Is there such a thing as a nuisance-free water softener?
Many of you have water that is too hard and suffer the inconveniences in your environment: traces of limescale on taps, bathtubs, showers, water heaters with a (too) short life, as well as on your household appliances such as kettles or coffee makers.
Of course, this is a good sign, your water contains a lot of calcium ions, which are essential to our health.
But enough is enough, and you have decided to do something to improve your daily life, maybe you have already invested in a water softener, which replaces the calcium ion with .... table salt!
Thus, you have moved the problem: you have effectively less hard water, but more salty, which you will release into the environment, not to mention the maintenance cycles of the machine, and the need to add salt, as well as regularly check its settings.
The installation is not very simple either and often requires the intervention of a professional, not to mention the fact that this device takes up space in your home.
Thus, the output water, although considered as drinkable, loses a lot of its health interest: no calcium and a lot of sodium (table salt) is not recommended for human beings, quite the contrary.
These systems also remove much (if not all) of the chlorine that protects you from bacteria, which is the main ingredient of our LaVie water purifier.
LaVie® UV-A Water Purifiers are filter and maintenance free and allow you to purify your tap water in only 15 minutes only.
They use an innovative technology, patented and exclusive to LaVie®: the photolysis of chlorine by UV-A radiation.
This treatment removes chlorine and its derivatives, chemical compounds such as certain pesticides or traces of medication, and tastes and odors that can be found in tap water, while preserving 100% of the trace elements.
The result, very qualitative, makes it possible to draw a definitive line on the consumption of water in plastic bottles.
The carbon footprint linked to the manufacturing of the UV water purifier's aluminum tube is neutralized in a few days of use compared to the equivalent consumption of water in plastic bottles.
But there are other solutions!
Our partner Ethic Process distributes in France the Sialex rings, which act differently. Their action is without contact (like LaVie's) and without electricity consumption thanks to a thermodynamic process. They allow to keep the liquid form of calcium and thus avoid the formation of encrusting scale, and even to clean the scale accumulated in your pipes and water heaters since years.
Micro-vibrations are generated by this ring, to be fixed on your water inlet in 5mn, between the water meter and your home. They are due to differences in expansion between several materials, quartz and silicon, which react to minute variations in temperature. Thus, no electricity consumption is generated.
No maintenance is required, no adjustments or maintenance. Our partner, a true water professional for years, can allow you to test the product for 30 days to verify its effectiveness.
This product costs about the same as a water softener, but you will save on the purchase of salt and maintenance, which means a 70% gain over 10 years! The icing on the cake is that the output water keeps all its trace elements and cannot be polluted with bacteria or salt, it is completely assimilable by the body.
Thus, treated with LaVie, we get a very good quality water, which can compete without worries with bottled water, it is the solution that we recommend in the case of a too hard water.
More informations: the website of our partner Ethic Process
There are also Co2 water softeners that avoid drinking salt water. They work pretty well, but you'll have to replace the heavy CO2 bottles several times a year.
Some extracts from articles on water softeners
Issues, interest and limits
Moderately calcareous waters, unlike other highly mineralized waters, are not toxic, but they pose problems of biofilms, clogging of water pipes and domestic equipment (boilers, washing machines, irons, etc.) and wash textiles a little less well (because they foam less).
Water that is too demineralized can conversely pose toxicological and ecotoxic problems induced by the solubilization of toxic metals (for example, in the presence of old lead piping or solder containing lead, which is a source of lead poisoning) and accelerated corrosion of certain pipes or containers.
The presence in water of certain additives (even at low doses) can inhibit certain physical-chemical water treatment and purification processes, including decarbonation (in the case of detergent additives, for example).
There is a persistent myth, mainly from installers, that drinking hard water is harmful to your health. This statement is false, as shown by the CNRS research which indicates that, for a person in good health, the consumption of this type of drinking water is not dangerous.
In March 2017, the cantonal laboratory in Thurgau, Switzerland, examined 23 randomly selected sodium softener systems in private homes and schools. The drinking water was examined for bacteriological purity and chemical composition before and after the salt softener. For 87% of the softeners (20 out of 23), the detectable number of microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) in the drinking water at least doubled! And in the case of six softeners (26%), the legal maximum value for germs in the drinking water was even exceeded by 3 to 600 times! 90% of the softeners were also incorrectly adjusted, with a residual hardness of less than 15 °fH, half of them even below 7 °fH, with the risk of corrosion of pipes and household appliances.
