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Mike Walton Plumbing & Heating
Energy Efficient Heating Specialists
water softener energy  
Scale Barrier on a heating element


The Increase in Fuel Costs

Thickness of scale   % Increase in Fuel
1/16" (1.5mm) to 1/8" (3mm) = 15%
1/8" (3mm)  to 3/16"(4.75mm) = 25%
3/16" (4.75mm) to 1/4"(6mm) = 39%
1/4" (6mm) to 3/8"(10mm) = 55%
3/8" (10mm) to 1/2" (13mm) = 70%

Hard water costs you more than you may imagine. Any amount of scale in your heating system can seriously reduce the overall efficiency, as demonstrated in the diagram and figures above, and backed up by published research papers.

Scaled Hot Water Cylinder
Independent studies have also been undertaken to quantify greenhouse gas reduction through the use of a water softener. One such article concludes that water softeners and RO units together will reduce greenhouse gases equivalent to getting one and a third cars off the road for an entire year!
A water softener will remove all scale from your heating system and prevent any future recurrence, allowing your system to function as it was designed to do.

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Mike Walton Plumbing & Heating
Energy Efficient Heating Specialists
water softener health  

Health Effects of Drinking Softened Water

Despite concerns about sodium and hardness levels in drinking water that have been raised spasmodically over the last forty years, the World Health Organisation advises that the decision whether or not to drink softened water should be limited only by whether or not you like the taste. WHO’s current, official position, published in the Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality 2006, is that no firm conclusions can be drawn on any possible health effects of sodium in drinking water.

The vast majority of softened water in the UK is safe to drink over the long term. Its suitability for drinking is measured by the levels of sodium in the water. To comply with the UK’s Drinking Water Regulation requirement for safe drinking water, sodium levels should not exceed 200 mg/l.

This policy is far from universal, though. In most of the European Union Member States, the national regulations lists sodium only as an indicator parameter, which does not contribute to the definition of whether water is fit to drink. In the USA there is no limit on sodium in the National Primary or Secondary Drinking Water Regulations.

  Softeners work by replacing the hardness minerals with sodium. So, the more hard minerals in the water supply, the higher the levels of sodium in the softened water. For most areas of the UK, the sodium levels of softened water will be well within this limit. However, in a few parts of the UK where the drinking water is particularly hard, sodium levels may exceed 220 mg/l.

A reputable water softener supplier will always check your water hardness before fitting a softener. If drinking water should contains over 200ppm of sodium, it does not automatically become ‘dangerous’ to the majority of the population but it should not be used in the mixing of baby feeds or consumed by those on a low-sodium diet prescribed by a medical practitioner.
Water Softeners

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Mike Walton Plumbing & Heating
Energy Efficient Heating Specialists

We carry out all types of domestic plumbing work, including repair and installation of taps, showers, WCs, hot and cold water systems.

We are licensed to install unvented hot water systems such as Megaflo, designed to give high pressure hot water throughout the home.

 For further details call 01344 300248 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Mike Walton Plumbing & Heating
Energy Efficient Heating Specialists
Water Softeners  

We supply and install British made water softeners supplied by Harvey Water Softeners to suit all sizes of property.

Softened Water Benefits

The benefits of softened water are many and varied so please spare us a moment to explain them to you.

We also have a wealth of Information About Drinking Softened Water.

Water softeners will help reduce carbon emissions as follows:

By removing the existing scale within your heating system and preventing it re-occurring it will reduce the amount of fuel used to heat your hot water. Tests carried out at a Government recognised laboratory confirmed that the steady state improvement was 5.6%. To put that in perspective, if you have fitted a condensing boiler with a Sedbuk rating of ‘A’ the reduction in efficiency would bring it back down to a Sedbuk rating of ‘C’ which is below the Government Guidelines. Therefore, the building regulations published May 2006 and coming into force 6th April 2007 require that water for the heating system must be treated to reduce scaling. A water softener is the ideal appliance to do this.  Water Softener Energy Saving 

You also reduce the carbon emissions by the reduction in the amount of soaps and cleaning products used. Carbon emissions are further reduced by the extended life of home appliances, plumbing, bathrooms, showers, etc. and the reduced number of visits by service engineers to maintain and repair the equipment from the ravages of lime-scale.

