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Hard water vs soft water – Which is better?

Water contains a variety of minerals, and the concentration of these minerals determines the hardness of the water. It is generally categorised into two types: Hard Water and Soft Water. Water hardness varies from place to place and is heavily influenced by your area and the source of your water supply. For example, people who live towards the north of England get soft water as compared to people living in the southeast England, who get hard water.

But what does it mean when one speaks of “hard” or “soft” water?

What is Hard Water?

Hard water has a high concentration of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Rainwater is typically soft, but as it travels through the ground, it picks up minerals such as calcium and magnesium. The concentration of these minerals determines the hardness of water, and the harder your water is, the more damaging it can be to your home, appliances, and body.

How hard is my Water?

How hard or soft your tap water is, depends on the geological conditions of the well or spring area from which your water comes. If you are not sure about the hardness of your tap water, then you can find it out by choosing any of the following options.

1) You can check with your local water company, as they will be able to provide you with the exact information about the hardness of your tap water.

  • 0 to 100 mg/L (milligrams per litre) as calcium carbonate is classified as soft
  • 100 to 200 mg/L as moderately hard
  • 200 to 300 mg/L as hard
  • More than 300 mg/L as very hard

2) You can also arrange a Free hard water test kit from BWT, which allows you to test your water hardness instantly.

Problems with Hard Water?

Homes with a hard water supply can encounter problems that can cost them a lot of money. This is mainly due to the build-up of limescale. When hard water is heated, limescale forms and is deposited in pipes, appliances and on heating elements in kettles, coffee makers and your central heating boiler. Limescale build-up in household appliances and hot water systems can lead to expensive repairs, and reduce the lifespan of these appliances, and drive-up your energy costs at home.

Cleaning becomes a tiresome task as limescale deposits form wherever water flows, drips or stands. These limescale deposits and subsequent staining can be spotted on the kitchen and bathroom surfaces and are difficult to remove. Limescale can also hide out of sight within your kitchen appliances like steam ovens, coffee makers washing machine and even dishwashers. Hard water requires up to twice as much detergent, skin care, and hair care products than soft water to get the same results, therefore costing you more money.

Hard water not only impacts your home and your household appliances but can have a significant impact on our body as well. In extreme cases, it can irritate skin problems as your skin tightens after showering and bathing with hard water. Washing your hair with hard water can make it look dull and dry, and even your laundry can feel rough while colours tend to fade sooner than with softened water.

Essentially, the hardness of the water says nothing about the quality of the water. However, your choice of water has been shown to have a significant impact on the taste and aroma of drinks and food, on your skin and hair, household items in the kitchen and bathroom, and how soft or rough the laundry is that comes out of the washing machine and off of the line.

What is Soft Water?

Soft water is the natural water that we get in the form of rainwater unless it moves through the soil and picks up minerals. Naturally, water does not contain any dissolved minerals and have very low amounts of calcium and magnesium. Which is why homes with soft water supply usually do not see limescale build-up in appliances or excessive scum formation in bathrooms. As a result, these homes generally do not experience problems  with limescale build-up in their appliances, heating or plumbing system.

How can you treat your Hard Water?

One of the most effective ways to combat water hardness is to get rid of those excess minerals by softening the water. A water softener uses the principal of ion exchange to do exactly that. It is one of only a handful of proven scientific water treatment solutions, proven to help homes with the problem of hard water, such as limescale.

BWT water softeners work on the ion exchange principle, transforming hard water into softened water with no or low amounts of calcium and magnesium, resulting in soft, smooth, silky water. They come with an in-built resin vessel that sits at the heart of the device and traps calcium and magnesium ions present in the water replacing them with sodium ions. For water softeners to work efficiently, the resin bed needs to be regenerated periodically using a brine solution washing away the accumulated hardness ions and recharging the specialist resins.

It’s a very efficient water solution for homes and helps you in maintaining the shine of your kitchenware, prolonging the life of your heating and plumbing systems, making your clothes fluffier, skin softer and hair shinier. Our selection of water softeners also help you save money on operating expenses because softened water requires fewer washing, cleaning, and personal care products. And using less harsh chemicals is good for the environment and for our planet.

