The Twintec water softener was designed and is manufactured by Harvey Softeners of Old Woking, Surrey. The story of Harvey’s first involvement with water softeners is not disimilar to that of Kevin Goody.
In 1975, Harvey’s wife Ann purchased a Permutit water softener. He was a plumbing and heating installer at the time, who was eventually persuaded to fit the water softener. He was so impressed with the benefits of softened water, that he started selling and installing Permutit water softeners. By 1980 he had become the UK’s largest installer of water softeners but had decided that the large old fashioned machines could be bettered.
He bought a kinetic, twin cylinder valve from an American company, and back in the UK, developed the first British twin-cylinder, non-electric water softener. This softener was launched in England in 1981 and rapidly became the market leader, it continued to lead the way in domestic water softeners throughout the 1990s.
Towards the end of the 1990s, Harvey went back to the drawing board, with the aim of developing the ultimate water softener, designed specifically for the British home. He still wanted a twin cylinder, non-electric machine which used block salt, rather than heavy bags of salt but there were additional features on which he had set his heart.
Firstly he wanted the machine to cope with higher flow rates, to suit the unvented high pressure water systems, which had been made legal in the UK since the development of the old softener and were now gaining in popularity. It was important that the new softener could be used with all plumbing systems in use in the UK, whether traditional storage tank types or direct mains fed systems.
Secondly Harvey decided that the new machine should have better rates of water consumption. This was because of the increasing number of UK homes with water meters. To make the new softener still more economical to run, Harvey also improved its salt consumption levels.
Finally he resolved the trickle flow problems which had beset the old softener and made the lid transparent, so that salt levels could be checked without removing the lid.
After much research, the new improved, UK designed and built Twintec machine, was launched on 11th May 2001. As a result, he no longer needed to look to America for a twin-cylinder, non-electric, valve.