Your questions answered

Does my water softener have to go in the kitchen?

Where possible the water softener should be sited close to the rising main, allowing for any required hard water draw off points, ie drinking tap and outside tap.  The water softener must be connected to a drain and needs an overflow point.  In addition, the distance from the softener to the drain should be kept as short as possible.  Water softeners can be fitted in garages, even outside.

Can you drink softened water?

Softening water slightly increases the amount of sodium in the water.  Typically a glass of softened water will contain about 50mg of sodium.  A slice of brown bread contains around 200mg.

In practice most people prefer drinking  hard water as the minerals are retained for taste.  You can fit a separate filtered  drinking water tap which will reduce the taste and odour of chlorine and reduce some contaminants in hard water.  However, as long as the Water Regulations allow it (see below), drinking softened water is a personal choice.

Must there be a hard water drinking tap?

Water Authority bylaws currently state that a hard water drinking tap is always recommended.  However, where the water hardness is below 400ppm calcium carbonate there is NO mandatory requirement for a separate hard water drinking tap, because softened water complies with the drinking water regulations.

Can I fit a water softener if I have a combination boiler or megaflow heating sysem?

Yes.  Tapworks water softeners can easily meet the water flow required by unvented or direct feed systems.  They come with full installation kit for both 15mm and 22mm plumbing as standard.

NOTE ON FLOW RATES: 

Larger households with 3 or more bathrooms may need higher flow rates to cope with the higher demands for water and you may need our larger home softener,  which has been designed for much higher flow rates found on 28 mm plumbing systems, your installer can give you advice.

Please be aware that some small softeners  may not be able to soften the water properly, because the time of travel through the softener is too fast.  That’s why we design different types of softeners to handle different situations.

Will I save money with softened water?

Softened water will save you money in several ways: less scale in your pipework, heating system and appliance, which means they work a lot more efficiently.  It is common to save up to 15% on your heating and hot water bills.  You will use less cleaning products, and bathing and laundry products can be reduced by up to 50%. 

How does the water softener work?

Tapworks water softeners create softened water by extracting the hard minerals from water using an ion exchange process.  Inside the water softener is a vessel of sodium-charged resin beads.  When you use water in the home it passes through this vessel and the hardness minerals (calcium and magnesium) are exchanged for a small amount of sodium.

Eventually the water softener will become exhausted and will no longer be able to extract the hard minerals.  The water softener will carry out a cleaning process called a regeneration or recharge.  The softener creates a concentrated brine solution which it passes through the resin beads, this reverses the exchange process and the minerals are exchanged from the resin beads and this water is flushed to drain.  The process leaves the resin beads refreshed and ready to make more softened water.

Do I need to do anything once the water softener is installed?

The water softener is automatic.

It monitors your water usage and will ensure you always have soft water on demand.  It will decide when it needs to recharge.

You only need to make sure there is tablet salt in the softener.

Salt in softener

Do not overfill the softener with salt. Top up just below the round grey top.

What happens when the water softener is installed?

As soon as you start using water, the water softener will collect a history of your water usage.  It will decide when it needs to recharge and it will normally do this at 2 am in the morning, because during the recharge process only hard water is available.  A correctly specified Tapworks softener will normally recharge every 3 to 4 days, because it has a high softening capacity.

DO NOT EXPECT THE WATER SOFTENER TO RECHARGE EVERY DAY.

Where can I buy Tablet Salt?

Tablet salt is readily available from various DIY retail outlets, builders/plumbers merchants, garden centres and on-line delivery services.

YOU MUST USE TABLET SALT ONLY

Will I get softened water immediately?

It depends what type of plumbing system you have.  Any stored water will become blended and depending on the size of your tank it may take a week or so for truly softened water to come through.