What is Treated Water?

Treated water is hard water that has been softened. Water is hard when it contains minerals such as magnesium and calcium; if you have hard water you may see staining on your sinks, baths, showers and clothing, build-up on your glassware and damage due to scale in your pipes and appliances. You might also notice less lather from your shampoo and soap and a filmy feeling on your skin. All of these problems indicate the need for softened water.

What's so bad about having hard water?

Hard water can produce rock-like scale that builds up in pipes, dishwashers, water heaters, kettles and other appliances. This scale can reduce water flow and clog valves and vents to create maintenance problems and also reduce the service life.

How do water softener work?

A water softener consists of a pressure vessel filled with resin and located on the top of the pressure vessel is the control valve, all of which is mounted in a cabinet. The mains water is passed through the control valve and down into the vessel. As the water passes across the resin bed the calcium and magnesium attach to the resin so that the water leaving the unit is soft.

Periodically, depending on the amount of water used, the resin needs to be refreshed. This is done by flushing away the calcium and magnesium and then flushing through a small amount of salt, which is stored in an external brine tank, through the resin vessel. Once this process has been completed the resin is refreshed and ready to begin again.

Where would I install a water softener?

Most modern water softeners are small and compact enough to fit inside either a kitchen unit or in a utility room. An ideal site is near to the rising main with access to a drain and a power supply.

Can a water softener drain into a septic tank?

Yes. Regeneration wastewater from a water softener will have no adverse effect on a septic tank. With up to 50% less detergents etc. being discharged a water softener is beneficial to households who use septic tanks.

What kind of salt do water softeners use?

Water softeners use granular, tablet or block salt depending on the type that you have.

How much salt will the softener use?

This depends on the hardness level of the water supply which varies around the country and the number of people in the household.

What about maintainance?

Maintaining your water softener is easy. All you need to do is add salt and in order to ensure continued trouble-free operation we recommend that you have your water softener serviced on an annual basis.

How much does it cost to run a water softener?

They are much less than you think, although the type of softener you have will influence its efficiency but meter controlled units produce the most softened water. Some softeners also use electricity, while more recent equipment uses water power. Generally, costs can vary between 15p and 30p per day, but if water is used lavishly costs will rise marginally. It will be found, however, that the running costs are far outweighed by the many advantages, benefits and cost savings obtained through using a water softener.

Can I drink the water once it has been softened?

This is a matter of personal choice because in the majority of cases softened water will be considered safe to drink. However, the answer is not always straightforward. In most of the UK when hard drinking water is softened with a salt regenerated water softener, the softened water should comply with the Drinking Water Regulations. If the concentration of sodium does not exceed 200mg/l it will be considered safe to drink.

However, in some parts of the UK where the drinking water is very hard the softening process will produce water with an increased sodium content that might not comply with the regulations and would therefore be considered unwholesome. In these cases it would not be suitable for drinking purposes.

What does softened water taste like?

It does taste a bit bland but most people prefer the taste of softened water in tea and coffee.

Is softened water OK for animals to drink?

Yes, the softened water meets the EU Directive on water quality for human consumption and also for pets, with the possible exception of some exotic, tropical or ornamental fish for which the aquarium may need special attention. You should always seek advice from your local aquatic dealer if in doubt.

Is it OK to use softened water for mixing baby feeds if the sodium complies with the Water Regulations?

Yes, this is fine provided the softened water has a sodium concentration below the maximum 200 mg/l for sodium as specified in the Drinking Water Regulations. This level was adopted to ensure that the total sodium of the baby feed plus the water does not exceed 350 mg/l which is considered a safe level for babies.

How much does it cost to install a softener?

The average cost to install a softener in your home is between £200 and £250 depending on the complecity of the installation. Our engineers would be more than happy to carry out a free of charge survey and written quotation,

What are the benefits of a water filter?

Water filter systems will clean out impurities making the water from your drinking tap taste better. The system will remove as much as 90% of all impurities and will reduce the need for bottled water.

How quickly will I notice the effects?

Soft water will start having a noticeable effect after two weeks. You will start getting fully soft water coming out of the taps and this will also start breaking down lime scale deposits in the pipes and within your boiler and over time will remove these deposits.

How much soap and detergent should I use with softened water?

It is always better to use too little than too much and in a washing machine it may be possible to use just a heaped tablespoonful of washing powder for a full, lightly soiled load. Over a period of time, experience will show just what is sufficient in most cases.

Is it advisable to use softened water in my steam iron or car battery?

Only distilled or demineralised water can be used in this type of equipment. Neither hard nor softened water has all the minerals removed and therefore they should not be used in either case.

Will softened water help dry skin conditions such as eczema?

