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WHAT ARE WATER SOFTENERS?Limescale (hard water) is one of the main contributors to machine breakdowns and performance issues. To prolong the life and maintain the effectiveness of your warewasher you must add a water softener. It is also important to note that warranties do not cover damage caused by limescale.
Most areas in England have hard water. The known areas that have soft water are Scotland, most of Wales, Central Manchester and Central Birmingham and shouldn't require a softener. We still recommend you check your water type as this is only a guide and water supplies can vary dependent on the supplier.
Three types of softener are available for either cold or hot water temperatures. You can purchase external manual and external automatic softeners or warewashers with in-built auto softeners. The three options are as follows:
Manual Water Softeners are the cheapest option. However manual softeners do require rinsing and regenerating on a regular basis, usually at least once a week depending on your area and usage. This involves disconnecting, flushing through, replenishing salts and reconnecting. Failure to do this regularly will lead to limescale build up. Manual softeners are designed to run on a cold water feed only.
External Automatic Water Softeners only require topping up with salt and do not require any manual cleaning or regeneration. They work on a timer or meter and self-regenerate on a regular basis. It is recommended that automatic softeners are used with busy undercounter units or hood type dishwashers. Please note that auto softeners require their own power supply and connection to a waste pipe for the overflow. These can be supplied in either cold feed or hot feed specifications.
In-built Automatic Water Softeners are factory fitted within the glasswasher or dishwasher. The softeners regenerate seamlessly whilst the machine is operating. The warewasher will signal when the softener needs more salt added making operation very simple. Integral softeners are also a perfect solution for sites with restrictions on space where the wash area cannot afford the room for an external unit. These units are able to run on hot and cold feeds in keeping with the warewasher specifications.