What is Chlorine? Chlorine is a common disinfectant. It's used by the UK water industry to maintain hygienic conditions and the high quality of water in the pipe network of the national water supply. Chlorine kills any harmful bacteria present and keeps water safe on it's way to your tap. It's been used for about 100 years to ensure that you have safe and hygienic drinking water for you and your family. Chlorine is cheap and effective. If they didn't add chlorine to mains water you would be drinking water that is unsafe. If you're on mains water in the UK there will be chlorine in your water. Is Chlorine safe? The very low levels of chlorine used in drinking water in the UK are perfectly safe. Higher concentrations of chlorine are routinely used safely for other purposes such as baby bottle sterilisers and in spas, hydrotherapy pools and swimming pools. You'll definitely notice the smell when you walk into the swimming pool and on your skin afterwards. Some people have a sensitivity to the taste and smell of chlorine, but there are ways you can remove it from your tap water. The level of chlorine in tap water is very low in England and Wales compared to other countries where much higher levels of chlorine are commonly used. Typically water companies keep the level of chlorine down to 1mg/l or less. However, when maintenance of the pipe network needs to be carried out, much higher levels of chlorine may be used. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has set a health based guideline maximum value of 5mg/l for chlorine as a residual disinfectant in drinking water. As you can see, England & Wales is well below the WHO guideline. If you occasionally notice a slight taste or smell of chlorine it is probably due to maintenance work in your area. It should not last for long and is therefore nothing to worry about. But, you should contact your water company immediately if you notice a particularly bad or strong smell or TCP like taste which makes your water undrinkable, or you notice a smell or taste for the first time which does not go away in a short time. You'll find the telephone number of your water company on your most recent water bill. Minor variations can occur in the amount and the form of the chlorine present in each water supply. Water companies set the levels as part of the safe management of the whole pipe network. If your property is located near to the water treatment works the level of chlorine may be a little higher in your tap water than it is at properties further away from the water treatment works. Water companies have to have a minimum level at the remotest part of the network whilst also ensuring the maximum level is still acceptable to all consumers. Your water company will provide you with a free water quality report showing the maximum and minimum level of residual chlorine in your local water supply on request. What are the possible side effects of chlorine? Chlorinated water may have a drying effect on the skin and this can make it itchy and uncomfortable. They unfortunately suffer the consequences of drinking, bathing or showering in water that contains chlorine. This mainly relates to people who suffer from asthma or skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Chlorine can make these conditions worse. It can irritate your skin, make your hair dry, trigger an asthma attack and cause further problems for eczema and psoriasis sufferers. A minority of people are allergic to chlorine. Another reason why chlorine can be a concern in drinking water relates to the fact that some people can by very sensitive to its taste and smell. These people would prefer it wasn't there and therefore choose to remove it. What are the Best Ways to Remove Chlorine from Tap Water? There are a few way to remove chlorine from tap water. Some of them are a little time consuming and one in particular isn't. How to Remove Chlorine from Tap Water without Installing a Water Filter Just bear in mind that the following three ways to remove chlorine from tap water are not quick! Aeration Let your tap water breathe You could let your water breathe in the fresh air and sun by letting it stand for 24 hours. Because chlorine is a gas, it would evaporate. But, who's going to pour a glass of water and stand it outside for a full day. We can just imagine the streets lined with glasses of water! And this wouldn't solve the problem you have of chlorinated water coming out of your shower or running into your bath. Boiling Does boiling water remove chlorine from tap water? Yes it does. You could remove chlorine from tap water by boiling it for 20 minutes, which is a lot faster than letting it stand for 24 hours! However, boiling it wouldn't work if there was chloramine present as that stays active for much longer than chlorine. Dechlorination Tablets The next thing you could do is use tablets to dechlorinate your tap water. These tablets are safe to use and contain Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid). They get rid of chlorine and chloramine. You could sling one of those in your drinking water or bath, but then you've got to remember to keep a good supply in the house. They wouldn't really work in the shower either. What is the Fastest Way to Remove Chlorine from Tap Water? Carbon Filtration By far the least time consuming and most beneficial way to remove chlorine from tap water is to install one of our water filters. You can either go for one of our drinking water filters like the Pearl T if you just want to filter the water coming out of your kitchen tap, or you can install a mains water filter and remove chlorine from every tap in your house. Call us on 01352 838 281 to chat about how we can help you remove chlorine from your tap water, or send us a message HERE.
