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 span 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 shifted the problem: you have effectively less hard water, but more salt, which you will discharge into the environment, not to mention the maintenance cycles of the machine, and the need to add salt, as well as to regularly check its settings.

The installation is also not very simple and often requires the intervention of a pro, not to mention the fact that this device takes up space in your home.

Thus, the outgoing water, although considered as drinkable, loses much of its health interest: no calcium and a lot of sodium (table salt) is not recommended for human beings, on the contrary.
These systems also remove much (if not all) of the chlorine that protects you from bacteria, which is the main consumable of our LaVie water purifier.

bouteille purificatrice d'eau LaVie pure

Preserving trace elements in tap water with LaVie

LaVie® UV-A water purifiers operate without filters or maintenance and allow you to purify your tap water in 15 minutes.

They use an innovative, patented technology exclusive to LaVie®: the photolysis of chlorine by UV-A radiation.

This treatment allows the removal of chlorine and its by-products, chemical compounds such as certain pesticides or traces of medication, tastes and odors that can be found in tap water, while preserving 100% of the trace elements.

The result, very qualitative, allows to draw a definitive line on the consumption of water in plastic bottles.

The carbon footprint associated with the manufacture 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 contactless (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, adjustments or servicing is required. 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 salt purchases 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.

anneau Sialex anti calcaire

More information on the website of our partner Ethic Process

There are also Co2 water softeners that avoid drinking salty water. They work pretty well, but you’ll have to replace the heavy CO2 cylinders several times a year.

Calcaire canalisation Sialex Ring

Some extracts from articles on water softeners

Source Wikipedia

Stakes, interest and limits

Moderately calcareous waters, unlike other highly mineralized waters, are not toxic, but they pose problems of biofilms, clogging of water pipes, piping 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 physico-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, also called hard water, is harmful to your health. This statement is false as shown by the CNRS research which indicates that, for a healthy person, the consumption of this type of drinking water is safe.

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 tested for bacteriological purity and chemical composition before and after the salt water softener. For 87% of softeners (20 out of 23), the detectable number of micro-organisms (bacteria and fungi) in the drinking water has at least doubled! And in the case of six softeners (26%), the maximum legal value for germs in drinking water was even exceeded by 3 to 600 times! 90% of the softeners were also poorly adjusted, with a residual hardness of less than 15°fH, half of them even below 7°fH with a 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. Care must be taken to ensure that the installation and maintenance instructions are followed carefully, otherwise the sanitary quality of the tap water may be compromised.

Source Veolia Water

Using a softener for your appliances can prevent scaling of your installations if your water is very hard. However, water for drinking or cooking should not be softened. 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 water softener is installed at home to combat 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 analyses included eleven homes with a water softener.

Hardness and aggressiveness: Risk of corrosion

Whether it is justified or not, the function of a softener is to soften water. All of them do (but hardly in Arpajon), which means that they remove essential minerals, calcium and magnesium, from the 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 as softened water is often aggressive. This is what our analyses show. The water arrives at the 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, in return, it attacks them. The risks of corrosion are therefore important: this water can perforate a pipe or a hot water tank. In addition, it becomes loaded with metallic particles when it attacks materials. If it’s iron, it’s colorful and unpleasant but not too bad. When it comes to lead from old pipes or cadmium from solder, however, it is toxic.

Calcium and sodium: It’s loaded with salt!

Softening water means removing its calcium, not just its scaling, despite what the professionals claim. Especially when heating, from 60 °C, limescale forms incrustations. Cold water can leave marks but does not really scale. It contains calcium, which is an excellent thing. Calcium intake 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 need it imperatively, it is necessary for bone construction. Pregnant women also need it and calcium is valuable 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 heresy, as we already explained last year in connection with filtering jugs. Bad luck for the health of the users: the softener replaces this precious calcium with salt! There is no way to escape it, it is its operating principle. With the exception of the Arpajon softener, which does not soften much, all of the devices contain sodium and two of them even exceed the potability reference set at 200 mg/l. For people on a strict salt-free diet, drinking softened water quickly blows the recommended maximum dose of 500 mg of sodium per day. Drinking water loaded with sodium remains inappropriate when you are in good health, given the generalized excess of salt intake: 8.5 grams on average per day, while the health authorities recommend not to exceed 6 grams. Even if water does not contribute much 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 passes through a resin is more exposed to bacterial growth than tap water. The softener can therefore promote the multiplication of microbes, even if this is not a general rule. However, the problem concerns several devices tested. And one of them (Arpajon) adds germs to the water that are not recommended.

Conclusion: No gain

In conclusion, water that is very softened becomes aggressive, without calcium but with sodium. Water softeners do not improve the quality of distributed drinking water, but degrade it! A home may require a softener if the water is very hard, but the kitchen circuit should always be left out of the treatment. The unit should also be set to maintain 15°f of hardness 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.

To your health!

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