Best Water Softener
Water quality and type can differ from place to place. Believe it or not, there is actually a huge difference in water ‘softness’ and ‘hardness’ up and down the UK! Both hard and soft water are safe to consume, but the difference lies in the mineral level. Some people believe that hard water may actually be better for you to drink than soft water, however, there are plenty of schools of thought which suggest hard water is something of a nuisance.
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Water Softeners: A Buyer’s Guide For 2021
If you’re not sure why this is the case, you may not be living in a hard water area! If you do, however, you may have already been looking to buy a water softener. In this buying guide, we will take a look at everything you need to know about softening water, and which tools you’ll need to get the best results. We’ll also make sure to answer some of the most common water softener queries at the end of our guide for your reference.
Why Should I Buy a Water Softener?
If you’re not already sure whether or not your home runs on hard water, there’s a good chance you won’t need a softener. However, hard water can prove to be extremely irritating from a cleaning perspective, and in terms of the maintenance of some of your home appliances.
Hard water has a habit of creating thick crusts and lines on kettles, bathtubs, and even in showers. What’s more, it can lead to extreme build-up in your pipes and cylinders, which is only ever going to cause you extra difficulty in the long run.
Hard water is created by mineralisation of water which is already ‘soft’. Such minerals which enter water include magnesium, which can damage some of your home fixtures and fittings. People buy water softeners so that their home plumbing and fittings can benefit from longer lifespans, and so that they are not having to spend extra time heating up their pipes and bathtubs.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of water softening, let’s take a look at what features and facilities you should be looking for while shopping around.
Types of Water Softener
When buying a water softener for the first time, it is worth remembering that not all models or units will be the same. These can generally be split into two types – those which run on salt, and those which don’t. Let’s look at these in close detail.
Salt-Based Water Softeners
Salt systems are preferred by people who can taste the minerals – which is possible! They are safe to drink, of course, but a difference in the taste can often be a big thing for UK homeowners. Salt-based water softeners use salt – of course – and will require a steady level of water pressure to operate. These models will help to make sure your water lathers up well, however, you may need to make extra space for them – as they can be a little on the heavy-duty side.
Salt-Free Water Softeners
Many people prefer to use salt-free water softeners as they are considered healthier to our digestive systems as well as the environment. Salt-free systems can use magnets to help prevent and reduce mineral build-up, which means they will often need to be powered up via the mains. These systems offer a fantastic preventative measure, on the whole, which means they may be worth investing in if hard water proves to be a long-term problem for you.
Things to Bear in Mind
As with all home fixtures and fittings, there are going to be things you should bear in mind when buying your first water softener. Here’s a rundown of what to look for while shopping around.
Ease of Installation
This is a major factor for most people. Most salt-free systems are very easy to attach and get working. You simply need to fix them up to your pipes, and away you go. In many cases, as stated, you will also need to give them a source of power. Salt models, however, can be trickier to set up thanks to size and shape. What’s more, you’re often going to need to join them up to your water supply, too. Always check verified buyer reviews for the lowdown on this.
Prevention or Removal?
You’re going to need to think about what exactly you need a water softener for. Is it more important that you remove build-up in your pipes, or do you need help preventing minerals from coming back again and again? You may need support with both. In which case, compare and contrast salt and non-salt systems to see which fit your needs the best.
Unit Size and Capacity
If you are going to fit a salt-based model, do be sure to check the capacity and size of unit you are fitting. Some are going to be very bulky, and those will generally run on salt, or will have their own tank. Think about the room you already have, and always make sure to measure up.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s take a look at some of the more frequently asked queries from regular shoppers.
Do I Really Need a Water Softener?
If the taste of hard water bothers you, or if you are finding that you’re getting a lot of mineral building up, it may be time to invest in a water softening system. However, if you’re not sure, double-check what verified buyers have had to say.
Is a Salt System Better Than a Non-Salt System?
There are schools of thought which differ on which type of system is best. However, it may even come down to cost. Read reviews and comparer systems to see which appear to fit your needs the best.
How Much Can I Expect to Pay for a Water Softener?
This really can vary! However, on the whole, you may be expected to pay more than £100 for the best equipment. This may depend on whether you opt for salt or non-salt, too.
For many people up and down the UK, a water softener can really make all the difference. Take a look at systems and models online, and you may be able to help reduce mineral build-up in your pipes and fittings for good!