AT Home with Sarah Beeny - December 2011 - (Page 192)

| WATER SOFTENERS| The gentle touch Why would you put up with limescale clogg ing up your appliances when you can easily F do something about it? or those who are lucky enough not to live in a hard-water area, it’s difficult to imagine just how much damage it can do. It may look the same as soft water, but hard water contains a load of calcium and magnesium and that causes all sorts of problems. This is because the mineral build-up on fixtures turns into limescale. DEAD HARD Water is a good solvent and that means it picks up impurities easily. As water moves through soil and rock, it dissolves very small amounts of minerals and holds them in solution. Calcium and magnesium dissolved in water are the two most common minerals that make water ‘hard’. The degree of this hardness becomes greater as the calcium and magnesium content increases. Here are some of the ways in which hard water can affect your everyday life… TOP TIP: LIMESCALE INSULATES, SO A FURRED KETTLE TAKES LONGER TO HEAT LAUNDERING Clothes washed in hard water often look drab and feel harsh and scratchy, and continuous laundering in hard water can actually damage fibres and shorten the life of clothes by up to 40%. BATHING Bathing with soap in hard water can leave a film of sticky soap on the skin and may prevent removal of oil and bacteria. Hair washed in hard water may become dull, lifeless and difficult to manage. THE SOLUTIONS Hard water may cause spotting and filming on your crockery, which though not a health risk, can be a real nuisance to clean. PROBLEMS IN WATER BOILER SYSTEMS AND PIPEWORK Heated hard water forms a limescale deposit that can cause water-using appliances to be less efficient and even to fail. Pipes can become clogged with scale that reduces water flow and can mean that eventually they have to be replaced. 192 | DECEMBER 2011 WORDS: GEORGINA MARIC | PHOTOGRAPHS: GETTY IMAGES DISHWASHERS Water softeners operate on a simple principle: calcium and magnesium ions in the water switch places with more desirable ions, usually sodium. The exchange eliminates both of the problems of hard water because sodium doesn’t precipitate out in pipes or react badly with soap. The amount of sodium this process adds to your water is quite small. A softener consists of three basic components: the resin tank (containing the ion-exchange resin), the brine tank (contains salt which is dissolved to form brine) and the control head. The simplest unit works on a time-control basis, so you set it to regenerate at a certain time every day, to ensure there is enough soft water for the whole family at all times. A volume-controlled softener will regenerate when a pre-set volume of the softened water has been used, regardless of the number of days this takes. This is to avoid under – or over – regenerating the softener when demand varies. Most units use electrically operated valves and a timer or microprocessor. However, some manufacturers eliminate the need for an electric power supply by using a non-electric control head. They use water ow to monitor the volume used and water pressure and ow to operate the valves in the control head. ✱

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AT Home with Sarah Beeny - December 2011

EDITOR’S LETTER
HELLO FROM SARAH
NEWS
MAKE IT A DATE
FESTIVE FOCUS
HOME COMFORTS
LIGHT FANTASTIC
PASTE IT UP
SARAH'S WORLD
VILLAGE REVAMP
TO LET OR NOT TO LET?
KEYS TO THE DOOR
QUEEN OF THE CASTLE
HOT PROPERTY
GREAT SCOTS
TRICKS OF THE TRADE
LODGE LIFE
VICTORIAN SPLENDOUR
FINISHING TOUCH
BEST OF THE BRIGHTS
STORE IN STYLE
BOUDOIR BEAUTIFUL
SHAKE IT UP!
FINE DINER
WHAT’S COOKING?
TOPS TOTTY
SPLASHING STUFF
NIGHT ON THE TILES
GADGETS GALORE
OPEN UP
TOTALLY FLOORED
MAT FINISH
COSY CARPETS
HOT STUFF
THE TEMPERATURE’S RISING
RADIATE THIS
FLAMING GREAT
BURN BABY BURN
DREAM HOME
GOING LARGE
SLIDING AWAY
KEEP IT IN
DRAUGHT EXCLUSIVE
DON’T BLAME THE TOOLS
GOING SOFT
ECO EXCELLENCE
WASTE NOT
BRIGHT SPARK
SUN SCREEN
STREET VIEW
BLOOMING BRILLIANT
GARDEN INVADER
GLITTERING BUYS
COMING SOON
SARAH SAYS
MANSION MARVEL
LAST WORD
STOCKISTS
PERFECT PROPERTIES

AT Home with Sarah Beeny - December 2011

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