Frequently asked questions

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Installation

Ion Exchange Softened Water and Domestic Central Heating Systems

There is ongoing conflict about the suitability of filling the domestic central heating system with ion exchange softened...

Our water softeners can be installed in any kind of property – a house, bungalow, flat or apartment. The only requirement is that the property has its own water supply with a stopcock somewhere...

A Harvey Water Softener can be easily removed and fitted in any house, bungalow, flat or apartment.

When moving, you can isolate your water softener from the mains supply to disconnect it. ...

The Harvey Water Softener does use more water, so it can affect the water rates when first installed. However, having a water softener will save money throughout the home - from bills to the...

Product

Harvey Water Softeners are made from a glass reinforced plastic from the polystyrene family.

This material is injection mould in two halves and heat welded together.

It is the same...

A magnetic device treats a household water supply to reduce the buildup of limescale.

It uses a magnetic field to encourage the formation of crystals as water flows through it. As the water...

What is an electric water softener?

 

An electric water softener is a device used to soften a property’s water supply. It removes magnesium and calcium from hard water...

A water softener is no longer thought of as a luxury item as it will pay for itself in three to five years.

Save on buying household cleaning products, reduce the amount of energy your home...

A Harvey Water Softener removes calcium and magnesium from your water supply to remove scale, scum and impurities.

A Harvey is a twin tank water softener. It treats the water supply of the...

No. Everybody who has a good water softener that works properly is delighted with the benefits and more than happy to put up with the requirements of ownership.

As with all things, there is...

Some of our customers have come across seemingly cheaper alternatives to water softeners. The reality is that these devices simply do not work.

Please see our alternative products section...

How much does a water softener cost?

 

The price of a water softener can vary depending upon a lot of factors, such as the plumbing system in your...

A Harvey Water Softener doesn't require any servicing. Our water softeners have been designed and manufactured to not require any regular servicing.

Other water softeners need maintenance...

Some water pressure will be lost, but Harvey Water Softeners are designed to minimise the effects.

Any fitting in a water distribution system will reduce water pressure as water has to pass...

Integration

The Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) have a Q&A in its consumer guide about protecting your boiler and heating system. Here's what is said regarding limescale, softened water and...

You can use a water softener with a septic tank, cesspit, package sewage treatment plant or biological waste tank. The brine is safely disposed of.

The slight increase in sodium levels from...

Yes. Our water softeners are designed and manufactured in England to suit UK homes and plumbing systems.

UK plumbing systems used to be indirect with water storage tanks in the roof. This...

Yes, you absolutely can. There is a great deal of misinformation regarding central heating and water softening. A boiler that has an aluminium heat exchanger will perform better with softened...

Yes, you can absolutely use our system with your Quooker (or other) hot water tap. Our technical director has verified that softened water from one of our units is fully compatible.

If you...

Partially softened hard water is fine to use. Fully softened water isn’t recommended.

The UK’s Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group advises to maintain calcium hardness of between 75 and 150...

Yes, an ion exchange water softener will work with a combi-boiler and reduce the scale present in your existing system.

Naturally soft water dissolves chalk and lime as it travels...

Most boilers, central heating and water systems will benefit from using softened water.

In the past, there has been a lot of misinformation published about using softened water. Our water...

Some washing machine manufacturers are extra cautious with regard to softened water. Miele in particular write about this in their guidance. The issue is in fact regarding detergent dosing.

...

Water

A water conditioner is any device intended to improve the condition of water, including industrial water conditioning products which treat water at its source and domestic water softeners...

In most cases, no. The only supplier that softens water to some degree is SES Water. The water is purified before it is safe to drink and the quality is improved through a process it calls ‘...

There has never been a recorded problem involving the contamination of brine in water softeners.

The reason is that:

● brine kills germs and viruses

● the water softener is...

The water quality varies from season to season as a result of rainfall and the source of the water prior to treatment.

As the aquifers fill and empty, the amount of calcium and magnesium...

Some water companies do soften their water, however, it’s not cost-effective to treat all water supplies.

In 1947, the Government published a study which concluded that it was economically...

Softened water feels different when compared to hard water, because it doesn’t leave deposits on your skin. It is important to remember that when using soap you can reduce the amount you use, as...

No, we have only ever seen very slight changes in water depending on its quality. 

When hardness is expressed as ‘mg/l as CaCO3’, it’s calculated as if all the calcium and magnesium were present only as calcium carbonate.

Hard water is a mixture of calcium and magnesium,...

The UK Water Trade Association (UKWTA) has published studies into the benefits of softened water for health and home. The study showed that:

● softened water reduces maintenance and...

The simplest route is to call the customer services number for your water supplier. Ask for the sodium level in the water supply and calcium carbonate hardness. (N.B. both sodium and calcium...

Harvey Water Softeners do not use a backwash cycle to fit with British design criteria and save water.

A backwash cycle is a feature of American manufactured water softeners.

Many of...

Some types of fish, particularly tropical fish, require special water conditions. Before filling a fish tank with softened water, we advise checking with your specialist provider. 

It is possible to use softened water for gardens.

In the UK, an increase in salt won’t cause a problem for plants because of the amount of natural rainfall we get. During a dry season it...

Softened water can be used in a dishwasher.

Once you’ve fitted your water softener, set the water hardness of your dishwasher to 0.

There will no longer be a need to add salt and you...

Fluoride levels are not affected when you soften water.

A Harvey Water Softener only exchanges positively charged ions such as calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium.

Fluoride,...

