Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why Is It Essential to Improve Water Quality?

Beyond being an absolute necessity of life, water is an outstanding cleaning agent. The trouble is that nature does a lot of things with water long before you have a chance to use it in your laundry or at your kitchen sink. You get it, as it were, second hand. This is especially important if you live in a hard water area such as most of the south, east and central England (see Hard Water Map). Therefore, improving your water quality by using a Water Softener or Conditioner is just as essential as any other home appliance.

Hard water costs you money, causes soap scum and scale, and reduces the efficiency of water-using appliances. For a more extensive answer to this question see our page about the benefits of a Water Softening system in hard water areas.

Q: Why do I need a Water Softener or Conditioner?

The quality of your water is fundamental to your quality of life. The insertion of a Water Softener or Conditioner into the incoming mains water supply is a convenient, relatively inexpensive way of improving the quality of domestic water in a hard water area.

Q: Does the conditioned water have a “different” taste?

A water conditioner will remove certain minerals and turbidity from the water. Users of Water Softeners generally agree that they give you cleaner, better tasting water. Taste, however, is difficult to define as no two people have the same sense of taste.

Q: What effect will a Water Softener or Conditioner have on plumbing?

Hard water causes a scale buildup in the hot water pipes and water heater. Scale acts as an insulating material. In the water heater, scale reduces heat transmission, wastes fuel and often causes heating coil and tube failure. The installation of a Water Softener or Conditioner not only prevents further scale formation but will gradually remove previously formed scale deposits as it slowly dissolves in the softened water and leaves as waste water. A recent study indicates that softened water offers a saving of 23% in energy cost in the operation of a hot water heater.

Q: Will conditioned water give a cleaner, brighter wash?

Yes. For best results, you should use the proper amount of cleaning or washing agent which should be significantly less than required with hard water. Keep in mind a 60 to 80% soap saving can be achieved with the use of a Water Softener or Conditioner. Learn to use less cleaning or washing agent because none of the cleansing compound will be wasted.

Q: Exactly What Is Hard Water?

Commonly referred to as “hardness minerals,” dissolved calcium and magnesium can cause numerous problems when present in a water supply. Whether it’s from a well or a municipal water utility, water usually contains these troublesome elements.

Water hardness is typically measured in “grains per gallon,” an indication of the quantity of dissolved calcium and magnesium the water contains. In amounts as small as one grain per gallon, water is classified as “hard” to a certain degree. Most homes use water that is considerably harder.

Q: How Do I Know If I Have Hard Water?

Please consult the Hard Water Area Map on this website to check if you are in a hard water area.  Watercare Associates will carry out a full test at your home if you require.

Probably the most recognizable symptoms of hard water are soap scum in the tub and shower, and hard water spots on faucets and fixtures. Hardness minerals react with soaps and detergents to form an insoluble, sticky residue that’s difficult to rinse from bathtubs, sinks, faucets and fixtures. The same soap residue is often left on hair, skin and clothing, too. Although not highly visible in these instances, it can cause your skin to dry and itch, and clothing to fade and wear prematurely.

Hard water causes other problems, as well. Over time, scale formed from continuous contact with dissolved minerals in water can collect inside plumbing and on the internal parts of water-using appliances. Service calls from plumbers and  other service engineers may become necessary as water pressure drops and mechanical parts stop working.

Hard water scale can also coat the inside of a water heater and drastically reduce its heating efficiency. Greater fuel consumption and higher utility bills result when the appliance has to heat water through a layer of scale.

Q: What do I do if I have lead in my drinking water?

Drinking water generally absorbs lead from plumbing that has been connected with lead solder (outlawed in 1986) or from outdated water distribution lines. There are a number of things you can do to reduce the risk of lead in your drinking water:

Some sources suggest running your tap water for a couple of minutes before filling a glass to flush any accumulated lead from the water line (lead dissolves into standing water over time). This isn’t the best solution, however, since there is no way of knowing whether all of the lead has been removed and since lead can still dissolve into running water.

Never use hot tap water to prepare drinks or meals. Hot water attracts more lead than cold water does. If you need hot water, heat cold tap water on the stove or in a microwave.

Use a drinking system that has been certified to protect your drinking water from lead. Our MICROMAX and APDWS1000 are both certified for lead reduction.

Q: Is bottled water the best alternative to my tap water?

Bottled water is a good alternative if you would like better tasting water for drinking and cooking, but it can be expensive and a hassle to carry from the store. Because it is inconvenient to do so, you may not use it for everything you should, including drinks and recipes. It also does not solve any water problems associated with showers, baths, dish washing, laundry, etc.

It’s generally less expensive in the long run to use a home water treatment system.  

Q: Don’t water filters remove important minerals from my water?

Studies have found that minerals in your drinking water essentially make no contribution to your health and may even be present in forms your body can’t absorb. Unfortunately, the myth that drinking water with minerals is healthy is perpetuated by companies that promote “mineral water.”