How to prevent corrosion

How to prevent corrosion

30th January 2017

Hard water corrosion

Whilst hard water is not itself a health concern, it can cause corrosion in water pipes and home appliances, which creates major problems and costly defects. When you have hard water, it means that your home water supply contains Calcium and Magnesium from limestone, chalk or marble deposits. Hard water is a widespread problem experienced by numerous households; you can tell if you have hard water by indications of white stains in sinks, showers, toilets, and more.

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What is corrosion?

This build up, also known as limescale deposit, occurs when the hard water evaporates and leaves behind the minerals. In a process called corrosion, these hardened minerals can eat through the coating on plumbing, rubber seals, and cause failures in the most expensive parts of your appliances, such as pumps and water heating elements, which are present in kettles, dishwashers, washing machines and even coffee machines. The linescale deposits can also cause a build up of deposits inside your water pipes causing blockages, a lack of pressure and dripping taps or running toilets.  

For example, if you notice white residue stains on your dishes after you wash them in the dishwasher, you have very likely hard water. Not only is the hard water affecting your glassware and dishes, the limescale build up is also settling on the inside of your dishwasher. The more build up, the more likely your dishwasher will wear down and start to corrode. The mineral deposits can damage the rubber seals and create leaking, and also create premature rusting due to the build up. 

A number of factors will accelerate corrosion in your home due to your water quality. 

  • Acidity (low pH)
  • High mineral concentrations
  • Stray current electrolysis
  • Galvanic corrosion caused by dissimilar metals
  • Dissolved oxygen content
  • Water temperatures

How to prevent corrosion?

Residue build up due to having hard water takes a toll on all of your home appliances that use water, such as your kettle, dishwasher, iron, washing machine, water heater and so on. Using distilled or filtered water would be a good solution to combat hard water in smaller water using household appliances (kettles and irons), but a long term and more convenient solution that can be applied throughout the house to all water using devices, would be installing a water softener. A whole home water softener installation would save costs on future home appliance replacements and repair jobs. Not only would the installation of a water softener save you on appliance cost, but you would also experience other benefits of soft water – improved soap lathering, healthier skin, hair and scalp, as well as softer laundry without having to use additional fabric softeners. These benefits are especially important if you live in a particularly hard water affected area. 

Read more about advantages of soft water  

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