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  • FIRST POST
    bernlyn
    water softner help in chosing and is this true
    • #1
    • 7th Feb 07, 5:33 AM
    water softner help in chosing and is this true 7th Feb 07 at 5:33 AM
    i have decided to get either a kinetico 2020c or a crown Twin Cylinder Non Electric water softner.

    1. HOWEVER when i phoned and enquired about the crown the sales person said that yes they were good and gave me the sales pitch. i then asked about the kinetico and she said that it was the best out of the 2. the price difference was crown £650 and kinetico £840 i said i wanted to get more quotes.

    2. the 2 company i phoned said that the crown was very good and was a good choice. when i asked about the kinetico she said right away that they werent very reliable. she then stated that the companies that sell the kinetico get bigger profits on selling the kinetico softners and they installed over 280 crowns last year and only had 4/5 faulty machines but the kinetico they had just over 40% returns on faulty machines.

    i also said that i cannt find any reviews on the crowns and she said that crown make other softners aswell such as Twin Tec, mini max, calmag, homesoft and a few others. is this true and how can i find this out. i have tried the net but cannt find anything to verify this.

    the price of the crown[£636] and the kinetico was £699 and compared to the first company there is a big price difference


    how would you decide which one to install.
Page 54
    • Sterlingtimes
    • By Sterlingtimes 30th Jun 18, 9:13 PM
    • 1,554 Posts
    • 3,925 Thanks
    Sterlingtimes
    Amended post: I bought my water softener on 17 July 1997 for £308. It was made by European Water Care with an Autotrol timer. It looks identical to the current model sold by Wickes which they call an E10T. It has never had a fault.

    I understand that in time the filtration bags become contaminated and that the softener will then no longer be viable. How would I determine whether my softener is still effective?

    My inclination would be to buy the same softener again. I am disinclined to request quotations from companies who do not advertise a fixed price, and I minded to think that companies who offer "free installation" would be poor value for a person who has satisfactory plumbing already installed.

    The E10T appears to be sold at VAT inclusive prices by some catering companies a little cheaper than Wickes.
    Last edited by Sterlingtimes; 01-07-2018 at 9:19 PM.
    Solar installed 21 November 2014 > Centre of England > 3,780 Wp > 14 *270 Watt Trina panels > 14 * Enphase micro-inverters > managed by Enlighten Envoy Hub > 19° west of south > 35° pitch > tree shading to east > iBoost > Wattson Anywhere monitoring > Ovo Smart Gateway > Schneider Electric (Drayton) MiGenie smart thermostat.
    • sapstar
    • By sapstar 25th Jul 18, 2:54 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    sapstar
    This is a fairly big thread with lots of information on water softeners. I didn't get a chance to read through it. Can someone help me answer my question please?

    I got a quote for £1600 from a local company who installs water softeners, to install a Twintec S3. I later found that there are other models with good reviews around the internet which could be installed by hiring a plumber. Below are the 2 models I am currently looking at. Can someone please recommend what to get? I have a family of 2 adults and 2 kids with 2 bathrooms.

    Water2Buy W2B800 (£599 at Amazon) or Monarch Midi (£491 at Amazon). I am very much included at the W2B due to it being a bigger machine and less regeneration. I understand regeneration consumes a lot of water.

    Also I am looking for a reverse osmosis water purifier. How is the Water2Buy RO500?

    I appreciate any help.
    • sapstar
    • By sapstar 25th Jul 18, 4:53 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    sapstar
    After my previous post, I realised that the W2B800 is too big to fit next to my washing machine due to its height. I have now decided to go with Monarch Midi.

