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Frequently asked questions
- 1. Does softened water remove existing scale?
- Yes. It is a fact that existing scale will quickly dissolve back into the
water with softened water and no new scale will form. The hotter the water, the
quicker it goes. Examples: Kettles @ 100°C around 2 weeks, whereas 12 years of
scale in a hot water tank @ 60°C will dissolve back into the water in about 6
months. See how effective is it really.
- 2. You can´t drink softened water can you?
- Everyone can drink softened water unless they are a bottle fed baby less
than six months old on powdered feed or on a medically supervised sodium
restricted diet. The fact is unlike naturally occurring soft water, softened
water has no link to increased occurrence of cardiovascular disease because it
has exactly the same amount of dissolved solids in it as hard water. All we have
done is exchanged calcium and magnesium metal ions that cause scale and soap
scum for sodium ions that do not. Softened water will make a stronger flavored
tea, you won't get a 'skin' on your cuppa and you won't get scale your kettle.
See health and drinking water.
- 3. Will it deprive me of essential minerals?
- The short answer is no. All your mineral requirements are satisfied by the food you eat, not by the water you drink. All the people who live in Cornwall, Wales, Scotland and other soft water areas do not suffer from mineral deficiency because their water is naturally soft, and neither will you when you have an Ensign Water Softener.
- 4. But it tastes salty, doesn´t it?
- It does not taste salty. In fact, nil salt is added to the water. Hard water is softened by swapping calcium and magnesium metal ions with sodium metal ions. This is done with a non-electric process called ion-exchange.
We use salt to recharge the water softener two or three times a week and when it's done it ends up down the drain, not in the drinking water. The fact is, softened water tastes like a typical jug filter which also uses the ion-exchange process.
- 5. How much sodium is there in softened water?
- To put things in proper presective, in a cup of tea there is more sodium in
the milk than there would be in the softened water. Typical examples are - two
slices of bread contain 375 mg, and two glasses of milk contain 325 mg of
sodium. For comparison, an adult in a average hard water area drinking 4 pints
of artificially softened water per day would add only 310 mg of sodium to their
average daily intake. Look at the facts in section 8 at the back of the
- 6. But softened water is slippy and slimy isn´t it?
- The feeling of too slippy or slimy is a common reaction when using too much soap/shampoo in softened water. The recomendation is to use only
¼ of your usual amount. Changing your usage habits can take a couple of weeks, but the cost savings are worth the adjustment.
- 7. Direct feed, combi boiler or megaflow boilers: Is this okay?
- Yes absolutely. The typical direct feed systems require a large flow of up
to 55 litres per minute and unlike some other brands, the modern Ensign unit can
handle up to a huge 81 litres per minute. The Ensign Water Softeners are
regularly used in direct mains fed homes.
- 8. Can I keep one tap un-softened?
- Yes, of course. In fact the recommendation is that one tap in the premises
is left un-softened. If possible this means fitting a third
hard water mini tap at the kitchen sink. We also keep outside taps at the
rear un-softened since the garden will not notice the difference and is hence is wasted out there. Washing the car however is always best in softened water.
- 9. Is the only choice heavy 25Kg sacks of tablet salt or expensive 8Kg block salt?
- No, not nowadays. Since 1998 most people use the more convenient 10Kg bags
of tablet salt. They're easier to handle than 25Kg sacks and weight for weight
cost a lot less than 8Kg block salt. See
salt comparison data.
- 10. What's the minimum salt delivery and how big is that?
- The minimum for delivery is 10 x 10Kg bags of tablet salt. That lasts about 5
months typically. The photo shows how much space 10 x 10kg salt would take up at the back of your garage. Not much space is it?
Deliver my salt here.
The minimum for collection is just 1 x 10Kg bag of tablet salt. Collect my salt here.
DO YOU HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?
Contact us directly and we will try very hard indeed to answer
your water softener questions.
wouldn't drive a car without a fuel gauge would you? Then why own a water
softener without a salt monitor... (more)
Ensign established 1982
New 3-way taps for water softeners now in stock