Why you should consider a Water Purification System After countless conversations with people about their desire for pure water we've come up with a new range of high quality water purification systems for your home. We're helping people understand what they mean when they say they want pure water. As a result of those conversations we've redefined a better, more healthy definition of 'purified water' to be water that has had the unwanted impurities taken out. This ensures that the good minerals are left in. Introducing our NEW range of Water Purification Systems Our water purification systems are the No.1 rival to reverse osmosis systems. They are a great investment for yourself, your family, and the planet. Keeping yourself and your family healthy is a big priority and that extends to the water you drink, not just the food you consume. Our range of water purification systems coupled with our extensive knowledge of water filtration means that you spend less time and effort puzzling over what to buy, and more time enjoying water that's free of unwanted impurities. Once you've selected and ordered one of our water purification systems, all you have to do is wait for it to be delivered and then ask your local plumber to install it so that you can enjoy the benefits of clean pure water that's good for you every day. Choosing a water filter system for your home can seem daunting, which is why we've developed our new high quality water purification systems. Our range of Water Purification Systems includes: Doby Water Purifier - a mains water purification system for your whole house. Suitable for houses with up to 4 bedrooms. Moby Water Purifier - a water purification system for your kitchen cold tap. Oyster Water Purifier - a water purification system for your drinking water only. The kit includes a separate drinking watertap, or you can select 'no tap' and order one of our 3 way taps (insert link) instead. Oyster Triple Water Purifier - a 3 stage water purification system that reduces fluoride and also includes one of our specialist 0.2 micron NanoCeram pleated cartridges. Oyster GO Triple Water Purifier - a drinking water purification system that removes graphene oxide, fluoride and other chemicals. List of what our Water Purification Systems Remove/Reduce Depending on what system you choose, our water purification systems remove chemicals, including chlorine which affects the taste and odour of your water, hormones, endocrine disruptors, PAHs, VOCs, bacteria, chromium VI, colloids, bromine, cysts, endotoxins, ferric iron, lead, particulates, poysaccharides (TEP), silica, trace pharmaceuticals, viruses, volatile organic compounds, nano and micro plastics, fluoride, graphene oxide. What our Water Purification Systems leave in Our water purification systems leave in dissolved salts including calcium in carbonate form, and magnesium. Reverse Osmosis systems tend to remove dissolved salts which is why so many RO systems have a remineralisation stage to put calcium and magnesium back in. Why take it out in the first place? That's why we feel our water purification systems out smart reverse osmosis systems in most cases. Iodine is also left in. Did you know that there's an iodine deficiency problem in the UK? This is especially true of pregnant women. Iodine is needed for the proper neurological development of their babies. It's therefore better to leave it in your water rather than take it out. What's the Best Water Purification System you sell? Another question we get asked a lot is 'what's the best water filter?' We fully believe that there is no 'best'. It's what's right for you that matters. Our water purification systems are all different. They filter out slightly different things depending on which one you go for. We much prefer you get what you need as opposed to getting what you may think you want, if that makes sense. That's why we encourage people to call us on 01352 838 281 or send us a message through our contact page. How to select the right Water Purification System for your Home There are a number of questions you need to answer so that you can find the water filter that's right for you. Take a look at our 10 Ways to Find the Water Filter that’s Just Right for You. And remember to call us on 01352 838 281 or send us a message through our contact us page. What are the Benefits of a Water Purification System? They're easy to install and maintain. Full fitting instructions are provided for you or your plumber. There are no internally moving parts. Less costly to buy than bottled water. Cases of water are heavy and take up space. With one of our water purification systems you'll save on space and time. No water is wasted which is a huge benefit over traditional reverse osmosis systems. You only need to replace the water filter cartridges every 6-12 months (dependent on water usage and the quality of your water). We send email reminders with product links every 6 months to our customers as a gentle reminder to start thinking about replacing their water filter cartridges. Types of places our Water Purification Systems are suitable For Our water purification systems are suitable for most places although they're not specifically designed for people who have a private water supply. If you are on a private water supply then take a look at our products HERE. If you are on a private water supply and really do think you'd benefit from one of our water purification systems then you'd need a pre-filtration stage to remove sediments. If your water has other chemical contamination that's not listed as being removed or reduced by our water purification systems then please contact us on 01352 838 281 as we'll need to discuss your water analysis report and build you a bespoke water filter system. How much does it cost to install a Water Purification System? Cost is dependent on the type and size of the water purification system you want. It can sometimes seem like a big outlay at first but just think of all that money you'll save by not regularly buying bottled water. 5 signs you need a Water Purification System You're constantly worried about the safety of your water. You react with fear when you hear things on social media about water quality in the UK. You're unhappy with local authorities and government for adding fluoride to your water supply. You buy lots and lots of bottled water believing it to be more 'pure' than tap water. You just don't like the taste and smell of tap water.