    Now the tricky thing is, I am unable to decide which kit I need to order. There are multiple kits being sold, one for combi boilers, one for 15mm pipes, etc... I have a combi boiler, but I also have 15mm pipes. Unsure which one to order.
    • that
    • By that 25th Jul 18, 7:27 PM
    • 686 Posts
    • 379 Thanks
    that
    If you look on ebay.co.uk there is a second hand Monarch Midi for sale with no bids for £99 and a buy it now price for £249
    • Fazzie
    • By Fazzie 29th Jul 18, 9:56 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Fazzie
    Monarch Ultra Solo
    Read quite a few of the comments. Looking at buying a Monarch Solo Ultra (Non electric due to the amount of power cuts).
    Has anyone got any advice on this model

    Thanks
    • KGosrani
    • By KGosrani 30th Jul 18, 10:54 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    KGosrani
    Read through bits of the thread, very interesting. I would like to add, if not already covered: Electrical cost of running the electrical powered units is probably somewhere in the region of £40-50 / year (based on 50W permanently, 12p/kWh)... over 10 years that is £400-500... so cost is a non electric at sub £700 (e.g. Monarch Solo Ultra) is probably better value over its life.
    • Doc N
    • By Doc N 30th Jul 18, 1:44 PM
    • 6,791 Posts
    • 19,676 Thanks
    Doc N
    Read through bits of the thread, very interesting. I would like to add, if not already covered: Electrical cost of running the electrical powered units is probably somewhere in the region of £40-50 / year (based on 50W permanently, 12p/kWh)... over 10 years that is £400-500... so cost is a non electric at sub £700 (e.g. Monarch Solo Ultra) is probably better value over its life.
    Originally posted by KGosrani
    The electricity costs are, in reality, nothing like £40-50 per year - because these units only use the 50W you quote for a small amount of time. The rest of the time the use is minimal - just powering an LCD display.

    Reworking your figures to allow for about 1.5 hours usage every three days (pretty typical) produces a yearly cost of around £1 - about £10 over the 10 year period you mention, rather than your estimated £400-£500.

    I think most people could live with that, given that the Monarch Solo Ultra costs around £240 more to buy than the Tapworks AD11.
    • bazzie
    • By bazzie 12th Sep 18, 7:46 PM
    • 41 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    bazzie
    Hi All,

    My first post here so please forgive any ignorance and for the long post - I came across this thread by pure chance & felt like it might be the God Send I am such dire need of!

    I am a complete Novice & Neophyte when it comes to Water Softeners & have found it very hard to do any meaningful research on what to buy & how to make an informed choice!

    We live in NW London in 5 Bed, 2 Bathroom Home with a Worcester Bosch 35Cdi Combi Boiler & have huge scaling problems.

    I have finally decided to invest in a WS but am really quite lost as to what to get & whether it is good quality & worth the money.

    Some points to consider:

    1) Want Good Strong/Flow & Pressure Rates so no water or pressure drop if both bathrooms & things like dishwashers & washing machines, heating etc are all used at the same time - especially the showers!

    2) Are “Fittings Kits” included always supplied with the Water Softener or are they an extra purchase? If an extra purchase, why are they so expensive at over a £100 for just a few plastic parts & a a couple of hoses etc?

    3) Can a “Fittings Kit” by made up by just buying the needed bits from somewhere like Screwfix/Toolstation etc?

    4) Would like a model with easily available & reasonably priced parts if ever needed in future - even generic parts that could be bought at places like Screwfix etc.

    5) Do I need a “High Flow/High Pressure” Model?

    6) Good build Quality & not cheaply or flimsily made so bits do not break of like the lid/hinges etc

    7) How many Litres are needed for my place - 10L/14L/20L?

    8) Economical to run/operate including cost of the salt

    9) Modern LCD Display & easy to use, set & service

    10) How to tell if the Resin inside any WS is of the highest/Higher Quality?

    11) VERY IMPORTANT - If buying new, I would prefer ones with a 5 or 7 Year warranty


    Harveys Type Non Electric Models:

    Intitially, these really appealed to me due to being:

    - No Power needed & always on line but what about flow & pressure?
    - The Twin Tank Systems means Water always available
    - Easy to install & other so called "advantages" of this non electric twin cylinder system

    BUT
    - Do not like using expensive block salt
    - Very expensive - will only buy a used/reconditioned one
    - Which one - Harveys, Crown, Twin Etc, Kinetico etc?
    - What do i need to consider for my place & what are the downsides?
    - Are they suitable/powerful enough for our home?

    - Non Harveys - Non Harveys Types:

    - Much cheaper to buy new but are they any good & if so, which ones?

