by Ed Yourdon
Hard Water Blockages: the Best Way to Prevent Lime Scale Build Up
If you’ve ever experienced hard water problems, you’ll know how nasty they can be: blockages in pipes, damage to boiler/kettle elements and detergent scaling in hard water areas, expensive matters if not managed properly.
But, you may ask, what is hard water?
Hard water is common in the south-east of England and occurs in areas with high mineral content in the ground. If you’ve ever had a slimy ‘white-ish’ build-up in the bottom of your kettle, then you’ve encountered lime scale.
Hard water is comprised of two elements: magnesium (Mg) and calcium (Ca). At high temperatures, such as when water is boiled, they react and form a hard substance. This can be a nuisance for plumbing piping and often requires the help of a specialist to fix the problem.
Testing for Hard Water
There’s a simple test you can use to find out whether or not you suffer from hard water. Follow these steps to find out:
Grab an empty plastic bottle and put a dash of washing up liquid inside
Now half-fill the bottle with water from your tap
Shake up the bottle and look at the water
If you have lots of suds and foam, you don’t have hard water. If, on the other hand, there’s a soapy ‘film’ on the surface of the water, you’ve most likely got hard water.
With hard water, no suds form because the chemicals in soap do not react with the mineral content of hard water, meaning that you’ll probably experience a disappointing bath or shower, unable to wash properly.
Preventing Hard Water Problems
Arguably the best way to solve domestic hard water problems, and give yourself a nice wash, is to purchase a water softeners system. These are special machines that turn hard water in to soft water by a process known as ‘ion exchange’. Simply put, a water softener exchanges magnesium and calcium with sodium, creating soft water that won’t block pipes, kettles and drains, as well as cause detergent scaling.
With a water softener, you’ll get lovely soft water that not only feels silky smooth on your skin, but will provide you with fewer long-term issues with plumbing. The last thing you want to do is spend money on a plumber for a problem that could have been prevented by use of a water softening system.
Related Hard Water Issues Articles