What is a Filter Water Bottle? A filter water bottle is essentially a BPA free bottle that has a filter cartridge insert to give you filtered water on the go. The best filter water bottles turn water (except salt water) from anywhere in the world into water that's safe to drink. This can include water that's come from rivers, lakes, streams, puddles, and even your kitchen tap. What's the Best Water Bottle with Filter I can Buy? We consider that the best water bottle with filter is one that uses 3-in-1 technology. This is why we choose to stock Water to Go filter water bottles at Fountain Filters. 3-in-1 technology uses a three stage water filtration process including mechanical, electrical and activated carbon technologies. Mechanical Filtration Mechanical filtration is where tiny contaminants are trapped so they don't remain in the water. The smaller the pore size or micron rating the smaller the particles the filter will trap. Depending on where you're using your filter water bottle, some of these contaminants could be quite unsightly and make you very ill. It's just not worth the risk, especially if you're trying to enjoy a backpacking or camping trip of a lifetime. Electrical Filtration Electrical filtration attracts any remaining contaminants and works like a magnet, again preventing them from passing through the filter and being consumed. Carbon Filtration Activated carbon is contained within the filter water bottle cartridge membrane to effectively remove contaminants and give you great tasting water that's free of odour and discolouration. We consider Water to Go filter water bottles to be the best water bottles for backpacking and the best water bottles for camping. Who are Water to Go? Water to Go are a UK based company that supply filter water bottles around the world. Their bottle filters have all been independently tested against internationally recognised standards by water quality specialists at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (UK), Bangalore Test House (India), IMI (China) and BCS Laboratories (USA). You can look at the full testing results HERE. What do the Water to Go filter water bottles filter out? The reason we think Water to Go filter water bottles are the best is because they remove bacteria (99.9999%), viruses (99.9999%), waterborne disease, protozoa, heavy metals such as lead, as well as harmful chemicals by up to 99.9999%. A good thing if you're backpacking or camping and can't access safe drinking water. Your water will be free of Cholera, Polio, E-coli, Hepatitis A, Cryptosporidium, Tapeworm, Giardia, Lead, Mercury, Chlorine and Fluoride. If you're wanting to use the Water to Go bottle filter to filter your mains water then chlorine (99.9%) and fluoride (99.9%) will also be removed. But the good news is that essential minerals for health such as sodium and magnesium remain in the water. And we're blown away by the fact that when you use a bottle filter such as the one from Water to Go you're only paying 5p a litre for safe, clean drinking water. That's so much cheaper than ANY bottled water you can buy from the supermarket. Who wants to buy single use plastic bottles anyway! Here's a more comprehensive list of the bacteria and viruses, parasites and waterborne pathogens and metals and chemicals that the Water to Go filter water bottles remove. Bacteria & Viruses Legionella (Legionnaires Disease and Pontiac Fever) Leptospirosis - Weil's Disease Vibrio Disease, Campylobacteriosis Dysentery, Botulism, Polio, Virus Botulism Coliform, E-coli, Cholera, Typhus Reoviruses Enteroviruses Adenoviruses Tota Virus Hepatitis A Norwalk Parasites & Waterborne Pathogens Fasciola Hepatica / Liver Fluke Pinworm Onchiocerca Hookworm, Roundworm Threadworm, Guinea Worm Cryptosporidium Tryonosoma (Sleeping Sickness) Coenorosis Schistosomiasis Echinococcosis Ascariasis Fasciolopsiasis Taeniasis - Tapeworm Metals & Chemicals Chlorine, Fluoride Mercury, Nickel, Copper, Iron Lead, Chromium, Gold, Silver Aluminium Volatile Organic Compounds - including Formaldehyde Water to Go filter water bottles are also Halal certified. What Water to Go filter water bottles do Fountain Filters stock? We don't just stock the Water to Go bottle, we also stock the replacement Water to Go filters. Take a look at our full range of Water to Go filter water bottles HERE. You have three different sizes of filter water bottle to choose from and 2 different styles. 50cl, 75cl and the 60cl Active bottle filter. The Active bottle has a hygenic click lid and is perfect for putting in your bicycle bottle cage. The 75cl bottle filters 200 litres of water and the 50cl bottle filters 130 litres of water. Water to go bottle review We're in the process of asking Nick at Survival & Bushcrafts to carry out a Water to Go bottle review for us. After their review we'll be running a free giveaway so keep your eyes on the Survival & Bushcrafts Facebook page.
