Client product test – wish I hadn’t waited.

I’ve been lucky over the years to have worked with some excellent clients who produce really brilliant products, and I’ve been fortunate enough to personally sample some of their wares. Lawnmowers, tyres, and Michelin lunches for example. And taps.  

Intatec is one of my longest standing clients, approaching 20 years now. They produce taps, valves, showers and plumbing stuff. Obviously our house is equipped with safe touch thermostatic showers and the exceptional Intamix TMV2 thermostatic mixing valve (nearly three million units in use since we launched them) which have worked brilliantly, despite us having water supplied by South Staffs Water, whose finest product is so hard that it comes out of the tap with a flicknife. 

Twenty years I’ve put up with limescale everywhere. It’s on anything shiny that comes into contact with water and you can even see it in the loo. We’ve got through more kettles than a busy cafe would. Every week the cleaning lady is doing her best to get rid of the marks, then every few months, I go around with a big spray bottle of Viakal to get rid of what I can of the rest. It’s not ideal and really not nice.

Inta launched a catalytic water conditioning product, probably two or three years ago. It’s called ActivFlo and it’s small and neat and fits into your pipework straight after the stopcock, which is usually under the sink. There are no moving parts. It works by changing the charge on the calcium carbonate particles so that when they come out of the tap, they’re not sticking to anything and forming an ugly deposit. 

If you’re not familiar with limescale, it is a hard, chalky deposit, consisting mainly of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). It comes out of the tap and it’s horrible. Apparently it’s not harmful to health, but it’s probably one of those it’d be nicer not to be consuming. It’s drying to your skin and even affects the way your hair feels. I do still have enough hair to know this. 

An ActivFlo has been sitting on my desk for quite some time now. I occasionally get it out of its box to demonstrate to someone how it works. In a flash of inspiration a couple of weeks ago, I decided it would work better if it were actually plumbed in, so I took it home and got it fitted when the engineer came to service the boiler. 

Our housebuilder must have installed the water feed on a Friday afternoon, because the pipe comes up right in the middle of the cupboard under the sink. Not conveniently at the back, or to the side. Right in the middle. It’s not pretty under there, in fact, it’s a plumbers’ nightmare, which is why I’m not sharing a picture.

Apparently it was really easy to fit, and luckily that ease was reflected in the bill. I knew it was going to work, because it’s an Inta product, but that hasn’t stopped me from being astonished. 

Having no limescale has been a transformation in the house. The shower, which has a calclean head hasn’t had to have its regular rubbing to get rid of bits. Water just flows beautifully. The loo stays as fresh as a daisy and doesn’t get a build up of limescale during the week that used to look quite frankly, disgusting. 

The kettle needs to be replaced to see the full benefit, but it’s on the list and this time, I think I’m going to pick something fancy. Perhaps when Alessi has a sale. And I reckon the washing machine and the dishwasher are breathing sighs of relief. The need for Calgon has gone. 

The problem for consumers trying to combat limescale is that there’s no easy measure of how bad it is, or what an improvement a water conditioner will make. You can’t just say this will improve your water by 100% or your washing machine will last ten times longer – It’s all about the perception of the people using water in the home. 

Yes, I’m the PR for the product and I get paid to say nice things, but this is one product that looks like it works by magic, but actually works. I’m really pleased that I’ve had it fitted and I’m confident that if you get one installed, you’ll be impressed with yours too. 

Although ActivFlo stops new limescale sticking, it doesn’t remove the deposits that you already have. You’ll have to use one final bottle of product and get scrubbing to get rid of the old limescale deposits, to give your shiny surfaces a blank slate for the future. 

Trust me, once you get one, you’ll wish you’d have gotten it sooner.

There’s more information here.

By Clive Reeves, CEO at Reeves Media