Using a Kinetico home water softener

The water in our homes has a life cycle of its own, from falling from the clouds all the way to coming out of our tap. But not all water is the same. The geology of the area from which your water supply comes will determine the water hardness and, therefore, whether your home could benefit from a Kinetico water softener.

Rainfall is naturally soft, but minerals are dissolved into it once it falls and begins to filter through the rock. Water with a high mineral content is what we call hard water.

Water cycle What is Hard Water?

Overall, the UK is classified as having very hard water. Over 60% of us live in hard water areas, but what exactly do we mean by this?

Hard water is defined by the high concentration of natural minerals found within it – calcium and magnesium to be exact – which enter when the water percolates through deposits of limestone, chalk or gypsum.

What Hard Water Does to Your Home

The problem with hard water is that it causes limescale.

Although hard water is perfectly safe to drink, when left untreated, it can wreak havoc on your plumbing and appliances. The build-up of limescale comes from the deposits of calcium carbonate, calcium sulphate and magnesium hydroxide inside pipes which can restrict the water flow and cause the buildup of bacteria.

Plus, the build-up of limescale in your kettle doesn't taste too good flaking off in your morning tea or coffee!

Some other effects of hard water include:

  • Limescale forms on showerheads and taps.
  • Shower screens become cloudy.
  • Eczema may occur.
  • Weak water pressure may occur in the shower.
  • Limescale build up in household pipes, boilers and appliances.
  • Energy bills increase as an inefficient heating system needs longer to heat the house. 
  • Lower hot water temperatures in the heating system as limescale limits heat from the boiler from transferring easily into the water.
  • Hair and skin may be dull.

How To Tell If You Have Hard Water

These are some of the main signs you might be living in a hard water area: 

  • Feeling a film on your hands after washing them. This is caused by the soap reacting with calcium to form soap scum. You may need to rinse your hands longer if the water is hard.
  • The presence of limescale around taps, in the kettle, toilet bowl, shower screen.
  • A red rust-coloured build-up may occur on shower tiles in some areas of the UK where water has higher Iron content.
  • Mineral stains on clothes when they come out of the washing machine. Clothes can wear out faster because of the harshness of hard water.
  • Shampoo and soap may not lather easily.

If you are unsure about how to tell if you have hard water in your home you can use one of our Kinetico hard water test kits for a quick answer. 

What is Soft Water? 

There are a handful of areas in the UK that are considered soft-water areas, this is where water hasn't undergone rock osmosis, which means the water hasn't travelled through rock bed to pick up the minerals associated with hard water.  In Scotland for example - the rainwater doesn't pick up minerals by going through limestone, as there isn't any, so the water has neither the minerals nor the increased sodium content that comes from softened water through a water softener.

What is Water Softening?

Kinetico Water Softeners use a process called ‘ion exchange’ to remove the calcium and magnesium minerals from your water as it enters your home. This exchange takes place by passing hard water through Ion exchange resin beads in a pressure vessel tank. The millions of ion exchange beads are negatively charged, resulting in the extraction of the positively charged minerals (calcium, magnesium and sodium).

Having a water softener in your home is the only proven way to remove calcium and magnesium from your water and our Premier Compact Water Softener is the perfect system for the job in houses with up to 3 bathrooms. 

Kinetico Premier Compact Water Softener
The Benefits of Soft Water

What are the benefits of using a water softener

There are many reasons why having soft rather than hard water can be beneficial, including: 

  • Prevent scale buildup around your home: With hard water minerals removed at the point of entry to your home, your pipes and appliances will have a longer lifespan
  • Increase the effectiveness of soap: A water softener system will ensure your soap is doing its job while simultaneously reducing the stains and the need for additional cleaning.
  • Combat dryness: soft water can help reduce dry, uncomfortable skin conditions. 

Is Water Softening Safe?

Of course! There are no health risks to softening your water. Drinking softened water is safe for both you and your family; your decision to drink softened water, or not, should be based solely on whether or not you like the taste! 

However, there are two specific situations where the use and drinking of softened water is inadvisable. These are:

  • In the reconstitution of infant formula powders, as softened water could affect its fine nutritional balance
  • For anyone on a medically prescribed low sodium diet.

Unsure about which water softener your home would need? 

Want to talk softeners over with a specialist? 

Then talk to a Kinetico water softener specialist, as we are always here to help.