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Hello and a Happy New Year to all! 馃槈

We live in the Aude region and the water here is quite hard (28 degrees TH french scale). I have been looking into water softening systems here, but there seem to be a lot of choices and it can get a bit confusing. Our water pressure here is not high either, so that needs to be taken into account when selecting a system.

I am looking for a resin based system for 2-4 people, which does not need constant monitoring and can be easily managed. We're no plumbing experts, so if it would be easy to fit, that would be an advantage, but I guess that might be a bit of a stretch.

If anyone has any suggestions or systems they have had good experiences with (or those which are best to avoid) that would be really helpful.

Many thanks! 馃榾
 

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In the end, water softeners are not very complex and, as long as you avoid the cheapies at Castorama and similar places, any of them will do you well. The most critical part of the water softener system is the installation. So, personally, though I am a better than average plumber, when the time came for us to install a softener, I found a local plumber I could trust and had them do the installation. That way I have someone to call should service ever become necessary.

BTW, regardless of what brand you install, make sure you perform the resin cleaning at least twice a year. Maybe more often if you use a lot of water.
 

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...We live in the Aude region and the water here is quite hard (28 degrees TH french scale)...
We live in the Dordogne...amazingly hard water. We鈥檝e struggled along with it for 10 years. We have replaced the water heater pressure valve (groupe de securite) 4-5 times, the water heater once, and the toilet innards twice (after multiple vinegar treatments failed to free it up).

Our new plumber, who replaced the water heater groupe de securite with a commercial one recommended a water filter and softener. He gave us the literature and a price. We had it installed. Very glad we did.

They鈥檙e very simple to operate and ours doesn鈥檛 take a lot of space. It sends us an email when new salt needs to be added. The only time we turn it off, per his recommendation, is when we water the garden.

Ask your plumber what brand s/he services and get that brand. It鈥檚 good to have someone who鈥檚 familiar with the product you鈥檙e using.

Best of luck.

Ray
 

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... It sends us an email when new salt needs to be added.
That's a nice feature. We have to actually lift the top off of ours and look. Ok, not so hard, but notification would be nice.
The only time we turn it off, per his recommendation, is when we water the garden...
One more reason to hire a plumber. Depending on a number of factors, it is often possible to install the softener in such a way as to leave the outside water untreated. I guess that wasn't possible in your situation.

BTW, if a central water heater is installed, some people choose to soften only the hot water. Since most calcification problems occurs in the hot water line, that can be a benefit resulting in lowered salt consumption, though pretty minor. We chose to soften all the house water. Since we have a separate water meter for agricultural use, we didn't have an issue with garden water.
 

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We have one of these things installed. I think it cost 700 euros.

Hard water will kill your washing machine, dishwasher, central heating system; taps, shower very quickly.

They are a very good investment.
 

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...Depending on a number of factors, it is often possible to install the softener in such a way as to leave the outside water untreated. I guess that wasn't possible in your situation.
Unfortunately, our outside taps couldn鈥檛 be left out of the water softener equation because of where they鈥檙e located. Happily, the garden and the cave are close to each other and it鈥檚 easy to turn off the softener when gardening.

BTW, if a central water heater is installed, some people choose to soften only the hot water. Since most calcification problems occurs in the hot water line, that can be a benefit resulting in lowered salt consumption, though pretty minor...
I understand what you mean...and we decided to soften all the water. There are some nice benefits:
  • We buy the ordinary vs the expensive dishwashing pods (that have a softener included).
  • We no longer add a softener to the washing machine when doing the laundry and we鈥檙e unlikely to have to replace its filter (which we鈥檝e done once already due to the calcaire buildup)
  • We used to buy distilled water for our coffee machine...now we use the tap water.
  • We have a guest room whose bathroom / toilette gets used infrequently. It leaked because of a calcaire buildup, as a result. We soaked the flush mechanism of that toilet for days in vinegar but we couldn鈥檛 get the leak to stop. We had to replace the entire flush mechanism.
  • We won鈥檛 be replacing the pressure release valves (groupe de securite) on the hot water heaters again.
  • The last leak on the groupe de security leaked right into the evacuation pipe...as a result, we didn鈥檛 realize there was a leak as there was no water in the cave floor...until we got a warning letter from SOGEDO alerting us to excess water consumption. Then we searched for the leak until we found it. That was an expensive lesson.
  • We use less water when rinsing off soap in the kitchen (washing pots, pans, crystal, and big plates) and in the shower. Our village recently doubled the price of water to pay for installation of a new sewage system that separates rainwater from household waste water.
I鈥檓 pretty clear that at worst, the water softener system will pretty much pay for itself...and I find I simply appreciate having softer water.

Ray
 

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Electronic water softeners

I have successfully used the Water IMP electronic water softeners on three different installations. They work really well, I even put a commercial one on my pool. Dead easy to install, zero maintenance and they don't change the taste of the water because they don't take anything out, they simply 'ionise' the water to prevent the particles clumping together.

Definitely worth a look
 

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I have successfully used the Water IMP electronic water softeners on three different installations. They work really well, I even put a commercial one on my pool. Dead easy to install, zero maintenance and they don't change the taste of the water because they don't take anything out, they simply 'ionise' the water to prevent the particles clumping together.

Definitely worth a look
For the OP... Here is a page that describes the difference between Salt/Resin based water softeners and Ionizing based water conditioners. Depending on your needs and water condition, either one might prove satisfactory.
 
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Does anybody drink water out of a tap in France ?
We do. Although our drinking water goes through an activated charcoal filter to remove the chlorine taste, which can be very strong at times, and was particularly noticeable in tea and coffee before I installed the filter.
 

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Are those of you with water softeners treating well water, or water from a municipal supply. Forgive the dumb question, but in our area only people with wells use water softeners.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Thanks everyone for their replies and suggestions, much appreciated!
have looked at reverse osmosis water softners, as our water is around 41 TH - salt based softners woukd introduce quite a lot of sodium then. Does anyone know if you need to have a minimum water pressure for the reverse osmosis to work well? Also, do you do a yearly maintenance or what maintenance is required to keep them ticking over?
How long do they usually last? Thanks B
 

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Does anybody drink water out of a tap in France ?
Sure - though I tend to run the water through a Brita filter first. DH puts tap water into an open pitcher and lets it sit in the fridge to allow the chlorine to evaporate. We do the same with tap water before we make "bubbly water" in one of those Soda Stream things.

But, pretty much all tap water.
 

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Does anybody drink water out of a tap in France ?
I would prefer to, but the water here is absolutely foul. Can't even drink it when I put it through the Brita, yet before living here I always drank tap water. What I perhaps really need here is a dual purifier and softener. If anyone has suggestions, I'd be happy to hear them.
 

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Are those of you with water softeners treating well water, or water from a municipal supply. Forgive the dumb question, but in our area only people with wells use water softeners.
There are areas in France, including here, where town water is very hard and requires a water softener to avoid significant problems with scale build-up. OTOH in the area of the Vosges where many of my family live the water is soft, they have no scale issues at all, and it's just great for drinking straight from the tap. I unfortunately have to clean my taps etc. many times per day to remove the scale, and i am on treated town water.
 

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All the biberons we make for our baby are made with Evian.

You don't use tap water.

Crazy world we live in :confused:
 

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Tap water. Straight from the tap.
 
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