Depending on the area you live in, your water might be classified as ‘hard’ water or ‘soft’ water. The main differences between the two are that hard water contains dissolved minerals that soft water does not. Not only do they taste different, they also react differently when it comes to washing. However, when it comes to the cold water system, there are different devices that you can have fitted in order to treat the water. In this article I will tell you a bit more about three of these and they are; a scale reducer, a water conditioner and a water filter.
A scale reducer is, as it says in the name – a device created to reduce scale. It does this by containing polyphosphate crystals which in turn modifies the hardness salts and prevents them from forming scales. A scale reducer is generally fitted on the branch pipes that lead to electric showers, combination boilers or gas multi-point heaters and it should have two isolating valves.
A water conditioner should be fitted to the rising main and above the main stop-valve. It obviously does not change the chemical composition of the water but rather works by affecting the condition of the water by using a magnetic field. It works by affecting the magnesium and calcium ions from precipitating. Some types of water conditioners are fitted directly into the pipe-work and other types are electronically operated. The later ones are plugged into the mains and use a low-voltage wire which is then wrapped around the pipe itself.
When it comes to water filters, there are many different types to choose between but they should always be fitted to the branch pipe that supplies the sink and it should also be connected to a separate tap if possible. You can buy kits containing self-cutting valves and these can be then be fitted without having to switch off the water supply.
A Word of Wisdom
If you are reasonably handy and have a grasp of basic plumbing you can obviously try to tackle some of these fittings yourself but like with most things – always contact a professional to deal with any complicated or specialist jobs rather than trying to attempt them yourself. The reason for this is that if anything goes wrong, the job at hand might turn out a lot more expensive and time consuming that you first expected it to be. Best of luck!