Source : Water Information Centre
It is not recommended to connect it to the cold water supply system. The installation and maintenance instructions must be carefully followed, otherwise the sanitary quality of the tap water may be impaired.
Source Veolia Water
Using a softener for your appliances can prevent scaling of your installations if your water is very hard. However, you should not soften water intended for drinking or cooking. If you have one, we invite you to follow the maintenance recommendations, so as not to alter the sanitary quality of the water we distribute.
Source UFC Que Choisir
A softener is installed at home to fight against limescale. However, a good part of the equipped homes are supplied with drinking water with a hardness between 18 and 27 French degrees (°f), i.e. soft to medium hard.
The need for softening is not obvious. Only really hard water, 35°f or more, can justify the use of a softener. Our analysis included eleven homes equipped with a softener.
Water hardness and aggressiveness: Risk of corrosion
Whether it is justified or not, the function of a water softener is to soften the water. All of them do this (but hardly in Arpajon), that is, they remove essential minerals, calcium and magnesium, from drinking water. So they are fulfilling their contract, but that is precisely the problem. Until 2007, drinking water did not have to be softened below 15°f to be distributed. The new decree does not include this requirement, but it imposes that the water be "in carbon dioxide balance or slightly incrusting", which is more or less the same thing because softened water is often aggressive. This is what our analyses show. The water arrives at homes at equilibrium or slightly incrusting, which corresponds to the requirements of the standards of potability. However, once softened, it becomes aggressive in eight of the eleven homes equipped.
Boring, because this aggressive softened water has serious drawbacks. Of course, it does not scale pipes or appliances, unlike hard water. But, on the other hand, it does attack them. The risks of corrosion are therefore important: this water can perforate a pipe or a hot water tank. Moreover, it is loaded with metallic particles when it attacks materials. If it is iron, it is colored and unpleasant but not too serious. When it is lead from old pipes or cadmium from solder, on the other hand, it is toxic.
Calcium and sodium: It's loaded with salt!
Softening water means removing calcium from it, and not just its scaling, despite what the professionals claim. It is especially when heating, from 60°C, that limescale forms incrusting deposits. Cold water can leave traces but does not really scale. It contains calcium, which is an excellent thing. Calcium is essential to the human body, and water has an incomparable advantage in this respect: it allows for its proper assimilation without providing the slightest additional calorie, unlike all foods recommended for their calcium content. Children and teenagers have an imperative need for it, it is necessary for bone construction. Pregnant women also need it and calcium is precious in the fight against osteoporosis.
As a bonus, it is useful against kidney stones, contrary to a widespread belief. Removing calcium from water is therefore a heresy, as we already explained last year about water filters. Bad luck for the health of the users: the softener replaces this precious calcium with salt! You can't escape it, that's how it works. With the exception of one softener that does not soften much, the one in Arpajon, all the devices load the water with sodium and two of them even exceed the potability reference set at 200 mg/l. For people who follow a strict salt-free diet, drinking softened water will quickly exceed the maximum recommended dose of 500 mg of sodium per day. Drinking sodium-laden water is inappropriate for healthy people, given the widespread excess of salt intake: 8.5 grams per day on average, whereas health authorities recommend not exceeding 6 grams. Even if water contributes little to salt intake compared to bread, cold cuts, cheeses and industrial ready-made meals, adding sodium to it is a real nonsense from a nutritional and health point of view.
Microbiology: Addition of microbes
Water that goes through a resin is more exposed to the development of bacteria than tap water. The softener can therefore encourage the multiplication of microbes, even if this is not a general rule. The problem nevertheless concerns several devices tested. And one of them (Arpajon) adds to the water germs that are not recommended.
Conclusion : No gain
In conclusion, water that has been softened becomes aggressive, without calcium but with sodium. Softeners do not improve the quality of the drinking water distributed, but degrade it! A house may need a softener if the water is very hard, but the kitchen circuit must always remain outside the treatment. The device should also be set to maintain 15°f of hardness, in order to reduce the aggressiveness of the softened water
With these details, you can choose your water softener with common sense, according to your needs and uses.