As with all things in life, you do tend to get what you pay for and Total Soft Water specialise in reliable, convenient, efficient units, all of which would have a lifetime in excess of 15 years. Many of the brands that we sell have examples of systems over 25 years old.
Typically the cost of the softener ranges from just under £800 to upwards of £1,600, although for 90% of our work a price range of £800 to £1300 would be usual. Installation costs also vary and can be from £280 to just over £400, considerably lower if you already have a water softener in place.
Typically we allow around anywhere between 2 ½ and 4 hours for a typical softener installation. Sometimes it’s more than this if lots of additional pipework is required, but usually a rough “half a day” covers 95% of our work.
Many customers perceive that there will be a lot of hassle with the installation of a water softener and that the water “will be off all day”! Every job is different of course but for the most part, the water is generally only off for about 30 to 45 minutes and unless lots of additional pipework is required, most softener installations are reasonably straightforward for an experienced plumber (such as our trained installers).
Other than the initial cost the vast majority of our customers say things like “we should have done this years ago”!
As the softened water will clean up any existing limescale from your hot water cylinder and pipework, you can occasionally find that some of this limescale has a “greeny tinge” to it (due to the copper pipework). As this is cleaned off this can sometimes show itself in the water for a short period of time, but that’s about all we can think of as a downside!!!
It is usual to install the water softener close to the point where the mains water enters the house (i.e. close to the main stopcock in the house). If this is not convenient due to a house extension or other “stopcock not under the kitchen sink location” then our home survey will point out where the unit can be located.
Very averagely a water softener will cost a family of four about £1.50 to £2 per week to run in terms of the salt. Some additional water will be used to flush the system but this will be no more than £20 to £40 per year depending on the water softener installed.
Servicing costs on Total Soft Water units are very low and would typically be around £80 to £110 every 5 to 7 years. We find that lower specification models that are cheaper initially do need more looking after so you could expect to spend this amount every year or 18 months with other models.
For most of the UK hard water areas, the sodium content of the water from a water softener will be below the UK drinking water maximum level of 200ppm, so can be drunk. Only if you incoming water is harder than 435ppm CaCO3 will this 200ppm limit be exceeded. Softened water can taste a bit different to mains water (this taste difference again varies from region to region) so many of our customers have a separate hard water tap (or new three way tap) for drinking water as they are used to the taste of mains water.
A separate tap also allows the use of a drinking water filter to give greater purity or the removal of specific contaminants that you may be concerned about.
Sometimes but not always. A separate tap is used to provide an outlet for hard or filtered water. This hard water can also be plumbed directly into the main Kitchen tap or even through a 3 way or “triflow” tap. We have even had jobs where we have plumbed the hard water into the Utility room, it’s your choice. A separate can sometime spoil the look of the Kitchen if the style of the main tap and the separate tap can’t be matched, so it really is up to you.
We stock block, tablet and granular salt.
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