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Domestic hard water treatment and conditioning systemsCapital cost £/unitNet present value for 60 years £/m² Service lives years
Ion exchange water softeners   
Water softener up to 5 persons; 1500 litre capacity; timer controlled5902,44010-20
Water softener up to 5 persons; 1500 litre capacity; water volume controlled6672,61010-20
Water softener up to 8 persons, up to 2,000 litre capacity. Computer controlled to predict usage pattern with diagnostics9643,23010-20
Physical water conditioners   
In-line magnetic physical water conditioner; flow rate to 25 l/min for individual appliance1351,7003-10
Electrolytic physical water conditioner; based on zinc, variable flow rate; mains powered4942,0905-10
Electrolytic physical water conditioner; based on zinc; basic system1711,4205-10
Electronic (modulating frequency) physical water conditioner for combi systems; mains powered2161,6105-10
Table notes
Capacity based on water hardness of 300 mg/l (parts per million) calcium carbonate (CaCO3) equivalence. A discount rate of 3.5% is used to calculate net present values.
Costs are based on averages from sample of systems available on the market with generic allowances for installation and maintenance. Service lives are based on the average of the range. Regular inspection and servicing account for the bulk of the through life cost. Direct comparison of options may not be possible as they relate to different functional solutions. A whole-life cost analysis based on project-specific information is essential for a realistic best value appraisal.