    Electric Types:

    - Currently no Power Plug under sink & maybe a challenge to install one there - need to consider hassle & cost electrician will charge to put a socket there
    - No Idea which is a good/best one as they all look ugly as hell to me so tend to look at the aesthetics only!
    - Prefer an easy to use LCD display & maintenance/hassle free one
    - What size do I need for my place & without compromising of water pressure/flow?
    - Is it good idea to get a bigger, more capacity & higher performing model than technically needed to allow for extra “Headroom”? That is to be safe, get the next model up?
    - Do not want any of the Home Visit Sales people coming round as I suspect they will cost thousands & try to do the hard sell!

    Been looking at Amazon/Ebay etc but need assurance of after sales service & that the warranty will be honoured with out extra costs like returns costs & parts etc. So far (& mainly based just on LOOKS(!)) I have made a preliminary list of the following:

    Twin Tank Harveys Types under various Brands - all ugly & mega expensive new so will only consider used/reconditioned to save money & will live with the looks IF these are suitable for my home - I see they can be had for about £300 s/h - is this worth the risk or is it a false economy?

    Other Non-Electric Types - Monarch Solo/Solo Ultra & the Scalemaster Softline 150 are the two that I could find - any others worth considering & are they as good as the Harveys Types? Do they also have Twin Cylinders?

    Electric Types:

    - Ecowater Models - these look awesome but fear they will be very expensive as sold via dealers who need to come round to do an “assessment”!
    - Monarch Midi Hi-Flo/Midi Ultimate - these “claim” to have the highest flow rates? & get good reviews?
    - BWT WS355HF - seems to get good reviews? Force India promote them on their F1 Cars!
    - Tapworks AD11 - I see some have recommended it here but dealer "blurb" states it is nowhere near as good as the Ecowater ones?
    - Tapworks Infinity - a little expensive tbh but looks pretty good?
    - Calmag Calsoft Mini - Looks kinda OK?
    - Aqualdial Softlife Hitec Hi-flo - again, looks kinda OK?

    These are just some I looked at by basic perusing & have no idea which are suitable & better at what than each of the others so if there are other better ones, please kindly let me know! I saw some cheaper ones from a company called Water2buy but they looked pretty cheaply made & nasty to me & learned that you have to fork out about an extra £100 for a fittings kit which really put me off but they did seem to get plenty of good reviews on Amazon?

    Most on the list seem to range from about £350-£500 & I would prefer to pay around £300-£350 but for better quality & longer warranty, I would pay extra. Many are on ebay, amazon & their own websites & some are offering a free Filter Tap (which I would buy later anyway) - is the free one supplied worth having (in case it might be crap) or is it just a sales tactic & is it better to but the unit alone if it can be found cheaper without the free Filter Tap?

    Like I said, I am a complete neophyte regarding Water Softeners & feel like I am searching in the dark without a flashlight with no clue on how to navigate. I was considering a “Water Conditioning System” like Combimate & the various others but from what little I have gleaned is that they might be very good but not as good as a salt based softener? Every year we need to have boiler parts replaced & scale gets everywhere. To give an example, I bought a brand new Kettle, & put not one but 4 steel wire balls inside to collect scale but they have made next to nil difference & the new kettle scales up within a matter of days!

    My profound apologies for being this ignorant & what makes me nervous, is that unlike many other home devices around that get reviewed by multiple sources professionally, there is very little if any regarding Water Softeners which leads to to believe there might be much smoke & mirrors out there!

    PLEASE let me know of other things that I might need to consider or take account of as I have just started looking into this WS world!

    Many Kind Thanks!
    Bazzie!
    • ihshaikh
    • By ihshaikh 12th Sep 18, 7:53 PM
    • 21 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    ihshaikh
    feel like I am searching in the dark without a flashlight with no clue on how to navigate.
    Originally posted by bazzie
    This thread (if you go through it) will answer all of your questions and more....
    • Doc N
    • By Doc N 12th Sep 18, 7:55 PM
    • 6,791 Posts
    • 19,676 Thanks
    Doc N
    As you say, there's a lot of smoke and mirrors out there, and you've already experienced some I think in view of your comment about the Tapworks AD11.

    Somebody might answer all your questions, but I'm afraid it would take too long - most of the answers are already in the thread.