PFAS Chemicals We're been asked a lot of questions about PFAS Chemicals or Forever Chemicals as they're sometimes referred to. These questions coincided with a BBC news article that was published on the 19th March 2022. You can read it here - Concern over toxic chemicals in tap water Needless to say, that after doing a little digging on the internet, we found an overwhelming amount of information out there about PFAS chemicals and not all of it is that easy to understand. There was even a 2019 film called Dark Waters in 2019 where PFAS was a central theme. You may have watched this. What we're most interested in at Fountain Filters is determining which of our water filter systems is going to be the most beneficial in reducing the level of PFAS chemicals in drinking water. It's important to understand that the use of PFAS in everyday products is not new. They first came into common use in the 1950's. What are PFAS or Forever Chemicals? PFAS or Forever chemicals (Per - or poly-fluorinated alkyl substances) are a group of over 4,700 industrial chemicals used in everyday products such as non-stick pans, food packaging, carpets, furniture, toiletries, and firefighting foam. The number of uses for PFAS chemicals has risen dramatically since they first came into common use in the 1950s. The PFAS used in our everyday products leak into our environment during production, use and disposal, and may contaminate our blood, water, air and food. PFAS are often referred to as the ‘forever chemicals’ because of their extreme persistence in the environment. The BBC did carry out a limited study in England; one of many that will have been carried out by multiple agencies around the world. The BBC study concluded that PFAS 'levels exceeded European safety levels (2.2 nanograms per litre - 2.2ng/l) in almost half of the 45 samples taken. However, none exceeded the current safety level in England and Wales. The Drinking Water Inspectorate states that drinking water in Englandand Wales contain 'PFAS chemicals at no more than 100 nanograms per litre (ng/l)'. Four out of 25 samples taken had PFAS chemical levels exceeding 10ng/l, which means that levels must be monitored and also flagged up to local healthcare professionals. Professor Roger Klein, a chemist and PFAS chemicals expert thinks it's ludicrous for the Drinking Water Inspectorate to set a level of 100ng/l before any action needs to be taken. He says that even though the results show small levels of contamination with PFAS chemicals it highlights that PFAS chemicals are everywhere and that it's even in drinking water. How do I remove Forever Chemicals from Drinking Water? We're currently looking into this in much greater depth. At the moment any of our drinking water filters or mains water filters that contain a carbon block water filter cartridge will reduce PFAS chemicals. We recommend the Pearl T, Moby, or Doby. For more efficient reduction of PFAS chemicals we recommend a two stage water filter system where the carbon block cartridge is followed by a NanoCeram water filter cartridge. We suggest that you contact us on 01352 838 281 to discuss your requirements or send us a message HERE.
This article appeared in The Metro paper on the 20th November 2021. https://metro.co.uk/.../is-filtered-water-actually.../... Here are our thoughts... 1. Tap water in many restaurants is filtered, so when you ask for tap water it's actually filtered water that you get. A lot of restaurants have installed an under sink water filter to improve the taste and smell of the water. 2. What water filter people decide on installing is all down to personal preference. Unless they have something very specific they need to treat (especially if they are on a private water supply) our first question to people that contact us is 'what do you want to change about your water?" 3. Please don't succumb to buying bottled water. Even if it says it's contained with a 100% recycled plastic bottle, it took energy to recycle that plastic. Re-useable bottles are far more ecologically efficient. When you've got a re-useable bottle you can fill it up every day from your very own drinking water filter. 4. We believe in leaving the good minerals in water e.g. calcium and magnesium. What people don't like is the unsightly limescale build up that destroys kettles and other household appliances. We wrote a really informative blog post about hard water in the UK. 5. It's often the chlorine in water that exacerbates dry skin and scalp conditions, e.g. eczema. It's a necessary disinfectant as it kills micro-organisms that would make you ill. It does have a bitter taste and smell which can bother some people, but not all. Chlorine is very easy to remove at relatively low cost. 6. There's still debate about whether drinking softened water is a good thing or not due to the increase in sodium. Often people using a water softener will also have a separate drinking water filter installed to remove the sodium before drinking it. 7. There are many different types of water filter and yes, one that is dedicated to reducing hardness will do just that. We sell a OneFlow system which treats very hard water and is is extremely popular. 8. There are many specialist water filters that deal with a whole host of contaminants. Unfortunately the author of this article and the experts that have given their input don't seem to have much knowledge of water filtration. Yes, the majority of water filters remove chlorine and thus improve the smell and taste of the water. But not all of them do that. 9. The closer you are to the water treatment works the stronger the chlorine taste and smell might be. If you leave your water in a glass for 24 hours at room temperature the chlorine dissipates. 10. Yes, our water filters will remove PFAS. It's important that you speak to a company that can guide you to choosing a water filter system that is right for you. Everyone has different needs. At the most basic level, any water filter system that contains activated carbon will remove PFAS. 11. Reverse Osmosis is ecologically unsound. It throws huge amounts of water away, removes the minerals and then some systems add them back in! Reverse Osmosis systems that don't add minerals back in produce unnatural water not ideal for consumption. If after reading the article you have questions of your own then please do not hesitate to get in touch and have a chat with us. We can be reached on 01352 838 281 or send Simon and I a message through our helpdesk HERE