Many eczema sufferers notice the benefits from the use of softened water. Due to the complexity of eczema it is impossible to say why softened water helps this condition but successful reports have suggested the following:

Water softeners eliminate scummy soap curd and result in a cleaner lather which is kinder to the skin and therefore reduces dryness and itching. With softened water the amount of soap used when washing clothes can be greatly reduced and pure soap products can be used with softened water in preference to detergents.

Can you use softened water in a dishwasher?

Yes you can. When a dishwasher is plumbed into softened water you need to set the water hardness to 0 and you do not need to put salt in. Most people find that they can also reduce the amount of rinse aid used.

Can I take the water softener with me when I move?

The simple answer is yes. A modern softener is easy to isolate from the mains supply, disconnect and then re-plumb in your new home.


What benefit is a water softener on a sealed central heating system?

The benefit of softened water in a sealed system is that there is no introduction of scale and made up water is scale free. The major benefit comes where it is in contact with the direct circuit, this is normally the hot water circuit in a domestic household. The lack of scale build up ensures that the boiler maintains its peak efficiency.

Is there a problem with lead pipes?

You should not use soft water in lead pipes.The only benefit of hard water there is that the scale on the inside of the lead pipe stops the lead leaching into the water. Grants may be available from the local council to replace any lead pipes into the house.

Servicing and Repairs to your Water Softener

A Water Softener is a very reliable domestic appliance, but like any appliance it should be serviced regularly to keep it working at its most efficient.

How often should you have your Water Softener serviced?

Most manufacturers advice varies, but many suggest regular annual servicing. As your water softener ages it may be that parts wear out and repairs will be required. We service water softeners of all makes and age. You do not have to be an existing customer to benefit from our service and maintenance expertise.

The areas that we cover

We cover the whole of Essex, North Kent, East London and South East Hertfordshire. If you do not live in the above areas we may still be able to help you. Please ask for details. We can supply spare parts by post, or alternatively you could send/deliver your water softener to our workshop for repairs or re-conditioning.

We service all makes of Water Softeners

We specialise in the repair and service of most residential and commercial water softeners. We service the following water softeners plus many more; Permutit, Ecowater, Tapworks, Aqua-dial, Waterside, Kinetico, Culligan, Fountain, Houseman, Pennant, Liff, Salamander, Crown, Monarch, Twin Tec, Mini-Max, Homewater, Calmag and Water Boss.

We are authorised service agents for Harveys, Culligan Waterside, Ecowater systems, Water Boss, Monarch Water and Eau so Soft to name but a few.

Spares for your Water Softener

Although we do carry a large stock of new spare parts for water softeners (including some models that are now obsolete) some new parts may not be available, but we may be able to offer a suitable alternative.

We may even have a used part to keep an older water softener working. If we are unable to supply any spare parts we could upgrade the control valve or change the whole system. We stock a wide range of water softeners both new and re-conditioned.

Why choose Phoenix Water Services Ltd?

We are a family firm having been established for some 30 years and not only offer a personal service and advice, but value for money. Our work is guaranteed for a year, and with our service contract options you will know exactly what our labour charges will be in advance.

Are we reliable?

Yes. However, occasionally we may be affected by circumstances that we have no control over. However, we will keep you fully informed. Occasionally we may need to re-schedule your appointment for another day, however, as we know how frustrating this can be we will try to avoid this.

Our costs

For servicing and repairs our visit and first hour’s labour charge will be £64.00 inc VAT. If you require any parts the costs of these will be dependent on the make, model and age of your machine. We will let you know the cost of any parts required.

How to book a Service Call

Call us FREE on 0800 783 8723 to book a service call. We are open Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm, alternatively email us at or fax us on 01375 673901

You will be given an appointment at the first available opportunity that is convenient for you. We aim to attend within 5 working days of your call.

It would be helpful if you could let us know the make of your water softener and the problem(s) that you are having. This will help us to be suitably equipped when we visit your home to deal with the specific problem.


Benefits of installing a drinking water filter system

Water filters are not expensive to install and will improve the quality and taste of tap water by removing harmful contaminants, odours, dirt and limescale found in the water. Installing a water system can work out less than purchasing bottled water, you have the initial costs of installing the system but once this is installed you save on buying expensive bottled water. Filtered water is ideal for drinking, making coffee and tea, soft drinks, preparation of foods and steam irons to name but a few.

I already have a water softener fitted in my home what are the costs to swap it over for an EAU So Soft Water Softener?
We charge £64.00 to swop a softener over if it is plumbed in on flexible hoses, if it is rigid piped with copper piping it may cost slightly more


EAU So Soft Block Salt Softener

EAU So Soft Electronic Range

EAU So Pure Filter Range