Cheap end Water Softeners at Wickes.
As water softeners become more and more popular it is inevitable that many people will be searching for the cheapest economy unit that they can buy, after all not every one can afford the £600.00 to a £1000.00 price tag for the higher end products, many people are (understandably) prepared to buy from such places as Wickes and B&Q and fit on a DIY basis.
Caution should be taken when buying such a product that it is compatible with your style of plumbing system standard, for intance if your house is modern and you have un vented high flow (megaflow) plumbing system, then the Wickes water softener may not allow enough water through it to work with such a system, However if you have a traditional plumbing system where you have a cold water storage tank in your roof space and a normal copper hot water cylinder in the airing cupboard a Wickes water softener may be satisfactory.
On the Wickes site it claims that their water softener is a five person sized unit, but they do not state at what degree of water hardness that it is rated at, if the water in you area is 300 part per million of calcium carbonate, this unit may well struggle for five people, if your local hardness is 350 or even 400 it would have to work very hard indeed to keep pace with the water that you use, so "buyer beware"
Wickes only offer one water softener, but do not state how much Ion Exchange resin it has in it, judging by its physical size it suggests to me that it has a 10 litre capacity meaning that it suitable for a family of four with a water hardness of 300 part per million.
So the Wickes water softener (on line) would not cope, or be suitable for a larger family or heavy water usage, so it would be necessary to look elsewhere for a suitable softener, and it would probably be best to have your water tested to determine the degree of hardness of the water in your locality before you buy.
Another point about the wickes softener is that is advertised as a six day timer model, and that's fine for an "economy" buy but is no so economical on a day to day running basis!
With a timer model the Wickes softener has to be set to "regenerate" that is to back wash, flush and take in a salt water brine solution to continue the process of softening, and this is fine if you have a steady water usage pattern and you do nort exceed its capacity, if it does it will not produce soft water until its preset time comes around again. The reverse can also happen, if you do not use up the predetermined amount of water, for example you have been away for a couple of days, the water softener will not know and will continue to operate, thereby wasting salt and water!
The control system used on the Wickes softener is a good American made product called Autotrol, so spare parts, should (you need them) are available by specialist water softener companies, but not apparently from Wickes!
Better Water Solutions are able to advise you about your water softener needs, or if you have a problem with your Wickes softener and we are able to supply spare parte when you need them.