(This is our opinion and is based on our own experiences)
To compare this we have considered the overall size of the unit, space it occupies, frequency of refilling and the salt type required.
This is self explanatory, however consideration has to be given for larger capacity machines which will always be bigger.
Suitability for conventional systems
This is our opinion on how well suited the water softener system is in operation when used with a traditional tank fed plumbing system.
Suitability for mains fed systems
This is our opinion on how well suited the system is in operation when used with a modern mains fed plumbing system e.g. Combi boiler or Megaflo.
Cost to buy
The higher the ratings number the cheaper the machine.
Running cost (salt)
This considers the amount and type of salt required for a given amount of softened water.
Running cost (water)
All water softeners use some water to regenerate and this is unavoidable. Here we compare the amount of water used per m3 of softened water to the property.
Running cost (servicing)
Based on the manufacturer's recommended servicing intervals. Where there is no regular servicing requirement, the maximum 5 stars has been awarded.
Here we consider the length and coverage of the water softener warranty, as well as how well the manufacturer's company deals with any claims.
This is our experience of the products which have been installed in our customers homes.
Here we review the claims made by the companies and for the products. We then compare this to the limitations of the physics and the ion exchange process. We also consider how quick and responsive the engineering departments are when faced with technical challenges or advice.
This gives equal weighting to all the parameters we have chosen to make this water softener comparison and rates the overall package out of 5.