As we are leaving the warm summer weather for the cooler autumn and winter months, there is a question which is often asked by customers: “Will softened water work in my heating system?”

The short answer is YES! Despite common misconceptions, installing a water softener will not produce water that can damage your boiler or central heating system. In fact, due to the lack of limescale build up, soft water can actually improve the heating efficiency and lifespan of your boiler.

There is however some advice from the Heating and Hot Water Council (HHIC) which you will need to bear in mind:

“Where a water softener is present in the dwelling, ensure that the heating system primary circuit is filled with mains water via the general bypass valve as required in BS 14734”

Any reputable installer (such as ourselves) will ensure that a general bypass valve is fitted which will make this process very easy to carry out.

The reason behind this general confusion over the question of “will softened water work in my heating system?” is that prior to the introduction of aluminium heat exchangers during the late 1980s it was considered normal practice to fill the central heating system with softened water if it was available. The chemical inhibitors within the central heating system were thereafter designed for use with hard water and the combination of these inhibitors and the aluminium heat exchanger could lead to some corrosion problems.

Unfortunately householders and installers did not always know whether or not the boiler contained an aluminium heat exchanger. To be on the safe side, most people thought it best to fill the heating system with hard water.

However it is now confirmed that it is absolutely fine to fill your heating system with softened water as long as an appropriate chemical inhibitor for softened water is used. It is always advisable to check with your boiler manufacturer regarding their recommendations and warranties as some will still state that softened water is not to be used in their systems. Many boiler manufacturers now use stainless steel and other types of heat exchanger and in fact recommend the use of softened water.

At Aqua Soft we will always fit a bypass valve which will give you the choice of which water to use in your heating system. Our team of experts are always on hand to give you all the help and advice you need when considering having a water softener installed. Get in touch with us today and find out more.