Can anyone advise me of my options for a water softener. I've seen discussions on Survive France at various times but I'm never able to find things when interested.
As stated above water softening is different from scale inhibiting. If all you are after is you kettle , washing machine etc elements not scaling up a scale inhibitor is what you want.
I have used Liff Wrappa ones and found very effective.I have tried the magnetic version and found them to be useless.
Cory one of the discussions.
They don't soften the water they soften the calcium deposit so it cleans out easier. I don't think Cyanne or whatever are still around but there are plenty of others using the same idea.
The other form use an ion exchange resin, this swaps calcium and magnesium via the salt and produces soft water but you shouldn't drink softened water so dedicate a tap as drinking water if you are doing a whole house installation, plenty of companies out there like Kinetico etc.
There are some inline agitators for the want of a better word, these are like static mixers and use a metal alloy mixer element. Whether that element alloy makes any real difference is anyones guess. It's prabbly down to tye static mixer element causing a high turbulent shear action on the water more than anything else, which of course will only take place when the tap is running but some people believe they work. The bit I can't get is , as I was told it changes the polarity of the water. Water is a di pole fluid made of + & - elements shearing an electron off one element or the other will impart an electrical charge on the water, this may or may not cause the calcium etc to change form but it will not actually soften in the true sense of the word as it doesn't remove the hard calcium either it may just change it into a different form of the same but not in a way that builds up in pipes etc.