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Softened water in combi boiler



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 23rd 11, 02:21 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 7
Default Softened water in combi boiler

When I installed a salt water softener, I was under the impression
that it was harmful to a combi central heating system if salt softened
water was used inside it, so I installed it bypassing the central
heating system.

I have now read several threads on various web sites saying that it is
ok to use salt softened water.

Which is correct?

I am looking to have a new combi boiler installed within the next
couple of months and want to make sure the right thing is done.

I won't be installing, it will be a bona fide gas safe installer.



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  #2  
Old September 23rd 11, 03:29 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 1,402
Default Softened water in combi boiler

On Fri, 23 Sep 2011 05:21:45 -0700 (PDT), Steve Lewis
wrote:

I have now read several threads on various web sites saying that it is
ok to use salt softened water.

Which is correct?


Both. Softened water contains very small amounts of Sodium Chloride
(salt) and some boiler manufacturers were concerned about corrosion
especially with aluminium heat exchangers. Other boiler manufacturers
seem to be happy with ion exchange water softeners so the only
conclusive answer will come from the manufacturer of the boiler you
intend to fit.

  #3  
Old September 23rd 11, 04:06 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 18,679
Default Softened water in combi boiler

Peter Parry wrote:
On Fri, 23 Sep 2011 05:21:45 -0700 (PDT), Steve Lewis
wrote:

I have now read several threads on various web sites saying that it is
ok to use salt softened water.

Which is correct?


Both. Softened water contains very small amounts of Sodium Chloride
(salt) and some boiler manufacturers were concerned about corrosion
especially with aluminium heat exchangers. Other boiler manufacturers
seem to be happy with ion exchange water softeners so the only
conclusive answer will come from the manufacturer of the boiler you
intend to fit.


It is not usual to have boiler primary circuits fed with softened water,
or indeed have any contact with fresh water..that isn't 'inhibited'.

Boilers and CH are all using closed loops these days by and large

Only the DHW tank gets 'fresh' water into it, and therefore corrosion
should be confined to that alone..and its far less a problem than scale
would be.

The point of a closed loop is that once the salts have done their bad
stuff there are no more salts..so it really shouldn't matter what you
fill a boiler primary or CH loop with.
  #4  
Old September 23rd 11, 06:09 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 15,616
Default Softened water in combi boiler

On 23/09/2011 13:21, Steve Lewis wrote:

When I installed a salt water softener, I was under the impression
that it was harmful to a combi central heating system if salt softened
water was used inside it, so I installed it bypassing the central
heating system.

I have now read several threads on various web sites saying that it is
ok to use salt softened water.


By "salt softened water" I take it you mean an ion exchange water
softener, that is "recharged" with salt?

(the salt is not added to the softened water - its just used to make a
saline solution to flush a resin impregnated matrix, leaving it charged
with sodium ions. The calcium ion rich water is then passed through the
matrix where it exchanges those with the sodium)

Which is correct?


Some boiler makers recommend not using softened water on the primary
circuit (i.e. the water that is held in the radiators etc). However
since this is not frequently changed the risks would seem minimal.

The water that is fed through from the mains to be heated on the fly and
provided to the taps however there are positive benefits in having this
softened, since this will prevent the plate heat exchanger from scaling
up, and will also prevent scale deposition on showers etc.

(most boiler benchmark books have a space to record the scale inhibition
device fitted in hard water areas. A proper ion exchange water softener
is best, a phosphate dosing device like a combimate will protect the
boiler (but not soften the water), and then there are various electronic
an magnetic devices that make wild claims and probably achieve nothing
at all)

Note there are possibly still one or two atypical combis out there that
don't use a secondary plate heat exchanger for domestic hot water. These
may be better not fed with softened water.


--
Cheers,

John.

/================================================== ===============\
| Internode Ltd - http://www.internode.co.uk |
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| John Rumm - john(at)internode(dot)co(dot)uk |
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  #5  
Old September 24th 11, 01:38 AM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 1,455
Default Softened water in combi boiler

On Sep 23, 1:21*pm, Steve Lewis wrote:
When I installed a salt water softener, I was under the impression
that it was harmful to a combi central heating system if salt softened
water was used inside it, so I installed it bypassing the central
heating system.

I have now read several threads on various web sites saying that it is
ok to use salt softened water.

Which is correct?


What you've done. Hard water won't damage the primary circuit unless
it is leaking.
The cold water into the combi for the DHW should be softened, or the
plate heat exchanger will scale up.

I won't be installing, it will be a bona fide gas safe installer.


Be warned; they know a bit about gas and sod-all about water
treatment.

On Sep 23, 2:29 pm, Peter Parry wrote:

Both. Softened water contains very small amounts of Sodium Chloride
(salt)


It shouldn't. Only if the softener is defective.
 




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