    Best advice is to look at one of the cheaper softeners recommended (after checking them out fully) and take with a very large pinch of salt anyone who tells you you need to spend much more than £500 for a perfectly decent softener. There are huge profit margins in this industry, but you don't need to pay them.
    • bazzie
    • By bazzie 12th Sep 18, 8:09 PM
    • 41 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    bazzie
    This thread (if you go through it) will answer all of your questions and more....
    Originally posted by ihshaikh
    Hi,

    Thanks for the reply - I will surely have a read & try to absorb as much as I can in the hope I might at least learn some stuff about WS in general if nothing else!

    Many Thanks!
    • bazzie
    • By bazzie 12th Sep 18, 8:21 PM
    • 41 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    bazzie
    As you say, there's a lot of smoke and mirrors out there, and you've already experienced some I think in view of your comment about the Tapworks AD11.

    Somebody might answer all your questions, but I'm afraid it would take too long - most of the answers are already in the thread.

    Best advice is to look at one of the cheaper softeners recommended (after checking them out fully) and take with a very large pinch of salt anyone who tells you you need to spend much more than £500 for a perfectly decent softener. There are huge profit margins in this industry, but you don't need to pay them.
    Originally posted by Doc N
    Hi Doc N,

    Thanks kindly for the reply! I apologise if my post was too long & requested too much - I wanted to provide as much info as possible & also thought that since this thread goes back so many years, I did not want to risk acting on info that may now have been super-ceded by newer models, technology, newer brands etc!

    If I gi back to say a couple of years, will that hopefully give me an idea on what to get?

    I too agree, £500 is the max I would spend tbh - £1500-£2000 is just too much - better to buy a new one lower cost one with a fresh warranty every 5-8 years than spend such a huge chunk at once is it not?

    I went on a Ecowater dealer site & they were stating the Tapworks is a trade brand with much lower tolerances, higher leaks & worse performances with higher costs than the high end Ecowater models but as long as they offer very good value for money & great/reliable performance for the money, I would accept that than spend £2K or so!

    May I ask you, if you had my house with the Combi boiler:

    a) Would you consider a used/reconditioned Harveys Twin Tank model

    b) Which from my list of the electric ones do you feel is the best option/model for my needs taking the usual factors into account?

    In the meantime, I start reading the thread & hopefully understand some of it!

    Many Thanks!
    • csgohan4
    • By csgohan4 12th Sep 18, 10:37 PM
    • 5,150 Posts
    • 3,277 Thanks
    csgohan4
    I just bought it from a plumbing merchant and got a plumber to install it, much cheaper.


    if you have to pay more than 1k for a water softener your being taken for a ride
    "It is prudent when shopping for something important, not to limit yourself to Pound land/Estate Agents"
    • bazzie
    • By bazzie 13th Sep 18, 2:42 AM
    • 41 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    bazzie
    Hi All,

    Wow, wow, wow - Mother of God, this was a MASSIVE thread to read through but I did it!

    Very glad I did as it answered some of my questions, made me aware of some issues I had not considered & had no clue about and & at the same time raised many more questions as well!

    I must have taken over a 100 Screen-shots just to ensure I would not forget all the relevant bits!

    Now that I have read the thread, I will be back later after compiling some more questions (which will hopefully help others as well) but it was well worth going through the entire thread!

    Many Thanks,
    Bazzie!
    • Sjk1
    • By Sjk1 23rd Sep 18, 11:11 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Sjk1
    Great thread, I’ve managed to read about 50%!

    It’s probably been picked up somewhere but the one b&q sell has dropped in price, it doesn’t say much about it but I thought £278 was cheap!

    Argh can’t post the link as it’s against rules but it’s a Permutit Timer controlled Water softener, aprx £90 saving.

    Any thoughts on this one? Especially given the price.
    • Doc N
    • By Doc N 3rd Oct 18, 9:24 AM
    • 6,791 Posts
    • 19,676 Thanks
    Doc N

    I went on a Ecowater dealer site & they were stating the Tapworks is a trade brand with much lower tolerances, higher leaks & worse performances with higher costs than the high end Ecowater models but as long as they offer very good value for money & great/reliable performance for the money, I would accept that than spend £2K or so!
    Originally posted by bazzie
    I'm no expert on water softeners, though I've been using them ever since we first moved to a hard water area 30+ years ago so I've picked up a few things in that time.

