“The water hits me like a wave. It’s feels like 0 to 100 kph in about 3 seconds. Lather, rinse and I’m starting to feel human again. Then my brain is alive – I always have my best ideas in the shower. Home or away, I need this blast. I travel a lot with work and always stay in this hotel chain. I check the shower quality before anything else in the room.”
Matteau Blanchet, Product Designer
Creativity flows from the shower
If Matteau’s shower time creativity sounds a little fanciful, he is not unusual. Research by top neuroscientists suggest that we are more creative when we are in the shower. Precious solo time in a warm, enclosed space. Free from any distraction and totally focused on the moment. When we are that relaxed, it increases the flow of dopamine in our bodies, and that is shown to stimulate creativity in our brains. It’s why we love our showers so much.
However is it possible that Matteau’s flow of inspiration is proportional to the quality of the shower? Would his imagination be sparked quite so much under a trickle of tepid water … probably not.
Softened water is the secret ingredient
We can be in control of the quality and power of our home showers and essentially the water they deliver. But as the guest of a hotel, our ‘shower power’ is in their hands. Will the water be hot? Especially in the morning when the rest of the guests are turning the taps on at the same time. Will it be clean? No one wants a shower screen that looks like it’s been sandblasted with scale. And will it be powerful, even if I am on the top floor?
Thankfully, delivering an invigorating shower to tens or even hundreds of guests is a science rather than an art. With a correctly configured water treatment system, any hotel can provide a plentiful supply of high-quality water, throughout the day. A powerful pump to pressurise and pack-a-punch to showers throughout the building. A decent boiler to turn cold to hot. And of course, the essential ingredient: water. A plentiful supply, high quality, soft and clear, which is where water treatment plays a vital part. It’s all about the system components and the softener is key!
The science of softening
There are plenty of reasons to treat and improve water and, if a hotel is in a hard water area, a concentration of calcium and magnesium is the main one. Under the shower that means water which won’t soap up and can leave your skin feeling itchy. For the hotel it could mean scale building up in the shower head, on the taps and a white chalky film on the glass shower screen. Ultimately a build-up of scale in a water system can lead to reduced pipe flow and poor water pressure – not good for those ‘creativity’ moments!
It’s for these reasons we use salt-based water softeners to reduce those minerals that cause hardness from the water. Softeners swap calcium and magnesium ions with sodium ions from the salt in the system. This ion exchange takes place within the softener’s resin tank, where the unwanted minerals are removed, collected and replaced. From time to time the salt is topped up and the resin tank is flushed out. The whole system is controlled by a valve which lets the hard water in and the soft water out.
You may have a water softener at home. But delivering softened water for a hotel scale operation is a whole different ball game and needs a heavy-duty softener system that is up to the task.
Softened water on an industrial scale
A hotel demands treated water on an industrial scale. Think: dozens of guests, all headed to the shower at the same time. While the principle is the same, that means a bigger softener with a bigger tank, connections and valve, and the ability to cope with huge fluctuations in demand at different times of the day. Multiple systems can sometimes be configured to work in parallel proving additional capacity at peak times or acting as a back-up in case anything should go wrong.
Water treatment may also mean removing other impurities in the water source. The best commercial grade systems may also have an oxidizer capability that, through a catalyser, can remove other contaminates such as iron. Such systems can either provide softened water, decontaminated water, or a blend of both.
So next time you are enjoying inspiration in a hotel shower, spare a thought for the water treatment workhorse down in the plant room. Your creative juices could be fuelled by top quality water – pure and simple as that!
If you have a moment…
The Pentair ProFlow softening and filtering solution has been developed specifically for the demands of commercial users such as hotels and apartments. It removes the minerals that contribute to hard water, at the speed and scale required in high volume, pressurised systems. Pentair ProFlow is available with tank sizes up to 200 litres, which can be increased with multiple systems running in simplex, duplex or parallel configuration.
ProFlow provides a wide range of configurations, and is designed to work with a 1" or 1.5" control valve such as the smart NXT2 Controller. A simplex configuration can easily be upgraded, on site, to duplex parallel should the demand for treated water increase.
Multilingual, two-line, legible display = efficient installation and programming means reduced set-up time
Up to 200 litre softeners in Simplex, Duplex or Parallel configuration = versatile system suitable for several configurations
Not only for softening, ProFlow offers multimix 5-in-one media and oxidizers up to 1” = solutions for different types of water
Advanced high-grade fibreglass pressure tank = fully corrosion-resistant and designed and tested for high working pressure
Brine tanks sold separately = option to choose the size of the brine tank that best fits the specific installation