Limescale build-up on plumbing

Hard water and limescale can cause many issues within your home and life. It can cause dry skin and dull hair, a build-up of limescale around showers and faucets, which is tough to clean, and it can leave scaly scum in your kettle.  But worse, it can ruin your internal plumbing and water heater, costing you unnecessary money every single month! In this blog, we look at how hard water is damaging your home's internal workings and how you can prevent it. 

What Is Hard Water?

Over 60% of the UK live in hard water areas, which means that the mineral content in their main water supply is higher than in other parts of the UK.  These minerals are calcium and magnesium, and they enter the water when the rain passes through the rock bed in the surrounding area of our reservoirs before it is processed into drinking water.  These minerals cause the build-up of limescale, a yellowish-grey scale that develops around faucets, shower heads, and anywhere that has contact with the mains water. This includes your appliances and plumbing too.

Damaged on plumbing by limescale

If you would like more information on the difference between soft and hard water, we have a wealth of information on our blog. 

Alternatively, if you are asking yourself, "how hard is my water?" our postcode finder will give you all the necessary water information for your areas of residence. 

Does Hard Water Affect Your Plumbing? 

There are many problems that come with living in a hard water area. The visible build-up of limescale in a bathroom, dull hair and dry skin or the lack of lather from soaps and detergents. However, one of the more prevalent issues caused by hard water is the corrosion of plumbing.

How Does Hard Water Affect Your Plumbing? 

If hard water is leaving a substantial build-up on the fixtures attached to your plumbing, imagine what it is doing to the plumbing itself. The limescale accumulates on the interiors of the pipe work, and over time this build-up begins to narrow the pipe and corrode the metal. 

Think of it like cholesterol building up in the arteries of a person. The more cholesterol there is, the harder the heart has to work to pump blood around the body. It is the same with limescale; the more there is, the harder your home has to work.  

A significant build-up of limescale in your pipes can lead to decreased water pressure and an increased risk of clogging and corrosion of your pipes. 

Effects Of Limescale On Your Water Heater 

It's not just your plumbing that is at risk from the effects of hard water either. It is also your appliances that use water. The most expensive and crucial appliance found in most homes is a water heater, and hard water wreaks havoc on them. 

Damaged water heater from limescale

Like your plumbing, limescale also has considerable effects on your water heater. It has been proven to corrode the pipes, cause your water heater to become less efficient, and ultimately fail. That's not all; it will also cause the water heater to use more electricity to heat the tank, meaning that it also costs you more each month. 

How To Prevent Limescale In Plumbing 

The only way to permanently prevent the build-up of limescale is to install a water softener

Our flagship Kinetico Water softener works by feeding the hard water into one side of the twin tank system. Within the tank, a chemical exchange called reverse osmosis occurs where the calcium and sodium minerals are exchanged with sodium ions, resulting in soft water. For a more in-depth explanation, see our page on how water softeners work.

Do I Need A Water Softener?

If you are still determining whether a water softener would be the best option, you can always contact us and speak to a hard water specialist. We can talk you through installing a water softener and answer any questions. You can call Kinetico today to enquire about the home water solutions we provide.