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The Beauty of Soft Water


SteamyTea
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Thought I would drag out the 31 year old elements from my old cylinder.  They came out easier than expected.

The one on the right is the lower 'night' element and lasted 30 years before it went, the one of the left is the top element and is still good.

What is that jelly though, have I created a new life form.

 

Soft Water.jpg

Edited by SteamyTea
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13 minutes ago, SteamyTea said:

We do have the most expensive water and sewage costs in the country though >:(

 

My water is like that too but we don’t get a separate water / sewage bill, it’s all wrapped up within the council tax. I pay 337 for water and 391 for sewage if I look at the breakdown though. Not sure how that compares. 

 

 

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Here in RG27, the water is as hard as annealed nails. We pay about £130/year (metered) for water only.

 

I use a whole-house-plumbed CombiMate (phosphate dosing, which doesn't "soften" the water, but it does stop the crud from sticking).

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Having lived in Buckinghamshire where the water is actually just damp chalk, without a softener of some sort, the cylinder used to get split open within 5 years with all the rocks in the bottom.

Trouble with a softener I find is that I feel I am constantly covered in soap after a shower.

 

Down here, most places are on a meter.  There are two standing charges, one for water at £54/year and one for sewage and surface water at £53/year, then the water is £1.92/m3, and sewage at £3.57/m3.  There is a secondary charge of £3.15/m3 for highway.

So before VAT, that is £107 + £8.64/m3.

The reason our waste is so high is because we have to keep the beaches clean so that people can take their effing dogs down there to shit on it, usually after they have bitten me. >:(

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25 minutes ago, SteamyTea said:

The reason our waste is so high is because we have to keep the beaches clean so that people can take their effing dogs down there to shit on it, usually after they have bitten me. >:(

 

:o My dogs are walked on the beach every day but I do clean up after them, and they don’t tend to bite anyone. The collies just chase a ball and the sheltie is constantly on the lookout for rancid dead things to scoff (fish, seals, birds - she’s not fussy). 

 

I don’t think water meters are common or really encouraged up here as far as I can tell. Rains so much they have to use all that water somehow I guess ;)

 

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1 hour ago, SteamyTea said:

Just cleaning up a lump of DS does not stop the seals getting infected.  Quite pitiful when you see a blind seal trying to survive.

 

Possibly not but most local folk here completely avoid the beaches where the seals are and walk elsewhere. We all know where they are and avoid them if we can. Occasionally dead seals are washed round the bay and end up on the beaches where I walk. Thankfully the beaches are pretty empty here and we get relatively few tourists even in the summer. Plenty of fishing line and plastic left behind though and I try to make a point of removing it where I can. Humans are way more disgusting than dogs could ever be. 

 

 

Edited by newhome
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13 hours ago, SteamyTea said:

Having lived in Buckinghamshire where the water is actually just damp chalk, without a softener of some sort, the cylinder used to get split open within 5 years with all the rocks in the bottom.

Trouble with a softener I find is that I feel I am constantly covered in soap after a shower.

 

 

I'm not far from you, Kings Sutton near Banbury and our water is as you described "Damp Chalk"xD.

 

Next week I start my mission on finding a decent water softener.

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We’re in the Berkshire hard water area and have a Dual Flow (Harvey) softener, however the Quooker Nordic needs to run on hard water.

 

Finally got round to descaling it yesterday (has been running for 18 months) with the free kit they post out. Easy enough process.

 

Extracted 450g of scale from the 3l tank! Won’t leave it as long next time ...

4E8B922A-3D45-4FCA-899B-4F8904939E49.jpeg

33A1D67D-2417-4FB1-9A4C-373719735E87.jpeg

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8 hours ago, Bitpipe said:

We’re in the Berkshire hard water area and have a Dual Flow (Harvey) softener, however the Quooker Nordic needs to run on hard water.

 

Finally got round to descaling it yesterday (has been running for 18 months) with the free kit they post out. Easy enough process.

 

Extracted 450g of scale from the 3l tank! Won’t leave it as long next time ...

4E8B922A-3D45-4FCA-899B-4F8904939E49.jpeg

33A1D67D-2417-4FB1-9A4C-373719735E87.jpeg

 

Consider plumbing a phosphate doser on the inlet feed, like a Combimate.

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Our Itho boiling water tap came supplied with a phosphate dosing cartridge filter unit as a part of the package, with a caution that the warranty wasn't valid unless this was fitted.   I'm running it on softened water, as I can't see any good reason not to, having looked at all the materials used within it and got good test results on our softened water.

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3 hours ago, richi said:

 

Consider plumbing a phosphate doser on the inlet feed, like a Combimate.

 

You can get a Quooker descale unit but  I'm quite happy to spend the hour a year it takes to disconnect and clean it TBH, cleaning kit is free from Quooker.

 

 

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Incidentally, Quooker specifically advises against running softened water in their tank. Something to do with pH levels.

 

I suspect it's probably fine if your water isn't too hard, but not something I'd risk my warranty over.

 

They also sell some sort of water conditioning unit, although I don't know the details. It could well be a phosphate dosing arrangement.

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I thought it might be related to pH, but I don't think it can be, as the pH is exactly the same on our unsoftened water as it is on the softened water, around 7.1 to 7.2.  I suspected it might be to do with the slightly increased sodium level, but then had a look at water quality around the country and found that our softened water was well inside the normal range for drinking water supplies around the UK, so I'm not at all sure what the concerns are.  AFAICS, the internals of the boiler are stainless steel and monel, which would resist some pretty harsh water.  Cornwall has drinking water that is more aggressive in terms of corrosion potential than our softened water, and yet none of the boiling water tap suppliers have an restrictions on sale there.

 

It all seems a bit odd, and I'd love to get to the bottom of the real reason for their concern over softened water.

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Me too. 

 

The plumber and I couldn't figure out how a properly functioning softener could cause corrosion of stainless steel when we saw the "no softened water" line in the instructions. I called them to ask for more info and was told that no warranty claims would be considered if softened water was used. Between that and not having time to do any research, we just went ahead and plumbed in unsoftened. 

 

I just had a look on their website and it includes the following:

 

If choosing a water softener, it is important that you choose a system that does not remove all the minerals from the water, leave excess salt behind or reduce the pH-value of the water below 7 as the water will become corrosive otherwise. Reverse osmosis systems may not be suitable and are not recommended. Hydrogen Resin Exchange systems could rapidly change the pH valve of the water and are not recommended. Be aware that Sodium Resin Exchange systems can cause excess salt in the water which will cause corrosion on the Quooker tank.

 

But then, Harvey water softeners says the following:

 

Yes you can absolutely use our system with your Quooker (or other) hot water tap. Our technical director has verified that softened water from one of our units is fully compatible.

 

My best guess is that Quooker is oversimplifying the situation for convenience, rather than giving tailored advice based on different softeners. 

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Is just because water is the 'universal solvent' and the purer it is, the better it is at dissolving 'stuff' (stuff is a scientific term for anything you are looking at).

I hated chemistry, was just a form of stamp collecting, but if there is free oxygen is water, does that make it more reactive.

 

I am convinced that there is something 'free' in my pipes as even after changing the ballcock on the header tank, it is still noisy.

Edited by SteamyTea
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