A few months ago I was approached by BWT (best water technology) who were looking for a case study to show water softener benefits. As it turned out, the timing was perfect. We were right in the middle of a home renovation which meant replacing and redoing all of our plumbing. My knowledge of water softeners was limited but I did know we lived in a hard water area and as a result of this, our appliances have suffered. For that reason I was happy to be part of their case study and to see what the results would be.
The softener was installed once our kitchen had been fitted and most of the plumbing completed. Our initial surprise was the size of the unit, it was much smaller than expected and fitted neatly into our base unit. We had to decide very early on where the softener would go, this is worth bearing in mind if you are designing your kitchen as you will need to make sure you have the right amount of space allocated.
The operating instructions were straightforward and once the water hardness was tested, we set the digital control accordingly. How much salt you use depends largely on how hard the water is in your area; the harder the water, the more salt you will need. Whilst the salt might seem expensive, it is still cheaper than replacing appliances that have broken due to the build up of limescale.
A period of a few months passed before we started to notice the difference. We use a pulley-maid in our utility room (clothes airer attached to the ceiling) as it’s a really cost-effective way to dry clothes, the downside is that it can make the fabric feel a little rough. Since having our water softener, the garments definitely feel softer to the touch. We now use less detergent (as advised if you have a softener) and this may also be contributing to our garments feeling softer.
Due to hard water in the area, my family suffers from dry skin in the winter, especially on the hands and elbows. My daughter often needs eczema cream during the winter months, we are now February and she hasn’t needed the cream. Hair is another area where I have felt the benefits; it definitely looks shinier. Apparently, bath products should lather more richly with softened water, meaning you use less products but if I’ honest, this is impossible to notice as my children use so much bubble bath!
One big change that we have noticed is the reduction of limescale on the shower screen. Gone are the familiar watermarks that become increasingly hard to clean. I would go as far as saying that the glass almost gleams after the shower. Let’s hope it lasts.
It will be a while before we can really quantify the savings and see all of the health benefits but as a result of the softener, we know that the amount calcium carbonate has been greatly reduced. As long as we keep our softener, we know that our appliances are going to have a longer life and that is a huge saving!
**This is a collaborative post with BWT. No money was exchanged and all thoughts and views are my own**
Photographs by Jo Henderson & Pippa Jameson