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Your Heat > Boiler Installations  > What Is Hard Water and How Does it Affect Your Boiler?

What Is Hard Water and How Does it Affect Your Boiler?

You’ve probably heard about soft and hard water before. But do you know the difference? Do you know whether you are living in a soft or hard water area? Do you know hard water can affect your appliances or that boilers in hard water areas are more prone to breakdown? On top of this, you may even be paying significantly higher bills if the water in your area is hard. Here we go into more detail about what exactly is hard water and how it affects your boiler.

What Is Hard Water?

Hard water contains high levels of calcium and magnesium (higher than 50mg/l). This happens when rich soil and rocks dissolve in water. Although watering plants with hard water can boost their growth, the same doesn’t apply to your household appliances, such as boilers, washing machines, etc. That’s why you should de-scale them once in a while to prevent the limescale buildups that hard water produces.

What Are the Signs of Hard Water?

  • Low Water Pressure – With time, mineral deposits cause blockages in the pipes and narrow down the water flow, which results in low water pressure.
  • Spots – Calcium carbonate deposits can leave spots on silverware and glasses if the water in your area is hard.
  • Mineral Stains – The hardness of the water may make your clothes thin and wear out faster or leave mineral stains.
  • Washing Hands for Longer – Calcium and soap usually create a weird reaction. If you typically have to rinse your hands for a couple of minutes to get rid of soap scrum, that’s almost a surefire sign of hard water.

How Does Hard Water Affect Your Boiler and Central Heating System?

Hard water and limescale buildups can cause tremendous issues with your central heating system – boiler, pipes and radiators. For instance, limescale buildup can make your boiler heat exchanger lose some of its power and reduce the amount of heat it produces.

On the other hand, it can reduce the flow of gas or hot water through the pipes, affect your boiler’s efficiency (it will push the appliance to work harder and it won’t be able to maintain a consistent temperature). If you don’t get this blockage fixed in time, limescale will cause your boiler to breakdown.

Last but not least, rattling noises in your pipework and boiler are tell-tale signs water in your area is hard and limescale deposits are settling in your central heating system.

Summary

As you can tell, hard water can cause major damage in the long run. Limescale buildups are harder to remove the longer they sit in your central heating system. To make sure your boiler is running at its maximum and ensure warmth and comfort in your home, have your boiler serviced once a year. This will boost your central heating system’s efficiency and save you a lot of money in the long run. Whether you want your boiler serviced or a new boiler, please don’t hesitate. Contact us anytime or request an instant boiler quote!

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