Recommendations for water softener system

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Posted 2nd Nov
I live in Essex & Suffolk water distribution area where supplied water is very hard. Does anyone has recommendations for reasonable priced water softener system ? Friends have installed either Harveys or Kinetico but they are quoting £1600-£1800 for installation.
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I know of someone who has had a Sumo one fitted by British Gas nowhere near those quoted prices.
ours is an acoline, but i inherited in when i bought the house 6 years ago, salt is very reasonable through acoline softeners and im happy to go to pm if you name drop to get a discount! (no idea if they do that) but yea, no limescale in kettle, shower, etc and really good softener. (hertfordshire).
We looked into this recently for a house extension (Essex) and although there are cheap units available even from diy stores - after research the better units seemed to be as you stated either Harvey’s or Kinetico. Due to some odd licensing agreement you can buy ‘Crown’ units which are actually the Harvey’s ones but sold under another brand name!

You can get electric ones that wash through based on time, or non electric ones that wash through in the amount of water you use - we went for the latter and after shopping around found the Crown non electric unit for around £850 to buy and had it installed by our plumber for around £200 - so around 1k in total where Harvey’s wanted nearer to 2k!

I have to say it’s been brilliant a real change from the hard water and lime scale problems we had!

I also found a reasonable site I buy the Harvey’s salt blocks from as buying direct can be very expensive. I usually buy 3-packs of Harveys salt blocks, there are 2-blocks in each pack which I get delivered for around £14. The machine takes 2-blocks at a time and 1-pack lasts us about 1 month with two adults and two teenagers in the house, so running cost is about £5 a month (no electric charges).

Here is the link where we bought our machine from after shopping around and they were really helpful with before & after sales questions:

eastmidlandswater.com/water-softeners/harvey-softeners

Hope that helps
Edited by: "Bluefusion" 2nd Nov
Any plumber can fit one, and most plumbing merchants sell them. I just went with the unit the plumber recommended. The only advice I was given and followed was don't do fully automatic as they dontvalways get the softness right, and get one that uses tablet salt rather than blocks.
Have a look at Monarch, get a local plumber to fit. If you buy a Harveys about £400 will go towards their "marketing" budget.

Also be aware some boilers, like Worcester, can't be filled with softened water on the central heating side - they use inferior aluminium heat exchangers.
Bluefusion02/11/2019 19:31

We looked into this recently for a house extension (Essex) and although …We looked into this recently for a house extension (Essex) and although there are cheap units available even from diy stores - after research the better units seemed to be as you stated either Harvey’s or Kinetico. Due to some odd licensing agreement you can buy ‘Crown’ units which are actually the Harvey’s ones but sold under another brand name!You can get electric ones that wash through based on time, or non electric ones that wash through in the amount of water you use - we went for the latter and after shopping around found the Crown non electric unit for around £850 to buy and had it installed by our plumber for around £200 - so around 1k in total where Harvey’s wanted nearer to 2k!I have to say it’s been brilliant a real change from the hard water and lime scale problems we had!I also found a reasonable site I buy the Harvey’s salt blocks from as buying direct can be very expensive. I usually buy 3-packs of Harveys salt blocks, there are 2-blocks in each pack which I get delivered for around £14. The machine takes 2-blocks at a time and 1-pack lasts us about 1 month with two adults and two teenagers in the house, so running cost is about £5 a month (no electric charges).Here is the link where we bought our machine from after shopping around and they were really helpful with before & after sales questions:eastmidlandswater.com/water-softeners/harvey-softenersHope that helps



Thanks for your comments. That seems quite reasonable installation cost and low running costs. Did you look at installing reverse osmosis filter over water softener ? I only ask as I use a distiller to get filtered water for my son who has special needs. My only concern with reverse osmosis filter was about water cost as I am on a meter. I was told that with reverse osmosis efficiency is only about 50% so water usage doubles up.
themorgatron03/11/2019 07:55

Have a look at Monarch, get a local plumber to fit. If you buy a Harveys …Have a look at Monarch, get a local plumber to fit. If you buy a Harveys about £400 will go towards their "marketing" budget.Also be aware some boilers, like Worcester, can't be filled with softened water on the central heating side - they use inferior aluminium heat exchangers.


How does Monarch compare with Harveys in terms of performance ? The prices seems quite less compared to Harveys.

On your comment on boiler, can you please suggest a good boiler make as I need to purchase one in my newly built extension ? My builder recommends Vaillant though one of my friend is going for Baxi which also has 7-year warranty.
varunadas04/11/2019 15:18

Thanks for your comments. That seems quite reasonable installation cost …Thanks for your comments. That seems quite reasonable installation cost and low running costs. Did you look at installing reverse osmosis filter over water softener ? I only ask as I use a distiller to get filtered water for my son who has special needs. My only concern with reverse osmosis filter was about water cost as I am on a meter. I was told that with reverse osmosis efficiency is only about 50% so water usage doubles up.


Didn’t look at the osmosis system so cannot comment, but we did also have a new tap fitted, we went for a Bristan Tap that allows you to access unsalted water for drinking which also has a carbon filter on it that you change every 6-months.
varunadas04/11/2019 15:21

How does Monarch compare with Harveys in terms of performance ? The prices …How does Monarch compare with Harveys in terms of performance ? The prices seems quite less compared to Harveys.On your comment on boiler, can you please suggest a good boiler make as I need to purchase one in my newly built extension ? My builder recommends Vaillant though one of my friend is going for Baxi which also has 7-year warranty.


I believe Which magazine places Worcester-Bosch top of the league for boilers.
Edited by: "Bluefusion" 4th Nov
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