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Water hardness is a natural feature and results from the geology of the region, being made up from limestone. Minerals such as calcium and magnesium dissolve into the water as it moves round the ground. This guide should be taken as advisory and if your water hardness search results demonstrate Hard to Very Hard water or Medium to moderately Hard water then contact your local expert shown on the following page for advice Regional Sales team or check out our system efficiency brochure by clicking this link. 

Water hardness is a way of defining what is commonly known as hard water or soft water. Hard water is water with a high mineral content that is created by water percolating through mineral formations such as limestone.

  • Chemical ions such as bicarbonates, carbonates, as well as calcium can be found in hard water.
  • Iron oxides or iron carbonates may be present in hard water, resulting in a reddish-brown appearance of the deposits.
  • Hard water can be identified at home by the absence of froth when soap is stirred in water, or by the growth of limescale deposits on kettles as well as water heaters, boilers or heat pumps.

Hard water is created by rainwater passing through beds of rocks with a low concentration of multivalent ions. As a result, the degree of hardness varies depending on the complexity of a location’s geology. There are two forms of water hardness: permanent water hardness as well as transient water hardness.

  • Permanent water hardness is caused by multivalent cations (usually with charge +2) such as calcium.
  • Temporary water hardness is induced by the presence of dissolved bicarbonates as well as carbonates.

Hard water can cause issues such as clogged pipes, deposits on kitchenware, as well as galvanic corrosion. Soft Water is free of dissolved calcium and other minerals so has a low mineral concentration and is therefore referred to as soft water.

  • Sodium-based monovalent cations are found in soft water, whereas multivalent cations are found in hard water.
  • Soft water is typically created by using water softeners or other substances to reduce the mineral content in hard water.
  • If soft water is exposed to mineral rocks for an extended period, it will eventually change into hard water.

Every day the size of limescale deposits is increasing in the buildings throughout the UK. At an unknown point in time, the hard water will have an overwhelming effect on the plumbing system.

Limescale that creates hard water in the UK causes the following avoidable issues:

• Energy usage will be increased which means you will miss energy reduction targets and system performance reductions will cost you more money and waste vital resources

• Pipelines slowly scale up, reducing pipe diameter and flow

• Sudden premature mechanical failure of key equipment means aggravation, unexpected costs, and unhappy clients

• Legionella prevention becomes harder to manage leading to increased treatment costs or potential compliance issues

• Cleaning takes longer increasing down time

• Elevated levels of Water hardness will decrease system efficiency and lifetime costs can increase.