Hard water is classed as anything over 100 parts per million (ppm) of calcium and magnesium, and it’s estimated that 60% of the UK has hard water coming through its taps.
But did you know this could be adding hundreds of pounds to your bills?
Our map shows how much you can save by simply switching to softened water.
Hard water – Data is represented as parts per million of calcium and magnesium (PPM), and is aggregated by regions that are deemed to have hard water supplies, (with PPM starting from 100ppm) – supplied by Harvey Water Softeners 2022
Yearly savings on shopping bills is calculated using a selection of products supplied by Harvey, based on an average home housing a family of four. Prices for individual products sourced from Tesco – 16/07/2022.
The usage savings (supplied by Harvey) are calculated to demonstrate the increase in time required before replenishing the items as a result of being used with softened water.
Yearly saving on bills is taken from data supplied by Harvey with the original data source being ONS – Census 2021
Yearly saving on detergents is taken from data supplied by Harvey with the original data source being ONS – Census 2021
Yearly saving on maintenance (including household appliances) is taken from data supplied by Harvey with the original data source being ONS – Census 2021
Calcium carbonate is the mineral make-up of limescale. It can clog your pipes, make your appliances less efficient and cause unsightly white build-up on your taps, showers, and shower screens. It also makes cleaning much more of a chore, as limescale that has been left to sit on surfaces is incredibly difficult to remove.
For cleaning tips from our water softening experts, head over to our blog.
If you switch to soft water, you could save yourself up to £1,000 a year across your bills, shopping, and maintenance depending on your location in the UK.
How hard is my water?
If you’ve ever wondered what your water hardness is, try our free water hardness checker which will allow you to check your postcode or town to see the scale (!) of the problem.
For those living in hard water areas of the UK, you can see the parts per million of calcium and magnesium below.
|Region||Parts per million of calcium and magnesium|
|Note: Hard water starts from 100ppm|
|Yorkshire & the Humber||202|
|East of England||315|
What’s the difference between hard water and soft water?
The number of minerals determines the difference between soft water and hard water. If your water supply has a mineral content of 100ppm or more, it’s hard water. On the other hand, if your water offers minerals less than 100ppm, it’s classed as soft water.
How do I get soft water?
Installing a water softener in your home is the best way to achieve soft water in a hard water area. A water softener works by removing the magnesium and calcium present in your water supply through a process of ion exchange, turning it from hard water to softened water. Unlike hard water, softened keeps your home’s piping free of limescale, and eliminates build-up of scale in your appliances, improving their effectiveness and lifespan.
You can learn more about how a water softener works in our dedicated guide.
How much can I save using a water softener?
The amount you can save depends on where you are in the UK. However, based on our findings, we have estimated that you could save up to £1,000 across your bills, detergents, cleaning and toiletry costs as well as appliance maintenance and repair.
Hard water – Data is represented as parts per million of calcium and magnesium (PPM), and is aggregated by regions that are deemed to have hard water supplies, (with PPM starting from 100ppm) – supplied by Harvey Water Softeners 2022.
Saving money on shopping with a water softener
Based on our shopping list below, we have estimated that the average UK family of 2 adults and 2 children could save around £594 per year by switching to a Harvey water softener.
Our shopping list consisted of:
|Item||Monthly Cost||Percentage Saving|
|Washing up liquid||£2.50||50%|
|Washing machine descaler||£5.10||100%|
|General scale remover||£1.00||100%|
Hard water means these products are needed and have to work harder to do their jobs. By installing a water softener like the HarveyArc, you can reduce the amount you need to use – or completely remove the need to buy the products in the first place.
Yearly savings on shopping bills is calculated using a selection of products supplied by Harvey based on an average home containing a family of four. Prices for individual products sourced from Tesco – 16/07/2022.
Saving money on bills with a water softener
Appliances in hard water areas have to work harder to get the job done. Limescale thrives in hot locations, and not just those visible to the eye like your shower. Due to its composition, hard water also has difficulty making a lather when combined with soap, resulting in a less than effective wash. Clothes can be left grey and faded, whilst dishes and glasses can appear dull and smeared with water marks.
As the blockages caused by scale build-up means your appliances will be working harder, they will inevitably be using more fuel. Our estimations show that an average family of four could save up to £124* on their annual energy bills (gas, electricity and water).
The full breakdown is below:
|Region||Potential annual saving on bills|
|Yorkshire & the Humber||£80.17|
|East of England||£124.87|
If you’d like to learn more about steps you could take to reduce your annual energy usage, check out our helpful guide to reducing your energy bills.
Yearly saving on bills is taken from data supplied by Harvey with the original data source being ONS – Census 2021.
Saving money on appliance maintenance with a water softener
You could save around £181 a year on appliance maintenance by investing in a water softener. In worst case scenarios, the build-up of limescale can create blockages in pipework and lead to the premature failure of water heaters and other appliances.
This could impact your washing machine, dishwasher, shower, boiler and any other appliance in which water flows freely through the system.
If you’d like some tips on cleaning and descaling your washing machine, check out our helpful guide.
Yearly saving on maintenance (including household appliances) is taken from data supplied by Harvey with the original data source being ONS – Census 2021.
Saving money on detergents with a water softener
In a similar way to your shampoo and conditioner having to work harder to make a lather, your washing detergent works much less efficiently in hard water. In fact, many detergents now state to use a larger dose in hard water areas to ensure your clothes are being cleaned effectively.
By switching to softened water, you could potentially save £184.47 a year on your detergent costs alone.
Yearly saving on detergents is taken from data supplied by Harvey with the original data source being ONS – Census 2021.
Installing a water softener in your home is an investment, but one which sees a return quickly. There are also a number of other benefits, including the reduced stress of not having to worry about premature appliance breakage and scale build-up.
If you’d like to learn more before committing to an installation, why not have one of our helpful team come and perform a demonstration? You can book a free, no obligation demo either at your home or virtually – whichever you’d prefer.
Find out how you can save up to £1,000 with a water softener…
Here at Harvey, we take the time to understand our customers so we can tailor our products to their needs. With changes to the economic climate and the increase in the cost of living we’ve carried out extensive research using trusted sources to provide data that reflects current costs and subsequent savings.
The data presented is based on an average UK family of 2 adults and 2 children living in a hard water area. It includes an estimation of cleaning products and toiletries that the average UK family may use.
Figures may differ based on variable factors such as size of household, number of bathrooms and water usage.
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For every day softening
This is our best selling water softener solution and includes smart connectivity to let you know salt levels and when to refill
- For the average family home
- Twin cylinder non-electric design
- Requires curved salt blocks
- Daily capacity: 3000 litres
- Regeneration water use: 17 litres
- Dimensions: H:487mm x D:438mm x W:202mm
For larger homes
The HVX is suitable for larger homes with 3-4 bathrooms or more. Simple to use, just fill up with block salt and get softened water
- For larger homes
- Twin cylinder non-electric design
- Requires block or tablet salt
- Daily capacity: 6000 litres
- Regeneration water use: 37 litres
- Dimensions: H:500mm x D:440mm x W:250mm
The Big Blue
The Big Blue is our largest water softener for businesses and commercial properties that want softened water
- For commercial properties
- Twin cylinder non-electric design
- Requires tablet salt
- Daily capacity: 10,600 litres
- Regeneration water use: 50 litres
- Dimensions: H:660mm x D:440mm x W:590mm