You’ve decided that you need a water softener, you’ve had a glance online and have found that it’s not that easy to choose one. With all the options out there which do you choose? Single-tank? Twin-tank? Electric? Non-electric? The options seem endless! We have come up with a five-step guide on what to look out for.
Single tank v Twin-tank
Single tank softeners contain, you guessed it! One tank! Do I need to tell you what the twin ones contain? That’s right, two tanks!! So, what’s the difference? These tanks are filled with food-grade resin and this is what we need to treat hard water. Both types of units have a metering device to measure the amount of water used. Once the single tank has reached its capacity, it needs to clean itself, this is called the regeneration process. When this process is happening the single tank softener will then give you hard water whilst the twin tank system will switch to the other tank of resin, giving you continuous soft water.
Electric v Non-electric
This is an easy one, an electric softener must be plugged into a mains electrical supply to power the timer in the machine. You will need to set the machine to clean itself the same time every day, usually, this is set for when you are asleep say, 2 or 3 in the morning. However, these can be noisy and very wasteful. The machine will clean itself at the same time every day, even when it doesn’t need to wasting salt and water! Non-electrical softeners are demand operated that means the unit is mechanical and runs using the incoming mains pressure, they only regenerate as and when they need too, saving you money!
Now, this is a biggie! We all have stayed somewhere, that when you get in the shower and someone flushes the toilet the shower reduces to a dribble. This is to do with flow rates, having a water softener should not impact on the flow of water unless you have every shower and tap in the house running at once, then there may be a marginal drop in pressure. Watch our video on why this happens and our test against another leading brand https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7L0-DKhbBk&t=35s
Block salt v Tablet salt
Mmmmm…. Difficult one! Tablet salt tends to be more of a faff, it comes in either 25kg bags, they are very economical but difficult to manoeuvre. You would usually have to find a bucket to tip the tablets in before you put them in the softener! Or they come in 10kg bags which are slightly easier to handle but cost a little more and are difficult to store. Block salt was the answer to all these problems. Solid blocks of condensed salt that sit upright in the machine, easier to store as they stack well and easier to load into the softener. However, they are a little more expensive. No brainer for me!
Dependant on how far you’ve got in your research you would have found that Water Softeners greatly vary in price. Same as car manufactures, there are the top expensive brands and then there are cheaper brands. The main thing to remember, as with anything, is you get what you pay for. Cheaper units tend to be the single-tank electric ones that are extremely expensive to run, can be noisy and you will need to have an electrical feed fitted near your stop-cock before you can get it working, by the way, water and electric don’t mix well! Twin-tank non-electrical units are more expensive, but they usually are far cheaper to run day to day and easy to install most importantly they will provide constant soft water with no downtime. They will last you a long time as all the parts are mechanical.
We are a little biased, but we think ours are the best. Our founders believed that non-electrical, block salt water softeners were the way forward and that was nearly 50 years ago. But don’t just take our word for it these happy customers think so too. We provide Water Softening machines to some the UK’s leading companies such as The Savoy, The Royal Mint and the NHS. We even have one installed in the Royal suites at Buckingham Palace. Now, if it’s good enough for the Queen, it’s good enough for you.