    One of the things I've learned is to distrust almost all sales talk, and the example above is a classic example of that. We have an otherwise very reputable local Ecowater dealer, from whom I have in the past bought Ecowater softeners.

    The downright lies he told to try to dissuade me from buying the equivalent Tapworks model at a fraction of the Ecowater price were incredible, though, and at first I believed him. I got much the same story you got, but after checking out the differences with the company making both machines (you need to remember that it's the same company that makes and sells both brands) it was clear that there are no major differences between the two.

    I once spoke to a senior executive at Ecowater to check this, and was told that apart from the more sophisticated programmer and the case, the machines are pretty much identical. Same manufacturer, same mechanical parts, same operation, but a more sophisticated programmer and a rather longer warranty.

    Once you've realised that these two brands are being made and sold by the same company, using almost entirely the same parts, and certainly the same tolerances (that bit about performance, tolerances and leaks is hilariously fake!) you appreciate just how much money you're wasting by buying the Ecowater brand instead of the dramatically cheaper Tapworks brand.

    The difference in price is almost wholly down to much bigger profit margins all round, but particularly at dealer level where I suspect they're selling at around twice the price they buy in at.

    Think of Ecowater and Tapworks as the Audi and Skoda of the water softener world. VW own Skoda and Audi, both share most of the parts and Skoda is the more reliable of the two - yet Audis sell for a lot more money. You can pay through the nose for an Ecowater, or you can pay a lot less for an almost identical Tapworks. I've had both, and once you've compared the two you'll be very unlikely to buy another Ecowater.

    Brand snobbery and oneupmanship may work with cars sitting on people's drives, but it counts for a lot less with something like a water softener.
    • csgohan4
    • By csgohan4 3rd Oct 18, 10:38 AM
    • 5,150 Posts
    • 3,277 Thanks
    csgohan4
    I'm no expert on water softeners, though I've been using them ever since we first moved to a hard water area 30+ years ago so I've picked up a few things in that time.
    Originally posted by Doc N


    That's why it's important to do your own research and cut the middle man out. I bought my water softner from a plumbing merchant and got a plumber to install, much cheaper what ever model you want
    "It is prudent when shopping for something important, not to limit yourself to Pound land/Estate Agents"
    • Chazza 2010
    • By Chazza 2010 9th Nov 18, 7:10 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Chazza 2010
    I was just about to purchase a Tapworks ad11 based on the info on this quality thread. Thankyou all involved.

    Then I spotted some info on the monarch midi - better flow rates vs (78 vs 53.3 L/m) and more resin (14 vs 10.5L)

    Also I am replacing an old midi unit that was in the house when I moved in.

    Is the flow rate worth taking notice of? The resin angle sounds sensible however...

    Any advice before I plump for a like for like replacement?

    Thanks
    • Doc N
    • By Doc N 9th Nov 18, 7:32 PM
    • 6,791 Posts
    • 19,676 Thanks
    Doc N
    I was just about to purchase a Tapworks ad11 based on the info on this quality thread. Thankyou all involved.

    Then I spotted some info on the monarch midi - better flow rates vs (78 vs 53.3 L/m) and more resin (14 vs 10.5L)

    Also I am replacing an old midi unit that was in the house when I moved in.

    Is the flow rate worth taking notice of? The resin angle sounds sensible however...

    Any advice before I plump for a like for like replacement?

    Thanks
    Originally posted by Chazza 2010
    Can't help you on the relevance of the flow rate, I'm afraid, but if it has more resin that's likely to be a plus.

    Priced at around the same sort of level as the AD11, so if it has a good reliability track record and the same other features probably one well worthy of consideration.

    Hopefully others will feed back.
    • David Aston
    • By David Aston 9th Nov 18, 8:57 PM
    • 897 Posts
    • 587 Thanks
    David Aston
    We have been using a Monarch midi for about 3 years. Finally got round to checking salt usage. One 25k Costco tablet bag, seven quid-ish, every three months.
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