A water softener will remove all existing scale from within the household appliances, pipe work and on surfaces such as showers and baths. A water softener will also prevent the scale from re-occurring.

Your shower rose will work at full efficiency all the time and never block up. Your sink will stay clean, your taps shiny and the removal of scale will keep your boiler and heating system working at peak efficiency.

A water softener will remove the presence of scum when washing. Many people now use liquid hand soaps to avoid the effect of scum but they are more expensive and much less kind to the skin. By using softened water and natural soaps you get a much cleaner and kinder washing experience. You also get bubbles in the bath from soap rather than having to add chemically derived bubble bath.

A water softener will greatly reduce the amount of housework needed to keep your home clean. In particular the shower cubicle will stay clean for weeks on end with only the occasional polish needed for when guests come to visit or you are feeling bored with the television and want to do something useful.

Your bath, wash basin and toilet bowl stay clean. Your kitchen and utility sink stays clean and you never get the spot marks that you do with hard water.

A water softener will greatly alleviate skin complaints. There is much anecdotal evidence from sufferers of eczema, psoriasis and other problems such as dry skin that indicate that softening the water will greatly improve it, if not eradicate it all together. Our Government has finally recognised this and currently there is a large research project going on with the National Health Service funding Nottingham University to carry out a full study.

Softened water improves your hair washing experience and for many people completely banishes bad hair days. The choice of shampoo is important as softened water washes completely differently to hard water.

Installing a water softener will save you money, and lots more than most people ever think of. The most immediately noticeable is in the reduction of washing powder used for the family clothes washing.

You also save considerable amounts of money on all the other cleaning products used such as surface cleaners, shower cleaners, scale removers, floor cleaners, etc. etc. For a full list of these products go to this page money savings on cleaning products.

Less noticeable, but nevertheless substantial are the savings you make by removing the scale from your hot water heating system. A typical family of 4 spending £250 a year heating the hot water will save around £20 to £30 per year.

Extending the life of your capital equipment by just a few years is substantial. Your boiler and heating system, plumbing, hot water cylinder, washing machine, dish washer, bath, shower with a replacement cost in excess of £10,000; extending the life by just 10% will bring an annual benefit of over £100.

There has traditionally been a belief that filling a heating system with softened water is damaging to the boiler and other components. Research carried out at the BSI has proved this not to be the case.

Installing a water softener will also help save the environment. The excessive amounts of phosphates and chemicals used in our cleaning products mostly goes down the drain. By reducing this substantially you will help save our streams and rivers from the ravages of chemical degradation.

And finally, installing a water softener will improve the quality of your life. Most people buy their first water softener for reasons of the head. It makes economic sense, it is environmentally friendly, it is a sensible thing to do. However, once people have lived with the benefits of a water softener and enjoyed the luxury of bathing, washing and showering in clean, scum free, water they find it difficult to put up with the hard, nasty, dry skin causing hard water.

Gentlemen find it much nicer to shave in softened water and having an outside tap on softened water for washing the car makes it a quick, easy and pleasurable experience as you don’t have to leather it off afterwards.
For further details call 01344 300248 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Mike Walton Plumbing & Heating
Energy Efficient Heating Specialists
Gas Appliance Servicing  

It is important to have your gas appliances serviced at least annually.

We carry out servicing on boilers, water heaters and gas fires.

Signs that your appliances need servicing

  • Look out for warnings signs that show your gas appliances need to be serviced:
  • Your gas appliance is not working properly
  • Your appliance is burning with a lazy yellow or orange flame instead of a crisp blue flame
  • You can see soot or yellow/brown staining around or on gas appliances
  • The pilot light keeps going out
  • There is increased condensation inside windows

If you notice any of these signs or anything else that is unusual, call us to check your appliances as soon as possible.

Servicing your gas appliances annually will make sure they are safe to use. It will also improve the efficiency and performance
your gas appliances.
Incorrectly burning flame
Correct flame
 For further details call 01344 300248 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.