Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find a number of questions we’ve been asked about water softeners, taps and drinking systems. We have tried our best to provide answers, but if you have a question you can’t find here, please get in touch with us.

A water softener removes the calcium and magnesium minerals from hard water using an ‘ion exchange’ process. These minerals cause limescale, by removing them it turns ‘hard water’ into ‘soft water’.

This varies by make and model, Kinetico water softeners use the kinetic power of water to push your hard water through twin cylinders inside the water softener which filter the minerals through a food grade resin bed, to remove them, and feeds the resulting soft water into the pipes in your home. Salt is used to remove the limescale and clean the resin by flushing it down the drain.

Watch this video that explains the process:

Yes, across the UK the water ‘hardness’ differs from county to county. All rainwater falls as soft water but picks up minerals as it works through the ground and into our water systems. 13 million households across the UK have hard water, the West of England is notoriously bad, limescale is a constant battle. A water softener is a long-term solution – you’ll save hours of cleaning, help reduce chemicals entering the environment, prolong the life of your appliances, boiler, kettle and shower head, plus benefit from softer hair & skin.

A water softener can be installed in several places, usually near to where your internal stop cock is located – where the water comes into your home. This can be in a kitchen cupboard, utility or under the stairs. It depends on the make and model dimensions too.

In some cases, we have fitted them in bathrooms, garages or even outside with an all-weather cover. If you are unsure, we can bring a demo unit to your home for a free, no obligation home survey to check where a unit can be fitted.

We recommend that one of our trained engineers install it for you. You could ask a qualified plumber, but we don’t recommend you attempt to install it yourself. We offer one year labour warranties on our work.

It depends if you choose an electric or non-electric water softener, make and model, position and complexity of existing pipework. The water softener will be sited in the most appropriate position and the water will only be switched off for a short while after the engineer has created the new pipework necessary to attach the softener to your existing pipework. If you add the purchase of a new external tap to your order, any pipework to this will be included in the installation.

We like to allow a whole working day for our engineers, simply because we want customers to feel satisfied that the work carried out is to our, and their, high standards. Each installation is unique to your requirements and finished to your satisfaction.

For cold water it will be instant – once any hard water in the pipe has been drawn off.

For hot water it depends on your hot water system and tank. For gravity fed systems it can take between one week and ten days for the hot, hard water stored in the tank to be drawn off, depending on usage. Once installed soft water will blend with the stored hard water until the quantity of soft water reaches 100%. If you are unsure which type of hot water system you have, just call us.

All you should need to do yourself is check the salt levels periodically. The amount of salt you use will depend on the number of people in your home, and how much water is used.

The Kinetico Premier range carry a 10 year warranty on parts. The Kinetico AquaBlu, Commander Range and Nexus Range carry a 2 year warranty on parts. All softeners carry one year on labour. Any maintenance outside of warranty can still be covered by our engineers, and we cover a variety of other makes and models.

Based on the assumption that you use, on average, one 4kg (one salt block) per person, per month, this equates to around £10 – £16 per month for a family of 4. But think of all the savings from reducing your use of detergents and cleaning products!

The Commander and Nexus Range of water softeners will use approximately one 25kg bag of tablet salt per month for a family of four at £14. There will also be a negligible increase to your electricity bill for the timer unit.

All water softeners use water to regenerate – that goes straight down the drain, this running cost is around £35 per year.

All running costs will depend on usage.

Yes of course. There is a trace amount of sodium in softened water from the water softening process, but to put this into perspective there is more sodium in one glass of milk than in ten glasses of softened water.

If you live in a very hard water area where the water hardness is over 400ppm you should have a separate water mains tap in the house. It is recommended not to use softened water in the preparation of baby formula or to drink it if you are on a prescribed low sodium diet.

We also stock drinking water systems which can be purchases and added to your installation.

It can, over time – we estimate it could take as long as it built up to disappear. If you are installing a new kitchen, bathroom, heating system or moving into a new home these are ideal opportunities to purchase your water softener to keep everything looking and running like new.

To bypass your water softener, or return it service after you have switched it off, follow the steps in the diagrams below:


Not necessarily, you have lots of options, for instance – if you are happy to drink softened water you can keep your existing tap (and if its not too clogged with limescale).

If you want to keep drinking hard water, you can have a new three way tap or separate drinking water tap installed.

Yes, that’s no problem, drinking water systems can improve the taste and eliminate odour from your tap water, eliminate health risks by removing contaminants sometimes found in drinking water and help save the environment- as single use bottled water wastes plastic and is a terrible waste of energy.

This will depend on usage, but with the K5 (reverse osmosis system), AquaTaste and AquaGuard systems it is recommended to change after 1,850 litres. With the AquaScale it is recommended to change between 3-6 months and with the Premier/Essentials they recommend to change annually or 6,000 litres.

We stock all the filters and cartridges you need for the drinking water systems we sell and install.