How hard water affects a boiler in the Portsmouth and Havant area?


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Living in the UK, it is likely you know all about why a boiler is such an essential appliance within your home; they provide us with central heating and hot water when we need it the most.

What is lesser known, however, is how a boiler’s water actually affects it. If you are from an area that has hard water, it might be affecting your boiler in ways unbeknownst to you.

First, we must explain what hard water actually is, and how it differs from soft water.

What is hard water?

Hard water is the name for water that contains high levels of calcium and magnesium (specifically higher than 50mg per litre). This happens when soil and rocks dissolve in the water, causing such a chemical condition to occur.

If you are from the Portsmouth area, the water is derived from the chalk of the South Downs. This means it is excellent quality water, but its chalk source can make it quite hard.

This type of water can be good for some things. For example, watering plants with hard water can boost their growth.

Unfortunately, the same does not apply to your household appliances. Hard water can be quite detrimental to appliances such as boilers, washing machines, and kettles, causing limescale build up.

This is why people often choose to de-scale their products now and then. It can ease the negative effects of hard water.

What are the effects of hard water?

If you are not aware whether you have hard water running through your pipes already, there can be a few simple signs that will let you know.

Low water pressure

After time, hard water going through pipes can cause slight blockages and slow down the flow of water, resulting in low water pressure. This is most obvious when using an old shower or a tap that hasn’t been cleaned in a while.

Excessive scale build-up

Hard water can cause excessive scale build-ups or deposits in pipes and appliances. The scale will be a whitish colour and will not clean away easily without de-scaling. Unfortunately, this will likely reduce the lifespan of your household appliances.

Mineral Stains

One of the prominent signs of hard water is that you may notice mineral stains on your cutlery, sinks, and bathtubs. It can also fade your clothes, making them wear a lot faster.

How does hard water affect your boiler?

Hard water, along with the limescale build-ups that it produces, can cause detrimental issues with your central heating system. This includes your boiler, radiators, and any pipes that have hard water going through them.

In fact, a bad limescale build-up can make your boiler’s heat exchanger lose some of its power, resulting in your boiler producing less heat.

Additionally, this will reduce the flow of hot water through its pipes, meaning your boiler will have to work a lot harder to successfully heat, and it will struggle in maintaining a consistent temperature (this is likely something you have experienced but have not been able to identify).

If you do not get this limescale blockage fixed, it will eventually cause your boiler to breakdown.

To summarise:

Ultimately, understanding and managing your appliances will help in maintaining the health of your central heating system and ease the production of limescale.

Remember to check on your appliances regularly. This could mean using water softeners to help protect them, or perhaps engaging in a de-scale session once in a while.

If your boiler is already affected due to hard water and you would like some advice, our experts are happy to help you.

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