Water softeners should be an integral part of any kitchen or bathroom project says Kevin Johnson, MD of Monarch Water and Technical Director of the UK Water Treatment Association
When installing new kitchens and bathrooms, to achieve a high-end finish that will stand the test of time, professional builders should pay serious attention to water quality. With every other aspect of design and functionality covered during such projects, it’s essential that water softeners are included as standard to protect against the negative effects of limescale.
Although well over half of the UK live with hard water, and the costly impact it has around the home, very few people realise there is a simple and affordable solution in the form of water softeners.
Just 5 per cent of homes enjoy the benefits that water softeners offer, which means 95 per cent of homes are simply living with limescale and putting up with the problems it causes, seemingly oblivious to the extent of the problem. Subsequently, there is a huge potential market for professional builders to explore.
The quality of water varies all over the country due to geographical differences underground. Hard water is found in areas where it has passed through limestone and chalk beds, deep below the earth’s surface, where magnesium and calcium cling to the water. This in itself is not a big issue. However, once the water is heated in showers, kettles, boilers, dishwashers and washing machines, the minerals turn to limescale.
For those people who are unfortunate enough to live in a hard water area, this means limescale will soon rear its ugly head in the form of scaly deposits on shower screens, basins, draining boards and other places around the home.
The visible signs of scale are just the tip of the iceberg. It’s the hidden damage inside pipes and appliances that can cost customers dearly. Not only does limescale look unsightly, but it can cause untold damage inside appliances, coating the heating elements in boilers, showers, dishwashers, washing machines, coffee machines and kettles, rendering them less efficient and more costly to run. In fact, according to British Water, just a 1.6mm coating of limescale on a heating element makes it up to 12 per cent less effective. Not only that, the likelihood of breakdowns is increased while the working life of equipment decreased.
It’s estimated that an astounding 70 per cent of equipment failure can be attributed to hard water, which makes limescale an important issue for professional builders to bring to customers’ attention.
Encouraging customers to invest in the latest water softening technology will not only ensure that their new kitchens and bathrooms will stay picture perfect for years to come but offer whole house protection too. From boilers and showers to washing machines and dishwashers, water softeners will not only prevent limescale build up, but remove any existing deposits too. This means existing appliances will become more efficient and cost less to run.
New technology now offers end users even more benefits. For example, the latest water softening technology boasts more compact models, which are easier to site, and they are also faster and more efficient than ever before. Some models feature an innovative rapid-fit bypass which removes the need for 80 per cent of equipment previously needed to fit it, resulting in quicker installation times. Some units available also use 12 per cent less salt and 24 per cent less water, offering the ultimate sustainable solution to hard water. The fact that the latest generation of water softeners are compatible with any boiler, means every hard water home is a potential customer.
In order to maximise earning potential it’s vital that professional builders keep abreast of the very latest technology and ensure their customers understand the importance of protecting their new kitchen or bathroom by improving the quality of their water.
Many consumers will focus on the initial additional outlay of a water softener, so professional builders should point out that with lifetime savings of around £200 a year on utility bills, cleaning products and toiletries, once installed, and running costs of around £8-£10 per household, the payback time is relatively swift.
Professional builders who share information about the latest water softening technology with their customers will not only establish themselves as knowledgeable professionals but develop trusting relationships with customers too. This will also ensure future work, while protecting their customers’ homes.
For further information on Monarch Water visit monarchwater.co.uk/