Limescale…. The culprit for ruining our kettles and leaving a nice white residue in our nice cup of tea.
But that’s only what you can see.
Did you know that limescale actually affects most of your appliances, which then has a knock on effect on your energy efficiency, utility bills, cleanliness, taste of water and just being all-round unsightly.
Unfortunately, a lot of people do not realise just how bad their limescale problem is.
What is Limescale and Where Does it Come From?
Before water comes through our taps, it goes through a rigorous treatment process. Unfortunately, limescale cannot be removed from the original treatment process as the limescale comes from dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium.
Limescale deposits build up when the water evaporates. This means if you do not get rid of limescale, it will only continue to build on itself and as you may already be aware, it can accumulate quickly.
If you live in a hard water area, you are more likely to have come across the chalky, white substance in your home more often than those who live in a soft water area.
Limescale Beyond the Kettle
Limescale effects any appliance that holds water.
So not only your kettle, but your kitchen taps, the pipes your water runs through, your boiler, radiators, shower head, you name it.
To put the consequences of limescale into perspective, we’ll start with the effects of limescale on your kettle:
- Unsightly residue left in your hot drinks
- It can leave a funny taste
- Water will take much longer to boil which will affect your efficiency and cost you more
- Reduces the life-span of your kettle
Which Appliances Does Limescale Affect in Your Home?
- Kitchen & bathroom sink
- Any heating appliances including your boiler , dishwasher, washing machine
- Toilet bowl
How Does Limescale Affect Your Home Appliances?
Rumour has it hard water is good for your health. Although this may be true, this does not outweigh the negative effect it has on your home.
Hard water, rid with limescale, can affect the taste of your water and consequently, your cup of morning tea.
Mae King Tsang, tea expert, has said in a recent article that the reason that limescale affects the taste of our water, is due to the addition of chemicals that make it safe to drink, for example, chlorine.
This is why your tea may taste funny, too. Tang suggests that hard water and the tea compounds do not work well together, resulting in a struggle to dissolve.
Scale Build Up
Slow, but deadly.
The limescale deposits slowly build up on your appliances. What makes it worse is that limescale loves to build on limescale.
So it just continues to grow until no more water can get through.
It’s difficult as you can’t always see it at first.
Hard water, and as a result, limescale, can mean more chores for you.
Unfortunately limescale can’t just be wiped off. You’re more than likely going to need to scrub (not too hard so you ruin the finish on your appliances, especially if you are scrubbing the your kitchen tap) and soak a few times before making a difference.
This applies to all your appliances, including your toilet, bathroom and kitchen sinks, washing machine and dishwasher.
More Repairs Needed
As well as more maintenance and cleaning, it may also mean more calls to your plumber.
Not only are your standard household appliances affected, but also the appliances in the background that feed them the water. These are things like pipes, your boiler and radiators.
This may mean that appliances need repairing more often that planned, or even replaced. This can be costly when you are looking at parts and labour costs.
Reducing Energy Efficiency
A build up of limescale will affect home appliances, for example, your dishwasher, washing machine, boiler and all connecting pipes. Limescale means more energy will be used to heat the water, as well as transfer the water. This in turn will increase your household bills and your chances of more repairs.
British Water calculate that every 1.6mm of limescale in a heating system causes a 12% loss in heating efficiency.
Solving Your Limescale Problem
Hard water is not something that can be solved in the water treatment process.
Residents in a hard water area, are more than likely have invested in a water softener, to avoid all the costs and maintenance hard water comes with – and to enjoy the tasty, clean soft water the lucky parts of the country get to enjoy.