Causes of Limescale Problems
Heating systems such as hot-water boilers and kettles always develop a hard and chalky deposit on their heating surfaces. This deposit is referred to as Limescale, and is formed by calcium carbonate present in the water. The amount of deposition is normally directly proportional to the concentration of the calcium carbonate.
The direct effects of Limescale problems include; damage to the system’s components and general reduction in operation levels. Heating systems should therefore be well maintained to prevent this deposition. You can find further information at the Water Guide website
List of Limescale Problems
Deposition of Limescale leads to problems which users of heating systems should be aware of. These include:
Reduction in the flow of Water through Pipes and Taps
This happens when the excess build-up of the Limescale reduces the internal surface area of the pipe. This limits the volume of water or steam passing through the pipe. Eventually, this results to blockage.
Causes Insulation in Appliances Containing Heat
Limescale build-up causes insulation in kettles and systems supplying hot water leading to poor transfer of heat through the materials. This leads to long periods of heating that translate to wastage of energy since heat generated is not well utilized.
Difficult to Remove Limescale Deposits
This leads to the need for frequent pipe replacements. This increases the general maintenance costs of systems especially for boilers.
Ugly in Appearance
When Limescale covers sinks, taps and other hard surfaces, they give a general ugly appearance since they do not come off easily.
Deposits in the Water
Users of kettles also face the risk of having pieces of solid Limescale floating in the liquid being heated.
Limescale Leads to Rust
Limescale leads to formation of rust. When the scale has been built on, iron and its oxidized particles can easily be imbedded leading to corrosion of the pipe due to the rust.
Bacteria and Microorganisms
Bacteria and microorganisms also hide in the uneven surface of the Limescale especially when thick. This makes the water passing through the pipe unhealthy for consumption.
Requires Strong Cleaning Agents
Limescale deposition also requires the use of strong cleaning agents and this generally increases the cleaning costs. In industries, frequent cleaning of pipes or replacing due to Limescale interrupts the operations of the industry translating to reduced production.
Causes Appliances to stop Working
Appliances also face the risk of breakdowns. Limescale in pipes causes sudden pressure changes that may interfere with machine cycles and operations causing breakdowns.
How to solve the Limescale problems
A simple yet effective method of solving Limescale problems is adding vinegar to the flow of water or pouring in the kettle or machine. The acidic composition of the vinegar decomposes the built up Limescale. Water descalers that use electricity also prevent and remove these deposits. Magno Balls use magnetic power to crystalize particles of Limescale in water. This prevents clogging of pipes and settling of scales on clothes. These are some ways one could use to solve Limescale problems.
Limescale is a chemical deposit that causes numerous problems to hot-water systems as listed. It however has two advantages: the calcium carbonate can be compressed to produce chalk and to produce calcium supplement when correctly treated. Comparing this to the various Limescale problems listed, it is clear that it is more destructive than beneficial.