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Common Minerals in UK Tap Water and Their Impact on Your Water Heater

17 Jul 2020

Water is a necessity. We need it for drinking, cooking, bathing, washing the dishes, and so much more. However, how much do you know about the water that flows when you open a tap? What’s in it besides good old H2O?

Water, whether you’re connected to the municipal supply or have your own well, contains more than just water. There are chemicals used to treat water to ensure it is healthy and safe for consumption. However, there are also minerals. These include things like lime, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, amongst others.

Those minerals add to the health benefits of water, supplementing your intake, but they also affect other things. Consider your water heater. It does more than simply hold heated water so you can take a relaxing shower or wash up after supper.

Everything inside the water heater, from the inlet to the immersion heater to the anode and the outflow comes into contact with water and the minerals it contains. Depending on the specific minerals in your supply, you will have either hard water or soft water. Both types interact differently within your water heater.

The Impact of Hard Water

Hard water contains a lot of magnesium and calcium. It can also include a lot of time. Not sure if you have hard water or not? The next time you boil water, look for the tell-tale white residue on the sides of the boiler.

Within your plumbing, hard water creates “scale” – a layer of residue that builds and grows over time. This can damage all parts of your plumbing, from toilet workings to the interior of pipes and, yes, your water heater. In your water heater, the minerals settle to the bottom, but boiling water can raise them and create a rumbling noise.

To deal with hard-water scale and mineral build-up, you can install a water softener, which will remove the minerals that cause the problem (but may cause problems of their own). You can also drain and flush the water heater annually, which is a recommended part of water heater maintenance.

The Impact of Soft Water

If you have soft water, the issue isn’t calcium or magnesium. Instead, it’s sodium. That causes problems of its own. Water with high sodium content will actually accelerate the corrosion and ultimate failure of the anode within your water heater. It may also corrode other parts, hastening the time when you need to replace the cylinder.

The only real way to deal with soft water-related damage is to check your anode regularly and replace it when necessary. Otherwise, it could lead to leaks and damage.

Do You Have Damage?

Our experienced plumbers are highly trained and able to detect potential problems and repair your system. We also offer annual maintenance services that help ensure your water heater lasts as long as possible.

EasyFlow can send an engineer to you if you’re located in Greater Manchester, Warrington, Liverpool and Chester.


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