Fluoride in Water UK Fluoride in water is a hot topic right now with the recent statement by the UK’s Chief Medical Officers on fluoridation of water in the UK. Here’s a link to the statement - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/water-fluoridation-statement-from-the-uk-chief-medical-officers/statement-on-water-fluoridation-from-the-uk-chief-medical-officers#introduction----the-impact-of-dental-decay As an online retailer we’re not going to get involved in the debate as to the perceived rights and wrongs of more widespread fluoridation of the UK’s water supply, but we do feel it’s the correct thing to do to provide solutions for people who do not agree with adding fluoride to water and wish to remove it. There is so much information out there about this topic. A good source of information is Defra and the Drinking Water Inspectorate Here at Fountain Filters, we help people when they want to filter fluoride out of their water, and we have a few water filter systems that will help people filter out up to 93% of fluoride in water. If you want to have a chat about fluoride in water, then please call us on 01352 838 281 or send us a message through our contact system. Drinking Water Fluoride Filters https://www.fountain-filters.co.uk/Oyster-Fluoride-Water-Filter/0-CAAA001-CAAA013/PRAA006.htm Mains Water Fluoride Filters Suitable for houses with 1-2 bedrooms (dependent on how much call there is on the water) https://www.fountain-filters.co.uk/Moby-Fluoride-Water-Filter/0-CAAA003/PRAA051.htm https://www.fountain-filters.co.uk/Moby-Taste-and-Fluoride-Mains-Water-Filter/0-CAAA003/PRAA052.htm Suitable for houses with more than 2 bedrooms (dependant on how much call there is on the water) https://www.fountain-filters.co.uk/Doby-Fluoride-Filter/0-CAAA003/PRAA343.htm https://www.fountain-filters.co.uk/Doby-Taste-and-Fluoride-Filter/0-CAAA003/PRAA341.htm Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in water and some foods. The amount of naturally occurring fluoride in water varies across the UK due to geological differences. Water fluoridation schemes involve adding fluoride to drinking water supplies in areas of low natural fluoride, increasing the level to that known to reduce tooth decay. The need to reduce tooth decay in children and adults is the key driver for the water fluoridation scheme. Areas in the UK that already have fluoride added to mains water supplies Most of Northumberland (artificially fluoridated up to a max of 0.99mg/l) Most of west Cumbria (artificially fluoridated up to a max of 0.99mg/l) County Durham around Hartlepool (naturally occurring up a max of 1.5mg/l in some areas) Parts of South Humberside, North Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire (artificially fluoridated up to a max of 0.99mg/l) Part of Cheshire around and including Crewe (artificially fluoridated up to a max of 0.99mg/l) Most of Staffordshire and the West Midlands including Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Dudley and Coventry (artificially fluoridated up to a max of 0.99mg/l) Parts of Worcestershire and Warwickshire (artificially fluoridated up to a max of 0.99mg/l) Most of Bedforshire (artificially fluoridated up to a max of 0.49mg/l) Parts of Suffolk and Essex (naturally occurring up a max of 1.5mg/l) Small area of Wiltshire around Chippenham and Devizes (naturally occurring up a max of 0.99mg/l) Small area of Berkshire east of Newbury (naturally occurring up a max of 0.99mg/l) If you want to have a chat about fluoride in water, then please call us on 01352 838 281 or send us a message through our contact system. Tags fluoridationfluoride in water uksodium fluoridewhat is fluoride influorosis teethis my water fluoridated postcode ukside effects of fluoridefluoride side effectswater for healthwhat does fluoride do to your teethwhere does fluoride come fromwhat's in tap water ukppm birminghamhow much fluoride is too much
It's easy to change your water filter cartridge. Follow these 10 easy steps. Turn off the water supply to the filter system and open the filter tap to release the pressure. Place the spanner that came with your kit around the body of the filter bowl and slide up until the lugs enable you to unscrew the bowl from the housing cap. Rotate from right to left looking straight on, or clockwise if you view it from above. If you haven't mounted the housing to the cupboard wall you may need to brace the cap somehow. The housing bowl will be full of water so proceed carefully to minimise spillage. Once unscrewed lower the housing bowl away from the cap, and remove to the sink. Empty the water and remove the old filter cartridge. Rinse and wipe out the housing bowl. If the black O ring is 2 to 3 years old this is the time to replace it. Otherwise ensure the O ring is in good condition, it's worth coating it silicon grease if it's a bit dry. Replace it in the groove, ensuring the O ring is properly seated. Unwrap the new filter cartridge and place inside the housing bowl, making sure it slips onto the small stand pipe in the base of the housing bowl. Screw the housing bowl onto the cap, turning anticlockwise until hand tight - do not over tighten. Turn on the water supply and allow the the filter system to refill - once done close the tap and check the housing bowl to cap for leaks. If there are any leaks then use the spanner to tighten the bowl a fraction. You may need to either turn off the water supply and release the pressure again to do this. Finally, once you're certain there are no leaks, open the tap and allow the water run for 5 minutes to flush out any manufacturing debris. DO NOT use the spanner to tighten the housing bowl - this will make it very difficult to undo at the next filter change.
