When you purchase a property, there is an abundance of factors that should be taken into consideration. How many bedrooms are there in the house? Does it have double glazed windows? Did you spot signs of mould? If you are going to commit to a property, you have to ensure that it is suitable for your unique requirements. It is important to make a fully informed decision, otherwise you may live to regret your acquisition! One factor you should take into consideration is the integrity of a property’s plumbing and heating system. In this article, our Plumbers in Ipswich will explore the most common plumbing problems that plague Ipswich and the surrounding areas in Suffolk. In Ipswich, the most common plumbing related problem without a shadow of a doubt is the impact of hard water. It can cause a range of plumbing issues which usually develop over a long period of time. However, don’t worry too much – when there is a problem, our Ipswich Plumbers can always put it right!

What is hard water?

Ipswich has some of the hardest water in the whole of the United Kingdom. So, it is definitely important to be aware of the issues that can be caused by hard water if you are purchasing a property in Ipswich. Hard water is water that has a high mineral content. It is formed when the water percolates through substances such as limescale. This process happens long before the water is fed into your property. The higher the percentage of minerals in the water, the ‘harder’ the water is considered to be. It really depends on where you live, some areas have soft water and others have hard, it depends on where your supply comes from and the amount of limescale deposited in your local area.

Ipswich and most of East Anglia are known for having extremely hard water. Although recent studies have indicated that hard water can have health benefits, it definitely will not aid the health of your property’s plumbing and heating infrastructure. If you decide to purchase a property in Ipswich, it is important to take the necessary precautions to mitigate the impact of hard water, otherwise it will cause damage!

Problems with appliances

In areas with hard water, it is common for there to be a build up of limescale in water based appliances. If you look inside your kettle, you will probably see limescale residue. When you boil hard water, the kettle boils the water and it evaporates into steam, this then leaves behind the minerals that were present in the water. Over a prolonged period of time, the build-up of limescale can lead to irreparable damage! For example, a build-up of limescale in your property’s pipework can restrict the flow of water and in the long-term could cause a pipe to burst if there is enough pressure.

Smaller issues can arise from the way that hard water reacts with soap. Minerals in hard water can react with soap to create soap scum meaning that you need to use more soap in areas with hard water. It may also mean that you need to rinse your clothes and your hair more vigorously to remove the soap. Without realising, over a long period of time, you will spend more money on soap when you have hard water circulating throughout your property’s plumbing.

Problems with plumbing

If hard water causes damage to your water based appliances, you can imagine the impact that limescale will have on your pipework. The build up of limescale in a small appliance such as a kettle can be cleaned, the same cannot be said for an instance where limescale builds up throughout a property’s pipework. If there is a blockage, it can be difficult to determine exactly where it is, and more often than not it can be throughout the system. If you ignore a blockage caused by limescale, it will not go away on its own – instead, as time goes by, it will get worse and can lead to a more significant problem. If left for too long, your pipes can become blocked which may result in a burst or leaky pipe!

Our Ipswich Plumbers can help you avoid it getting that serious. It is usually the case that when a pipe becomes blocked, you will notice it pretty quickly. You may notice a reduction in pressure when using your shower, or your kitchen tap may trickle! When you begin to notice a problem, don’t leave it – instead, you should book a consultation and we will locate the source of the problem for you right away. It is always better to consult an Ipswich Plumber in the short-term, otherwise you may need an emergency repair.

How to prevent limescale build-up

The best way to ensure that your property is safe from the negative effects of hard water is to reduce the hardness of the water before it enters your system. This does not mean that you need to move house, that would be pretty drastic! The solution is simple, you can have a water softener installed in your property. This works by removing calcium and magnesium from the water, stopping the build-up of limescale deposited by these minerals.

Signs that you may benefit from installing a water softener include:

  • You start to notice a mineral-like crust build up around your faucets or shower head.
  • Your laundry is stiff after it has been through the wash.
  • Your skin becomes dry or irritated after having a shower.

If any of these signs are presented within your property, it is definitely recommended to discuss the situation with a Plumber in Ipswich. We offer a free, no obligation consultation where you can talk to us about your concerns.