What is hard water and why is it a problem for health and domestic appliances? The experts from Nexus explain
What is hard water?
Hard water is formed when rain sinks down through soil and rocks it picks up a calcium and magnesium minerals. The level of calcium and magnesium contained in the water are referred to as its “hardness”. Limestone and chalk rocks are the main culprits.
What is limescale?
Limescale is formed when the calcium and magnesium minerals in hard water come out of solution and attach themselves to a solid surface such as a bath tap.
Why do levels of hard water vary according to region?
Water hardness levels are different across the country and depend on the type of land you live on. Levels also vary from season to season as a result of the amount of rainfall. Therefore the types of rocks and the geology up of the ground beneath you will impact your local water hardness. For example Scotland is mainly granite (not hard water), whereas London and the south coast is clay and chalk (hard water).
What are the effects of hard water on health?
Hard water is considered wholesome and is perfectly safe to drink, however some people may experience irritation to existing skin conditions such as eczema or acne.
What are the effects of hard water on domestic appliances?
Limescale from hard water can be seen as deposits on appliances such as kettles, draining boards, taps and toilets. In addition to being unsightly, these deposits provide a layer which can harbour bacteria. In addition to producing unsightly deposits, limescale can also build up in appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and water heaters. Once inside limescale builds up over time to:
- Coat heating and cooling elements reducing their efficiency and increasing energy usage.
- Block pipes which reduces flow and increased energy usage and potential premature failure.
How does an Ion Exchange water softener work? Why are they better than water conditioners?
Limescale and scum can coat hair and skin causing hair to feel tangled and skin to feel rough. It can also coat fibres in clothes and towels, making them feel rough and look flat.
Nexus water softener works by removing the calcium and magnesium present in your water through a process called ion exchange. This turns hard water to softened water. Unlike hard water, softened water does not damage your home’s piping, or cause a build-up of limescale in your appliances-reducing their effectiveness and lifespan.
Most manufacturers of water conditioners claim to Condition, or even Soften the water.
Water conditioners come in many different types, magnetic, electronic, electrolytic, chemical dosing. However, these devices are designed to reduce the effects of hard water and do not remove the calcium and magnesium mineral from the water. So, whilst the best can help to reduce the level of scale build up to a degree, they do not remove the hardness and thus cannot offer all of the benefits of fully softened water. Their effect cannot be simply tested for, to show that they are working.
The only way to fully eliminate the effects of hard water is with an ion exchange Nexus water softener.
Where and how is a water softener installed in my house?
A Nexus water softener would normally be installed where the water supply enters your home. In most instances, it will be where your stop cock is located. This would normally be positioned under your sink but could be found under your stairs, in the garage or a utility room.
The Nexus water softener should been installed by a Nexus dealer or water treatment professional. We would always recommend an experienced professional and fully-trained with all the necessary plumbing experience to fit your softener.
Will a water softener have any effect on flow levels?
Having a Nexus water softener installed should not impact on the flow of water around your home. Your water flow maybe be limited to your existing pipework size.
What do I have to do to maintain a water softener?
Adding salt to your Nexus water softener is the only maintenance you’ll have to do. However like your car or boiler we always recommend having your water softener serviced by a trained professional. This ensures that your Nexus water softener is working at peak performance and providing you with luxurious soft water when you need it.
What’s the story behind Nexus?
Nexus is a brand of Pollet Water Group, an established water softener manufacturer with over 30 years of experience. Launched in 2022, the Nexus range is the result of years of experience, Research & Development and, above all, a focus on high quality water for our UK households. Nexus water softeners are also made in Britain.
Where can I find out more about Nexus?
You can visit www.nexuswatersofteners.co.uk where you can find out more about Nexus water softener solutions and contact your local Nexus dealer who will be more than happy to conduct a free home survey and discuss your water treatment requirements.