Where does our water come from? Water in the UK arrives as rain or snow and then it's down to nature and geography - with some input from humans - to determine what sort of water we have in our homes. Water in reservoirs or natural lakes Surface water - from rivers and streams – is stored in natural lakes or artificial reservoirs and makes up the majority (68%) of our water supply. This water has a low concentration of calcium and magnesium but perhaps some sodium, chloride and sulphate, depending on location, from the action of the wind over sea. Water stored underground The rest of our water comes from underground, where it has filtered down through rocks to the water table and on its way down has absorbed natural minerals such as calcium and magnesium. The exception to this is water that has come across impervious rocks, that are calcium-poor anyway, such as granite; it's too hard to percolate through, so water tends to run off and not absorb minerals. Snowdonia in Wales and the Western Highlands of Scotland are examples of this geological factor. What is hard water? Water high in those natural minerals already mentioned - calcium and magnesium - is called 'hard'. Water low in these minerals is called 'soft'. There are grades in between such as semi hard or semi-soft or even not too hard or very hard. How can I tell whether I have hard water or not? Water hardness is measured by the number of mineral deposits in your water (parts per million - ppm). A soft water area would have around 60-100ppm while a very hard water area would register more than 180ppm. You can go on your water supplier's website and check the hardness of your water by inputting your postcode. Or you can check here. Broadly, where is water hard in the UK? It's easier to note which places are soft or semi-hard: Cornwall, most of Devon and West Wales are blessed with soft water as is the north of England and most of Scotland. Middle England is mostly middling, with semi-hard. The rest of the country has hard water, around 60% of the country. What difference does hard water make? Hard water is rich in calcium, which produces limescale when it dries. Limescale typically forms an unsightly crust around the base of taps in domestic wash basins and baths, covers shower screens with a fine white residue and forms a coating around plugholes. Although there are limescale removers on the market, it is not particularly easy to control and is an ongoing task. Laundry washed in hard water needs more cleaning product and does not produce the pleasing soapy suds of soft water. Shampoo will not lather well, nor will soap. More conditioner is needed to get your hair feeling soft after washing. It is similar to using salt water, if any readers are sailors or have been on a cruise. Central heating systems don't like hard water When hard water is heated, it forms deposits when it cools – called scale - that is notorious for clogging up central heating systems - radiators, pipes and heat exchangers. Untreated, they have to be periodically flushed to remove the scaling. Domestic machines that use water such as dishwashers and washing machines will have similar problems over time. If you don't recognise the characteristics of hard and soft water, you may live in a middling area, with semi-hard water. How to remove limescale from my water supply Unless you move to a soft water area, you are stuck with hard water. But a way to alleviate the issues and to minimise limescale from your water supply is to have a mains water limescale filter, or hard water filter, fitted. This should realign the calcium molecules, so they no longer form limescale and you will have water that resembles soft water. Baths will be slippery, hair washing will be a pleasure, you'll use less laundry liquid, and you won't be trying to remove limescale from your sinks. And behind the scenes, your central heating pipes won't be clogging up. Do I need to fit a mains water limescale filter in my home? Mains water is so-called as it comes straight off the mains and is not stored in a tank first. In an independent home, it's the one you use for washing and for your central heating if you have radiators. If you live in a block of flats, you will need to have an independent mains supply for water to be treated. If you have hard water, it’s possible to have a filter fitted to your mains supply to remove the limescale. What sort of mains water filter can I have fitted? There are two main types of domestic water treatment systems. A salt-based solution (water softener) softens the water by removing the hard minerals (ions) and replacing them with salt. Our preferred system (filter) uses a cartridge system where the hard ions are physically bound together to prevent them forming scale. Both systems work well, but filters are cheaper and very low maintenance. The cartridge needs replacing every 1 to 3 years, depending on the equipment chosen. There is no electricity needed and no salt to be refilled. Are mains water filters expensive? No. Our Doby OneFlow hard water filter will remove scale for around a year before the cartridge needs replacing (depending on water usage). You will save considerably on laundry products and your water-dependent machines will last longer, including your central heating system if it runs water-filled radiators. It should pay for itself in two years or less, but there are many other benefits mentioned before that you will enjoy straight away. Is hard water safe for drinking? All water in the UK is very safe to drink, whether it’s hard or soft. Whether it tastes nice or not is another matter and one we will deal with later. Water in the UK is independently