Depending on where you live in the United Kingdom, you may be faced with a build-up of limescale within your property’s plumbing at some point or another. The damage caused by hard water takes place over a prolonged period of time. If you are reading this article, then the first question you may have is; how hard is the water in Ipswich? Here in Suffolk, the water supplied is amongst some of the hardest in England. So, what is hard water, and how can you mitigate its impact on your property?

What is Hard Water?

Hard water is different from soft water due to its high mineral content. When rainwater lands in an area with rocks such as limestone, then as the water penetrates the ground beneath, it collects and dissolves particles of the rock into the water. The particles in question are minerals such as magnesium and calcium. The higher the concentration of these minerals, the harder the water supply will be considered.

Before we go any further, it’s important to highlight that hard water is entirely safe to drink. Some studies indicate that it is healthier to drink hard water than soft water as it aids your daily mineral intake. However, while it may be perfectly safe for human consumption, it can and if forgotten about, will cause damage to your property’s infrastructure.

How can limescale damage your pluimbing?

When you boil your kettle, the minerals within the water will be left behind. The easiest way to demonstrate the damage which is caused by hard water is to look inside your kettle; more often than not, you will be able to notice a considerable build-up of limescale! The deposit of these minerals happens inside your pipes, which can cause blockages over an extended period of time. This may never cause you a problem, but – a build-up of limescale can impact your water pressure. If you have encountered an issue with the water pressure in your property, our Plumbers in Ipswich can diagnose the cause – schedule a consultation.

How can you avoid damage in your property?

There are two preventative measures that you can install in your property to mitigate the impact of hard water; these are to install a water softener or reverse osmosis water treatment system.

Installing a water softener is definitely an effective solution if you would like to soften your water supply. It is a tank installed between the water source and your internal plumbing which filters the water entering the system. The water softener works by removing the magnesium and calcium minerals from the water through a process called ion-exchange. When this process has been completed, the water entering your plumbing system will no longer be hard water.

If you want to avoid drinking hard water, you can choose a reverse osmosis water treatment system. Reverse osmosis uses a partially permeable membrane to filter out the minerals found within hard water. The microscopic filter catches all manner of substances which have found their way into your water supply, including bacteria. Usually fitted under your sink, a reverse osmosis water treatment system will provide you with a softer, safe to drink supply of water.

The benefits of soft water

Although there are benefits to both hard and soft water, we know that soft water will not block your system in the way that hard water can. However, there are several other key benefits to soft water.

  • Heating soft water will consume less energy – thus, softer water will save you money!
  • Your clothes will be softer as there will be no hard minerals trapped within the fabric.
  • Some people may notice a difference in the softness of their skin and hair.
  • Softer water will prolong the lifespan of your water-based appliances such as coffee machines, dishwashers and – let’s not forget, kettles.

Mitigating the hard water supply in Ipswich

You can limit the impact of hard water on your system by implementing one of the solutions discussed within this article. That being said, the purpose of this article was to inform you of the potential issues that can be caused by hard water, most people will never experience a significant problem due to the build-up of limescale. If you are confused by the impact that hard water is having on your property or would like to install one of the systems discussed, you can schedule a consultation with one of our Gas Safe registered Plumbers in Ipswich.