What is hard water?
When water is referred to as ‘hard’ this simply means that it contains a higher concentration of minerals than ordinary water (these being most particularly calcium and magnesium); the distribution of ‘hard water’ areas is generally linked to local geological conditions. (A map indicating Water Hardness in the UK and Ireland is located in the Technical Library).
Hard water not only makes washing with soaps and detergents difficult and costly but when hard water is heated, the calcium and magnesium salts become insoluble, forming limescale on the heat transfer surface.
If this is not dealt with effectively, it can soon incur increased energy costs, acting as insulation, thus reducing the heating or cooling efficiency of affected appliances such as Boilers, Humidifiers, Dishwashers, Washing Machines, and other treated water processes such as Reverse Osmosis and ElectroDeionisation (EDI) systems.
Limescale can also cause increased wear and overheating with potentially disastrous consequences. (See video posted on AWT NEWS).
For this reason, it is paramount that an efficient water softener system is installed as part of any feed water treatment system.
What is a water softener?
A water softener system is a well-established and extremely reliable solution for hard water problems. The water softener units contain an ion exchange resin, which effectively replaces the ‘hard’ salts of Calcium and Magnesium for ‘soft’ salts of sodium, therefore stopping limescale from forming and building up.