monitored by the Drinking Water Inspectorate, set up in 1990. Water companies test their water supplies daily and supply their findings to the DWI. The public body also carries out extensive research. Drinking water in the UK is among the best in the world, with drinking quality of 99.96%, acknowledged by Statistica that also has other interesting facts about UK water. Is hard water bad for my skin? There is much anecdotal evidence from our customers to suggest soft water minimises conditions such as psoriasis and eczema and hard water exacerbates these conditions. However, various health studies, including one by the World Health Organisation in 2008 and the Softened Water Eczema Trial published in 2011 found no symptom relief in soft water for skin conditions. Critics would argue that the sample size in the latter was small (336) but not everyone needs scientific proof that soft water helps their skin condition. It could be chlorine that causes skin irritation, perceived or otherwise, which we touch on later. I don't like the taste of my tap water. Is it because it's hard? The UK has among the best tap water in the world as already mentioned. To make our water safe, the final process in the long purification process is the addition of chlorine. This acts as a disinfectant. If you don't like your tap water, it's probably the chlorine, rather than the natural mineral salts you don't like. Some people feel that chlorine could be responsible for exacerbating their skin condition, especially psoriasis but only this anecdotal evidence supports the claim. Chlorine encourages skin to dry, which causes the skin to flake more. Psoriasis sufferers typically avoid public swimming pools for this reason. Don't buy bottled water The worst thing you can do, environmentally and financially is to buy water in plastic bottles. Even the very large ones work out much more expensive than a water filter. They also take many, many years to degrade and have become a serious blot on our landscape, both here and abroad. 'Smart water'; is just a fancy name, dressed up to be something that is good for us, but it still involves single use plastic. Read our in-depth blog about it. Tap water costs around 0.3p per two litres, a supermarket own brand 45p and a brand 90p. You are pouring money down the drain and damaging the environment at the same time. Fitting a water filter to get better tasting water Not liking the taste is a common problem and ironically maybe, more likely to happen with soft water as hard water containing minerals may help to mask the taste of the chlorine. While some ions (minerals) are removed by boiling, the chlorine taste tends to remain. Many people don't mind it and if that is you, then you don't need to do anything. But if you would like nicer tasting water - the mountain stream taste you may have enjoyed on a hike in Scotland or Wales maybe - then, a water filter may be for you. It's normally fitted under your kitchen sink, takes up very little space and needs minimum attention. If I have a mains water filter, what about drinking water? If you have a salt-based water softener, you usually leave a tap for drinking water where the water is untreated. Normally this is in the kitchen. Another option is to have a three-way tap fitted, with water all from the same tap. It means your kitchen sink will look less cluttered. It’s a question of personal preference really. You can read more about our tri-tap choices. Remember, all drinking water in the UK is safe. Your kettle will still ‘fur’ up but water everywhere else will have the calcium filtered out. If you take a glass of water to bed with you, use the mains water tap in the kitchen. What if I want a mains limescale filter AND a water filter for my drinking water? We can do that too! You might find our Doby Taste and OneFlow hard water filter is perfect. It will mean no limescale and better tasting water (assuming you don't like the taste of your water) as it removes chlorine and sediment as well as hard minerals. It should fit under your sink, but you can fit it anywhere where the mains water enters the house - a garage or utility room for example. Space could be a bit tight, and you may need to find another home for your cleaning materials if you choose the kitchen, but we think it's a small price to pay. And the best thing is the cartridge should last for up to two years before being replaced. You also don't need a separate cold water tap. Does a water filter take up much space? No. A water filter is usually smaller than a salt-based water softener as there is no need for bulky salt bricks. The dimensions of all our machines are clearly listed. What if I just want nice tasting water: should I have a water filter fitted? As mentioned earlier, it's soft water that usually has what some people regard as an unpleasant taste and smell, probably from the chlorine. Check that boiling the water doesn't take away the unpleasant taste - it often does. Boiling water and letting it cool, then refrigerating it in a jug could be an answer, so it's worth trying. Are water filters easy to fit? Yes. A water filter is inexpensive, takes up very little room and you'll have great tasting water year round. You just need to replace a cartridge once or twice a year (depending on water use). See one of ours here. We can supply a basic filter that filters out the chorine, or more advanced options that can filter out heavy metals, fluoride and bacteria. We can help you to decide which you need, which depends on your water supply and to a certain extent your taste preference If you normally buy bottled water, the product should have paid for itself in a year to a