BWT Water Softeners

BWT water softeners are highly advanced and are designed to adapt to your lifestyle they will help you address the problems of hard water in your home. Water softeners actually  treat your water by removing minerals such as calcium that cause limescale. Softened water can have various benefits including leaving your skin feeling softer and hair looking shinier. It reduces limescale deposits in the domestic water system and offers protection for your appliances, ceramics, glassware, and shiny surfaces. It also helps you save money as with soft water you require fewer cleaning as well as skincare products. Also, it doesn’t impact on the performance of your appliances and overtime can even save energy.

BWT have a wide range of water softeners:

A) WS Range water softeners, are a concise range of modern electronic water softeners that have been designed and developed for the UK homes and plumbing systems. Beautifully made, efficient and fully automatic, each model is easy to install and come with smart water monitoring for greater efficiency. BWT WS Water Softeners are available in 4 different sizes catering to all household sizes and distinct lifestyle.

bwt ws water softeners comparison

B) Our Perla Silk water softeners, available in 4 different sizes are designed for a busy lifestyle, delivering copious amounts of softened water with low levels of wastewater and salt consumption. Suitable for any family size, the Perla Silk also benefits from extended warranty packages for complete peace of mind. Battery back up options for protected and non mains operation and our unique uniconnect  all in 1 connector and bypass connection block. These models are compatible with our smartphone app that provides details about their performance as well as offering you additional services such as being able to order salt for your water softener or scheduling a service.

Perla Silk water softeners are also available with smart features “BWT PERLA SILK WI-FI” that allow you to connect your softener to your phone via Wi-Fi that helps you in monitoring your system on the go. Some of the key benefits are:

  • These are intelligent water systems that learn your water usage and lifestyle patterns to deliver an uninterrupted supply of softened water. They help you optimise your water and salt usage and regenerate only when it is required.
  • Easy to setup and come with a symbol-based screen where you can setup communication in any language. It has a 3-step process that allows you to set the time, water-hardness, and recharge time.
  • They have a brine check valve that is designed to prevent over-filling of your water softener, therefore providing you additional peace of mind.
  • Up to 6 year extended warranty
  • The flexibility of non mains operation and power cut protection
  • Unique uniconnect all in one connection block and By-Pass
  • Smart App compatibility
  • Available with or without Wi -Fi

bwt perla silk water softeners comparison

C) Perla Water Softeners, are BWT’s top of the range  Luxury Water softeners and are equipped with additional safety features. Unlike our other softeners, they have a duplex system with two resin vessels connected in parallel that makes it more efficient with the maximum peak water flow of up to 53 litres a minute. Like the Perla Silk,  they are compatible with our Smartphone app that connects your Perla water softener with your phone and sends you all those important notifications on the go. It also comes with a AQA guard sensor that protects your home from water damage.

  • AQA Guard floor sensors monitor moisture on the floor
  • AQA Stop gives you indispensable leak protection, for instance if the AQA Guard sensor detects moisture, The AQA Stop cuts off the water supply in the house.
  • AQA Watch alerts you when prolonged low flow rates are exceeded.


All BWT water softeners are tested and fully compliant with the European standard 14743 and each component is independently approved by WRAS in the UK.  For additional peace of mind, BWT offers a Free at home Commissioning,

All the BWT domestic water softeners include Free Commissioning and brings a wealth of benefits to our consumers and Installers. Passing the mantle to one of BWT’s fully trained engineers, frees up the installers time to focus on the other aspects of the installation, whilst the consumer knows that not only will their water softener be set up to suit their specific requirements including the local water conditions, but the home visit will also give them the chance to ask questions not just about their new purchase but also regarding water softeners in general.

All BWT UK products come with a minimum of a 12 month guarantee. The majority of BWT domestic water softeners are supplied with a warranty that can be extended using one of our extended warranty or service plans. Many of these can be tailored to your specific needs, each one providing the peace of mind offered by an extended warranty and the practical benefits of a scheduled service plan. For full details please see the literature supplied with your new product or simply contact us for more details.

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