6 Things to Consider When Choosing a Water Softener
Water softeners are the heroes of many households. As Good Housekeeping states, ‘around 15 million homes in the UK have hard water’, a fact which clearly explains the popularity of the water softener. Picking one, however, is a little trickier than you’d think.
When you are choosing a water softener, it is crucial that you make an informed decision. The quality of the water softener you purchase is greatly affected by the choices you make in selecting it, and we are here to help you decide which water softener is the right one for you.
Here is our run-down of the six most important things to consider when looking to buy a water softener.
1. Running Costs
Like most things, water softeners will naturally come with a cost. When looking to buy one, in addition to the salt and water used during the regeneration process, you should also consider the cost of any routine service needed, as well as the likely lifespan of your machine.
A softener that does not last as long and needs a yearly service may have low salt usage figures, but could cost more if it needs replacing after 10-12 years when another system could last 25.
Size matters. All the technical niceties in the world aren’t going to make a large softener fit into a small space if that is all that you have available. Some adjustments could be made to your plumbing system to make the necessary space available.
3. Spare Parts Availability
Sometimes, despite your best intentions, things can go wrong. While most softeners are reliable systems they are, after all, mechanical devices and as such can need maintenance from time to time. A supply of spare parts and somebody able to fit them is essential to ensuring that you get the best from your chosen softener.
4. Flow Rates
Unfortunately, there are no specific guidelines against which softeners are tested for flow rate and efficiency, so manufacturers can pretty much claim what they like for the performance of their softeners.
You may wish to consult a local specialist who knows about the different makes, has experience of how they work, and understands their impact on the water flow in your home’s plumbing system.
Warranty – All softeners will be supplied with a warranty, but it is worth checking what this covers. Softeners supplied by local companies will generally have an on-site element as part of their warranty, whereas softeners purchased online are usually supplied with a ‘back to base’ warranty.
This involves you removing the softener and sending it back to the supplier if the are any problems. With your average softener weighing between 25 and 40Kgs when wet and full of salt, this is no small task!
Advice – It is understandable that a manufacturer selling a single unit will claim that their system is “best for you” regardless of whether it is or it isn’t.
A company supplying a range of products are more likely to give you a couple of options to consider. As always, it is best to speak to a number of different suppliers and choose the one you are most comfortable with.
So there you have it, our complete list of the things you need to consider when buying a water softener.
Make the right choices when purchasing your machine and it will serve you well. To find out if your water is soft enough, check out this post from our blog.