year and a half, depending on your water consumption and your usual water brand. Imagine delicious water on tap - you might even start to drink more. It's much healthier for all of us, especially for children instead of sugary drinks. From our customers: case studies for limescale filter and water filter Mains limescale filter ''We sold our house and went into rented for a year. During that time, our home had no mains water limescale filter and I'd forgotten how horrible it is. I missed our shiny sinks and soapy baths. As soon as we moved, my priority was a limescale water filter. At the same time, I had a water filter fitted, feeling I was doing my bit for the environment. No more expensive bottled water for our family.'' Mrs J, Richmond. Water filter ''We had a Pearl Drinking water filter fitted after I'd been shocked with the results of my annual water spending using Fountain Filters calculator. Our plumber fitted it in a couple of hours. I'm sure salad leaves and boiled vegetables taste better. I drink my tea black, and I've noticed the taste is nicer. Thumbs up all round.'' Ms T, Salisbury What if I'm happy with my water? If you are happy with your water - don't suffer from hard water and limescale and like the taste - we don't suggest you do anything. Obviously, we sell water filters and mains water limescale filters but wouldn't try to sell to anyone who is satisfied with their water. If you have friends or relatives who have hard water though, or don't like the taste of their tap water, we'd be grateful if you'd mention us or send them a link to this article. FAQs What is a hard water filter? A hard water filter isn't actually a filter at all. Because the minerals that make water hard are dissolved they would just flow straight through an ordinary filter. Instead, the filter cartridge treats the water by altering some of the properties of the minerals so they don't form limescale. Can I install a hard water filter for a shower? Yes you can. You can install a hard water filter to the cold water supply to an electric shower, or the water that feeds the boiler that heats the shower water. Alternatively, fit a filter to your mains water supply and treat the whole house. No, and they work in completely different ways. A water softener uses sodium chloride - salt - to replace the hard water minerals. Unfortunately, that leaves a small amount of sodium in the water so it may not be good to drink due to the effects on blood pressure and heart health. Good modern softeners only amount to about 5 percent of your recommended daily allowance, however, it's probably best to minimise all salt intake. No, and they work in completely different ways. A water softener uses sodium chloride - salt - to replace the hard water minerals. Unfortunately, that leaves a small amount of sodium in the water so it may not be good to drink due to the effects on blood pressure and heart health. Good modern softeners only amount to about 5 percent of your recommended daily allowance, however, it's probably best to minimise all salt intake.
There are a wide variety of mains water filter systems available in the UK.A whole house water filter or mains water filter is plumbed in to the rising main where water enters your house. They provide you with filtered water in your kitchen and at other taps throughout your house should you want it; for example your bathroom or utility room.Our whole house water filters are suitable for mains water supplies only. If you have a private water supply, your requirements will be different so please take a look at our Private Water filters.The BEST one is always determined by what you want to filter out of your mains water. Despite UK tap water being safe for drinking, cooking and bathing in; not all contaminants are able to be removed. For example, sediment, chlorine, fluoridation and water hardness could be a concern for you. Some questions you might want to ask yourself before investing in a mains water filter are:What is it that you don't like about your water at the moment? And, Is there anything specific that you want to filter out of your water?You don't necessarily need to pay to have your water professionally tested, but can if you want to. It could be as simple as just not liking the taste or smell of your water, which is pushing you to keep on filling your supermarket trolley with plastic bottles full of filtered water. And then you start feeling guilty about adding to the worlds plastic pollution crisis. It's a no win situation for you.If it is just the taste and smell we'd recommend you install our Moby or Doby mains water filter. One of these would remove the chlorine for you which would improve the taste and smell of your water. Or, you may be sick and tired of the limescale in your water and be looking for one of our mains water filters for hard water. We will have a solution for any issues you have with your mains water. Installing a mains water filter will save you a heck of a lot of money in the long term. Remember that when you do install your mains water filter you'll need to maintain that filter by replacing cartridges, cleaning the filter if you're able to, and generally being aware of the quality of the water. If you notice any sudden changes in the taste and smell of your filtered tap water that may be an indication that you have to replace the filter cartridges. We make this easy for you as we email you every 6 months just to prompt you to think about your water and whether or not you need to change the water filter cartridge. We're always on hand to help. You can contact us on 01352 838 281. Simon & Lou
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