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10 things everyone should know about hard water and limescale

  1. Approximately 13 million households in the UK live in a hard water area — that amounts to 60% of the population! Use this map to see if you live in a very hard, hard or soft water area, or alternatively, contact your local authority.
  2. Hard water occurs in areas where the bedrock consists of porous, sedimentary substances like limestone or sandstone. When rainfall seeps through the rock, it dissolves chemical compounds and carries traces of them along with it. Water with a high mineral content (most commonly calcium and magnesium) then makes its way into the local water supply.
  3. Engineered water supply systems now mean that even soft water areas might receive hard water.
  4. The minerals in hard water, when heated, are what cause limescale to appear on surfaces — which creates all kinds of problems.
  5. Hard water can be bad for your hair and your skin. It aggravates skin conditions like eczema, and the ion deposits can dull your hair’s colour and shine and give it a coarse texture.
  6. Washing your clothes and towels in hard water can make the fabric hard and rough to the touch, and white materials may lose their brightness or turn grey.
  7. Limescale build-up can end up causing parts to fail in household appliances like showers, boilers, kettles, washing machines and dishwashers.
  8. Hard water can make your heating and hot water bills more expensive, as it reduces the efficiency of boilers and appliances. According to The Carbon Trust, “a 1mm layer of limescale will cause a 7% increase in energy input to the boiler to meet the same heat demand.” This amounts to an extra £150 to £200 in household bills every year.
  9. Appliances need to be repaired or replaced more frequently due to limescale damage, incurring further hassle and costs.
  10. You may need to use extra detergent and washing up liquid to get your clothes and dishes clean, as soap tends not to lather as effectively in hard water.

Water conditioning units can prevent the build-up of limescale in your showers and taps, increasing the efficiency of your boiler and saving you money in the long term. Click here to find out more about our WRAS-approved ActivFlo range.