Dishwasher, washing machine, pipes, fittings… Your sanitary equipment can be damaged prematurely, in particular due to excessive scale and limescale deposits. This is especially due to too hard water. In order to reduce the hardness of the latter and preserve the proper functioning of your household appliances, it is recommended to use a water softener. But what does it consist of? How does it work ? What are the different possible models? How to choose the right softener?
What is a water softener?
By definition, a water softener is a device that reduces the hardness of water. Indeed, depending on your place of residence, the latter can be particularly charged, thus causing the significant development of limestone within your pipes or your household equipment. Ultimately, this can considerably alter their proper functioning and prematurely reduce their lifespan. But the consequences of too hard water go much further. Indeed, this can in particular cause skin problems such as dry skin, itching or even aggravate certain diseases (eczema, psoriasis, etc.). That is why, buy a water softener proves to be essential in order to obtain a purer domestic water devoid of any trace of calcium and magnesium, these molecules being responsible for the formation of limestone.
How does a water softener work?
Before choosing your water softener, it is important to understand how it works. This equipment is equipped with a tank made up of resin grains. These will thus retain the magnesium and calcium ions present in the water of the city to which your home is connected. To obtain soft water, the resin is then recharged with sodium ions. Nevertheless, after several absorptions, the grains can be saturated and are no longer able to recover the ions responsible for the formation of limestone. This is why they must be cleaned using a brine solution, that is to say made up of salt. The latter being present in the softener tank. This cleaning step is called regeneration. Depending on the model of softener chosen, it can last between one and two hours.
Choosing your softener: what criteria to take into account?
In order to choose equipment adapted to your needs, several criteria should be taken into account before your purchase.
First, it is important to know the hardness level of your water. This is measured in French degrees (°F). We also speak of hydrotimetric title (TH). To do this, you can use kits sold in specialized stores or go to the Ministry of Health website to see the reports published according to your municipality of residence. Note that water is considered soft below 15°f, calcareous between 15°f and 25°f and hard when the level is above 25°f. Thus, the harder your water, the more you will need a high-performance softener with a large capacity.
Daily water consumption
In a second step, it is necessary to take into account your daily water consumption according to the number of inhabitants present in the accommodation. High consumption requires having a softener with a large capacity in order to be able to treat a large volume of water. However, this data must be correlated with that of the hardness of your water. For example, a couple of two people with water considered to be hard will need more efficient equipment than a family of four whose water is defined as quite soft.
What are the best models on the market?
Many companies now offer water softeners on their shelves. However, some brands have stood out for their excellent quality. This is particularly the case of the BWT group, which has been able to offer products with an excellent quality/price ratio. The Polar brand is also renowned for all of its products for water treatment. Finally, since 1936, the Judo brand has continued to develop throughout the world to offer the best equipment for individuals and professionals to obtain quality water.
How much should I budget for a water softener?
The price of a water softener and its installation varies according to the model chosen and more particularly its volumetric capacity. On average, it will take between 500 and 1000 euros for good quality equipment. For high-end products, prices can go up to 1500 euros. Regarding its installation, it is recommended to call a professional. The intervention of the latter can be invoiced between 300 and 600 euros. Note, however, that the expenses do not stop there. Indeed, it is essential to have your softener regularly maintained, in particular to replace the salt. This is usually done once a year. It will take between 50 and 150 euros.