Customers are understandably keen to install a quality water softener in their homes. They appreciate the many benefits of efficiently softening their water supply, avoiding the damaging effects of hard water and limescale. However, some express some concern over whether our water softeners are compatible with their boilers and home heating systems begging the question “will a softener work with my boiler?”.

In short, modern state-of-the-art domestic water softeners such as the Purple Turtle brand produced by World Class Water are designed to work effectively, efficiently and safely with the main types of heating and plumbing systems found in UK homes.

Which type of heating system do you have?

The traditional boiler or heating system still found in many UK homes features a hot water tank (typically in the attic or upstairs cupboard) which is topped up with fresh hot water (heated by a boiler) whenever the hot water store is used up.

Combination (or Combi) boiler systems on the other hand typically do not feature a hot water storage tank. Instead, they work by heating water quickly on demand as it makes it way to your home’s hot water tap(s).

All newly installed boilers in the UK are condensing boilers. Designed to recover wasted heat from water vapour, they provide an energy efficient way to heat your home.

Hot water, heating circuits and your water softener

Modern water softeners can improve the efficiency of your home’s hot water circuit (water leading to your hot water taps) as they prevent limescale build up and damage to heating elements. However, there can be some confusion whether softened water can be used with your home’s heating circuit (i.e. the hot water circulating through your radiators).

For a number of years, boiler manufacturers and many plumbers were cautious about using softened water in heating systems for fear of encouraging corrosion of heat exchanger units. However, long-term studies have shown that a water softener produces no adverse effects on your heating system provided that your central heating circuit is set up to bypass the water softener and the water in your radiators contains a suitable corrosion inhibitor.

If installed by a qualified and skilled professional plumber or heating technician, there should be absolutely no reason you cannot enjoy the many benefits of a water softener while at the same time having your home’s hot water and heating systems running perfectly year after year. If you still have any doubts, please get in touch with our team at Purple Turtle. We will be happy to help answer any concerns you have.

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