Hard & Soft Water

water Softeners nairobiHardness occurs when calcium and magnesium salts are present. This is most common where water extraction is from boreholes into chalky strata or chalky aquifers Some range of Water Softeners are ion exchange type softeners for the removal of hardness in water. The units have been carefully designed to provide the highest levels of performance for all types of domestic, industrial and institutional applications.

type of water clarks approx. ppm
Soft <3.5 <50
Moderate Soft 3.5 – 7.0 50 – 100
Slightly Hard 7.0 – 10.5 100 – 150
Moderately Hard 10.5 – 14.0 150 – 200
Hard 14.0 – 21.0 200 – 300
Very Hard >21.0 >300
*1 degree Clarke is about 1 part per 70,000
*PPM – Parts Per Million or milligram per liter

When hard water is heated the dissolved salts changes to solids and deposit on the linings of pipe work, boilers and other ancillaries, kettle scale is an obvious example, but far more significant is its efficiency reduction of hot water and central heating plant. If enough scale is deposited, pipe work systems can completely became blocked or fumed up. This can have explosive consequences as safety valves will also be affected. Chalk build normally takes years , but in very hard water areas it may just be a few moments depending on the frequency of plant use, hence the limitation of direct hot water system where fresh water  is continuously introduced. Direct systems are only applicable where water hardness is less than 150 PPM and water temperature do not exceed 65 degrees Celsius. The water temperature in modern hot water and heating systems exceeds 80 degrees Celsius therefore direct systems are effectively obsolete in favor of indirect installations. Indirect systems have the same water circulating throughout the primary and heating pipe work and it is only drained off during maintenance and repair

Characteristics of hard water

  • Difficult to create a lather with normal soap
  • Scum and tide marks in bath and basins
  • Chalk staining or streaking on washed glassware Water Softeners In hard water areas, these problems can be overcome with the installation of water softener. These devices are relatively compact and will fit conveniently within the housing under a domestic sink. This location is ideal as the housing will normally accommodate the rising water main stop valve. It also provides simple access for replacement of salts granules or blocks. The unit contains a resin bed of sodium chloride or common salt. The salt exchanges calcium and magnesium ions for non scale forming sodium ions. Regeneration can be by electronic timer, but most domestic softeners have an integral water volume metering device.

For quality and affordable plumbing services in Nairobi and other counties in Kenya, Contact Orchid Plumbing Company to schedule a free plumbing inspection on any of your plumbing equipments. We will advise you in all aspects – from repairs to installation. Your plumbing work will stay durable if the right materials and workmanship is applied appropriately