Which water softener is best?
The best Water Softener for your situation is down to personal choice and budget. Different types on the market include:
Non Electric Water Softeners - Non-Electric water softeners are powered entirely by the incoming water pressure. As no electrical supply is required, it is easier to install, and you will not have to worry about costly repairs or higher monthly electricity bills. Non-electric softeners tend not to have fiddly controls, adding salt is all that is requred to keep them running smoothly. The twin tank versions offer constant unlimited softened water to your home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Non-electric softeners are reported to be longer lasting and more reliable.
Metered Water Softeners - Metered water softeners are the most economical softener when it comes to using salt and regeneration water. A metered softener will only regenerate when a pre-set volume of softened water has been used regardless of the number of days this takes.
This avoids under- or over-regenerating of the softener when your water demand varies. Again ,the volume of softened water is calculated by the hardness of your water supply, the capacity of the water softener and number of people in the property.
Time Clock Water Softener - The more basic water softeners operate on a timed basis. The time clock is set to carry out its regeneration on set days. This is usually calculated by the hardness of your water supply, the capacity of the water softener and number of people in the property. When installed, the softener is set to regenerate off peak-times (like at 2:00 am) at the calculated regeneration frequency. To ensure that soft water is always available, the interval between regenerations will be underestimated rather than overestimated.
The softener will then regenerate at this set interval regardless of the volume of water used. If the water usage is low, for instance, one or more of the residents is away, there will be unused softened water capacity at the time of regeneration, which can be argued as an unnecessary waste of salt and regeneration water. Similarly, if there is an increase in your water usage, the softened water capacity will more than likely be exceeded and the water would go hard towards the end of the cycle before the next regeneration. If you are going to be away from the property for a period of time, i.e. on holiday, and there will be no water flowing through the water softener it is advisable that it is switched off until your return.