With so many different makes and models available on the market, we understand that it can be confusing when choosing the right water softener for your home or business. We always recommend that you book a home survey with one of our team of experts in order to make the perfect choice but here is some information to help you decide on the right water softener for you.
Electric or Non-Electric
Electric water softeners work by having a set timer in order for the system to regenerate. A great benefit of these systems is that they are easy to fit. This method could waste salt however as the softener may regenerate before the resin has been exhausted. Also if the resin is exhausted before the regeneration is due, water will come through as hard. Non-electric water softeners work by metering the volume of water which passes through the system meaning that regeneration will only take place when necessary. These water softeners do however rely on water pressure to measure the water use and operate the valves.
There are two main types of water softener, single tank and twin tank, which both come with their own benefits. Single tank softeners use tablet or granular salt whilst twin tank softeners are designed to use block salt. Single tank softeners are much simpler in design with less component parts but when in regeneration only hard water is available. Twin tank water softeners on the other hand have two resin tanks, with one going offline when it needs to regenerate, so that soft water is supplied 24/7. They can fluctuate water flow when in regeneration however.
24/7 vs On Demand
This leads us nicely on to the subject of 27 vs on demand softened water. We don’t use water in our homes all through the day and night, but we do want our softened water to be available on demand. In the case of a single tank softener, regeneration will take place when water is not being used (normally the early hours of the morning), and whilst it’s technology will ensure there is always plenty of softening capacity during the day, it is without the complexity of a twin tank softener. As mentioned above, a twin tank softener will not need to go completely offline when regenerating meaning that there is never a moment where you will be without softened water.
Most water softeners will either use tablet/granular or block salt. Both are readily available to purchase but many find that block salt is easier to use.
Modern water softeners are generally compact in design with many designed to fit under your kitchen sink. However it’s not the physical size of the water softener which determines the suitability for your home, but instead the water softening capacity. A small sized water softener in a smaller home with 2-3 residents will be ideal for your needs. For larger homes with more residents however you will need a water softener with a larger capacity otherwise it will be expensive to run and, because it will be working harder, increase any wear and tear.
Again when considering the water flow rate in your home, the size of the softener will come in to play again. High flow rates are often not required in most homes and generally with a good quality water softener, there will be no detrimental effect on the home’s water flow. Many households have a gravity fed plumbing system and the water pressure is related to the height of the water tank. Larger properties and those with direct feed systems (using mega-flow and combi boilers) however do need to bear this in mind as they depend on the pressure of your incoming water. These higher flow rates are normally obtained by larger pipework in your home and will require a softener specifically designed for larger pipework. Don’t worry though if this is the case, we will be able to advise when carrying out your home survey and find the perfect softener for your needs.
Finally, the main question which comes up when considering having a water softener installed is the cost. Water softeners range from hundreds of pounds to over a thousand pounds. All systems promise to provide you with softened water but some are capable of doing this more reliably and efficiently than others so the cheapest option isn’t necessarily the most cost effective option. We can advise you on the best options for your home and budget including our refurbished units and rental scheme. It goes without saying however that a water softener is one of the few appliances which can actually save you money. You can read more about it in our cost saving blog.
Hopefully you now have a bit more knowledge on what would be the best water softener for you but if not, we are always on hand to answer any questions that you may have. Get in touch with us and book your free, no obligation home survey today and we can certainly find the best option for you!