Water softeners for 1 euro

Having been very happy with the 1 euro loft insulation, and the 1 euro wall insulation, I’m now turning my eye towards the 1 euro water softener. We live in a very hard water area.

Has anybody taken advantage of this offer yet? If so, how did it work out? Was the company reliable? were there any catches? There are so many different organisations offering it and I want to apply but not be hassled with endless phone calls promising much and offering nothing. Does anybody recommend a particular company?

Have seen mention of this 1€ insulation thing but being so very deeply sceptical, passed by on the other side on the basis that it has GOT to be a scam.

Bu no? I’d be grateful for more info from a happy customer.

If the loft insulation deal is still available, go for it. It isn’t a scam. Like the free low energy light bulbs that so many people ignored, that was a genuine offer. So is the wall insulation. It is income dependent, all the insulation folk needed was to see tax return.

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In fact having just spoken to a very nice lady, the offer is for the installation and delivery of the softener. There is no grant for the contraption.

And the “contraption” is surprisingly expensive. We had one installed years and years ago and I just fill it with salt (I’ve no idea if it makes any difference or not) and a man turns up every year to “service” it (I’ve no idea if he makes any difference either😂).

There very nice lady said the thingy would cost “about one to two thousand euros”.

Please forgive my scepticism, but if the very nice lady is going to arrange for a water softener costing €1,000 to be installed for €1, and there is no government grant, then how is the company going to make any money ? Are they going to sign you up for a very expensive maintenance contract, or do the special salt cartridges cost an arm and a leg, or perhaps it is both ?
I would wish to see all the details of this offer in writing and would definitely read all the small print.

As I explained above, the 1 euro is for the delivery and installation. It does not include the cost of the machine, which is paid by the customer. The advertising is a little misleading. The company makes their money from selling you the machine.

OK. Now I understand better. Thanks for the clarification.
So how does the cost of the water softener compare to the cost of using a decalcification product in the kettle, washing machine, dishwasher, from time to time ?

You mean good old 14% vinegar, €5 for 5L :yum::grin:

Indeed so. I reckon that the cost of a water softener, plus the cost of maintaining it in good and efficient working order, will far outweigh the cost of the decalcifying products that I am likely to need during the remainder of my lifetime.

Or you can try one of these:

Yes, I was equally sceptical at first, but it does appear to make the calcium in our medium hardness water far less “sticky”.

Viakal is no longer needed to clean the taps, routine descaling of coffee machines and our rotary iron yields only a few white flakes and the dishwasher is stain free.

I fitted ours after replacing the house’s failing chauffe-eau which had enough chalk inside to keep a Victorian school supplied for a year.

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I use white vinegar to descale the kettle, and use it instead of fabric softener in the washing machine and rinse in the dishwasher.

I don’t’ know how to get it into the chauffe eau though.

I use citric acid crystals to descale the kettle, previous owner used soda crystals as water softener in the washing machine, but they had rotted the rubber seal.

In the same way that modern electric kettles no longer have the heating element in direct contact with the water being heated, there are electric ‘Ballon’ water heaters that are constructed in the same way to prevent calcium build up.

Incidentally, I have been using a piece of kit very similar to that pictured above by @NotALot for the last 17 years and can report similar beneficial results. Certainly hugely cheaper than a conventional water softener and the health benefits of the harder water are retained.

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Is it easy to fit? Would I need a plumber?

No, they are very easy to fit if you have a power source anywhere near the mains pipe.
Wind the two wires round the pipe individually to form two coils and plug it in.

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What he said.

Find a section of the incoming cold water feed with a 16A socket nearby and simple wind the wires around the pipe as shown in the instructions. You might need some adhesive tape to secure the ends of the wires.

Thank you. It sounds as if I may be able to do that, if I can work out the incoming cold water feed. :slight_smile:

IMO the magnetic devices are a con. You can get a conventional salt water softener for a few hundred euros; https://www.amazon.fr/Adoucisseur-Water2Buy-Softeners-françaises-contournement/dp/B007ZC37II/ref=sr_1_5?__mk_fr_FR=ÅMÅŽÕÑ&crid=2GQ0ZTJIZNGIQ&keywords=water+softener&qid=1648469374&sprefix=water+softene%2Caps%2C633&sr=8-5

This will handle 3 or 4 cubic metres of water a day. That is a lot.