Operation

On installation, your Harvey Water Softener will have been turned on. The inlet and outlet valves should be inline with the pipework and the bypass will be cutting across the pipe. The outlet,...

Razor blades last longer with softened water.

From research we found that razor blades lasted seven weeks in soft water, while only two weeks in hard water.

Enjoy a more comfortable ...

Below is a guide to calculating your household figures to comply with the Code for Sustainable Development:

...

No. The block is made from pure food grade salt and contains no anticaking or any other chemical.

Some water softening salt products do contain anticaking agents but the design of the brine...

By means of a reduction in fluid pressure, called venturi.

This device uses the flow of water under pressure. As the water passes through the venturi the compression and subsequent...

Longer than necessary. The machine is more likely to wear out before the resin. The old fashioned water softeners had their resin changed periodically. The new water softener will not need this...

Harvey Water Softener resin is made from petrochemical products.

Resin is synthentic plastic made from polysterine sulfonate, shaped into beads that look like brown sugar. Each macroporous...

The water is used to drive the brine (salt solution) regenerant through the water softener and then flush it ready for the next service cycle. The number of litres used for each regeneration is...

It will depend on the hardness level of the water supply, which varies around the country and the number of people in the household. A good average would be less than one four-kilo block per...

An aquifer is an underground rock formation which is saturated with water.

Boreholes are drilled into the aquifers to extract water. In some areas the aquifers are huge, covering tens or...

A Harvey twin cylinder water softener doesn’t need a maximum daily capacity. Our water softener regenerates while still softening your water, making the capacity endless.

One water softener...

The scale is softened to a point where it becomes a minimal concentration of hardness, which comes out your tap.

The hard water comes into the house with a hardness of approximately 300 ppm...

Sorry to hear that you are having a problem with your water softener. Our standards are very high and faults are extremely rare but on the off chance that you do suspect malfunction, please call...

Case Study

1.0 Introduction

Tony Frost, Aquafocus, had expressed concerns at a British water focus group meeting that the water softener industry was getting an unfair reputation for...

Softened water can be plumbed into your fridge’s water dispenser.

This means your fridge will chill softened drinking water and make softened ice cubes.

Salt is an essential that keeps your water softener running smoothly and supplying your home with softened water 24 hours a day.

A Harvey Water Softener works by removing the calcium and...

Maintenance

This is perfectly normal and a harmless issue. One block goes down faster as this shows where the brine valve is located in the water softener. 

The salt is always drawn from the block that...

For every 100 mg/l of calcium carbonate hardness removed from the water, 46 mg/l of sodium is added.

Naturally soft water typically contains between 10 to 50 sodium parts-per million (ppm...

Non-harmful bacteria grow in water softeners.

Bacteria can be found everywhere and particularly in substances where there are minerals, such as water.

They are completely harmless...

Regeneration

The block salt sits in 10 mm of water. Before a regeneration starts, that water is saturated with salt. After the regeneration the brine is replaced with fresh water which then dissolves more salt...

Domestic softeners typically treat the water to the whole house. They are salt-regenerated, ion-exchange units which contain ion exchange resin. This resin contains sodium ions which “swap places...

Salt comes in many forms (block, tablet, granular) and is loaded into the water softener in order to mix with a reservoir of water and dissolve into brine solution. 

The brine solution is...

The amount of water used between regenerations depends on the hardness of your water supply.

Typically, we’ve measured that around 402 litres of water flows through the water softener...

Drinking

We get most of our essential minerals from our food intake, not our water intake.

Whether your water supply is hard, soft or softened, no water type can provide all or a major portion of...

There are opinions about whether salt contributes to hypertension (blood pressure) and the possible health effects. Less salt has been found to reduce blood pressure, at least in the short term,...

This is usually possible. Our installation team are very skilled with even the most complex installations. We recommend that you arrange a survey to find out what installation options are open to...

No, but provision of a separate tap to provide un-softened water is recommended.

If you book a demonstration, one of our team would be happy to discuss this further with you. We install a...

The recommendation is made in the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999, endorsed by Government Regulators the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) and the water softener supply...

Millions! During the 1920’s and 1930’s water softeners started to be sold to home owners to improve the taste of drinking water. In the USA there is no myth surrounding drinking softened water, ...

We generally don't recommend using softened water with baby feed. You can use softened water for baby feeds if the sodium concentration is below the 200 mg/l limit for sodium. So, it isn’t...

The taste of softened water is dependent on your incoming water supply.

Whatever you are used to is usually the preference.

In tests, most people do prefer how softened water tastes...

Softened water is safe for most pets to drink.

The only exceptions for softened water are some exotic, tropical or ornamental fish. We recommend getting advice from an aquaculturist if you’...

Softened water is considered safe to drink in the majority of cases.

How can water that contains salt be safe to drink?

The first misconception is that softened water contains salt...

It is recommended to have a separate tap to provide unsoftened water, but there are no legal requirements.

A hard water drinking tap is installed as standard, so that you can choose your...

1. Sodium level in the softened water.

When water is softened the elements that cause the hardness – calcium and magnesium ions – are exchanged for sodium ions. So the sodium content of the...

Cleaning

Water softeners help you cut down on a large amount of cleaning products.

By saving at least 50% on all your soaps and cleaning products, you’ll be surprised at how quickly your soft water...

The formation of deposits around the plumbing joints in central heating systems is caused by very slow water leaks. The water evaporates leaving behind the minerals that are in the water. They...

Using softened water will start to remove scale from your home in two weeks.

The amount of scale already in your home can affect how quickly softened water will get rid of it.

...

96% of people who trial a Harvey Water Softener, keep it!

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