly recommend to anybody else we noticed the benefit straightaway

Leon Williams

Good, reliable service

A good service on January and a successful repair call out in November. A minor query over the invoicing of the last was quickly resolved.

Boo Cruwys

Great service from beginning to end

Great service from beginning to end from Tristan and the team. No hard sell. Prompt, polite and expert installation and courtesy call to check and make sure everything was working. Special mention for Adam and Christina for their help. Would definitely recommend.


Great customer service and wow what an amazing difference it made to us. Your hair and skin feels more amazing and you never have to scrub the limescale from the shower, I have the drinking water tap too so will never go without that ever again.

Al Murrani

It’s an excellent service, Adam was so good and polite, my water softener running very smoothly so I can’t ask for more
Thank you very much.

Peter Floyd

Very pleased with the service I get. The engineer undertakes a thorough service of the water softener, checks level of softness in the taps and checks water flow is within expected range. He also clearly explains things and is ready to answer any questions. I personally would recommend Aquasoft.


An excellent service from this company, reliable and valuable advice offered by engineer Tristan who then fully serviced the used unit I had purchased. Good stuff.


Excellent service. Friendly and helpful office and engineer and a very reasonable price. I contacted them because I was so fed up with the hopeless service from the company who installed my water softener. Aquasoft were a breath of fresh air.

Daphne Russell

Always so helpful. Today they came along to check whether my system needed topping up with salt. Checked the system completely and left everything clean and tidy.

Edwin Lock

A very professional company. Completely satisfied with my purchase and would not hesitate to recommend.

Bala Sivaraman

Had a water softener and filter installed about 2 years ago. Zero hassle start to finish. Installation was done in about 2 hours and job well done. would definitely recommend Tristan and his team.

Robert Arokiasamy

Great Product, Competitive Pricing, Pleasant to deal with.

Installed water softener at my property 1.5 years ago. No pushy sales tactics. Was clear and patient in explaining stuff and his installation team and admin team were very professional and great too. So far so good . Hoping to see number of trouble free years.

Ray Holbrook

Great company to deal with, accurate quote, really good installation and tidy work ethic. Water softener has made a huge difference for my little girl and her eczema. The added bonus on top of that is lovely softened water and no limescale. I would recommend Aquasoft to anyone living in a hard water area.

Nick Daynes

We have recently had a water softener installed by Aquasoft. We are over the moon with the quality of the product, our water is so much better than before! The service we had from Tristan and Adam was great as well.

Jon Jenkins

Adam was quick, quiet and very helpful - and obviously knew his stuff. Everything went as expected. Happy with the results and the water tastes different from the filtered water tap.

Chris Verbo

Had a water softener fitted 6 months ago and fantastic. Time to order salt. Not only cheaper than any other supplier was also delivered in person. So impressed with their service.

Nick Turnball

Could not recommend highly enough !!! Outstanding knowledge and very friendly service... Only one person to call for all future needs!

The Little Woodshed

Great RO product, installed quickly and neatly, the installer lee was brilliant , thank you Aquasoft.

Gary Barnes

Very pleased with the company and the service they give in looking after our water softener!

Kathleen Hanlon

Always great service from Tristan and all the team at Aquasoft.

John Leigh

A great local company.

Friendly people who provide a great service at a reasonable price.