Your Frequently Asked Questions

Here we have answered common questions about water quality, water softeners and water filters. If there's something we have missed get in touch below

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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’. 


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!


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. 


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.


Yes, 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.

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.


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.