Water Softening Vs Limescale Protection
The effects of hard water on our homes, such as the formation of limescale, are well known and can have a substantial effect on our heating system and appliances if left unchecked. However, limescale problems can be tackled with water treatment solutions such as a water softening system and limescale protection products like physical water conditioners. These solutions can help you reduce those hard water problems, whether you want to prevent the formation of limescale and corrosion or simply reduce its negative effects around your home.
What is Water Softening?
Water softening is the process of removing excess minerals from water, such as calcium and magnesium, which define the hardness of the water. When the water is heated, the excess calcium in the water causes limescale to form. As a result, softening the water, which means removing excess calcium from the water, can help in the prevention of limescale formation.
Ion exchange is one of the most commonly used water softening processes, and it is accomplished through the use of a water softener system. Water softeners are designed to reduce the hardness of the water. They use an ion exchange resin which forms the heart of the system that exchanges calcium and magnesium ions in the water for sodium ions, resulting in softened water.
Softened water has numerous advantages and is ideal for your skin, clothes, surfaces, and household appliances. It remains potable and safe to drink but because softened water is slightly higher in sodium, it may not be suitable for people on a low sodium diet or when preparing baby food.
How Water Softener works?
If you want to prevent limescale build up or permanently reduce the calcium content of your tap water, a water softener is a perfect solution. BWT water softeners work on the ion exchange principle, which means that the hardness-forming magnesium and calcium ions are replaced by sodium ions.
The system includes an ion exchange resin that removes calcium and magnesium ions from your water and replaces them with sodium ions. However, the resin bed can only absorb a limited amount of minerals. As a result, the resin needs to be recharged or regenerated using a brine solution. This solution is made automatically using a high quality food grade salt and an accurately measured amount of water. The regeneration process is essential to ensure that the process runs smoothly and without interruption.
This results into silky, smooth Luxury Water that can be used for a variety of household purposes. The softened water produced not only protects your home from limescale deposits in the water pipes or your household appliances, but it also aids in the removal of existing limescale on shower, surfaces and fittings. Softened water is more comfortable in the shower or bath, and it is also better for the skin.
Where can I buy Water Softeners?
BWT is Europe’s leading water treatment company that specialises in water softeners. Our range of water softeners are designed for UK homes using innovative technology that turns hard water into softened water, ideal for you and your home.
You can easily purchase BWT water softeners from our online BWTShop.
What is a Limescale Inhibitor?
Limescale protectors are physical water conditioners that provide a low-cost, environmentally friendly alternative to controlling the formation of limescale where heat exchange occurs. They are simple to set up and easy to maintain. Physical water conditioners do not soften water. In fact, they don’t soften the water by lowering the calcium and magnesium content like a softener, instead they inhibit the formation of limescale by changing its physical properties and are ideal for protecting specific appliances at the point where water flows into them, some like electrolytic model can also be used to offer whole-house protection.
How Limescale Inhibitors work?
Limescale protector do not remove minerals from water, but rather change their physical form to prevent the formation of limescale. In general they inhibit the formation of scale by changing its physical properties, and are ideal for protecting specific appliances like washing machines and electric showers. This physical change means that hard is less likely to settle in the pipes or heat exchangers.
With a physical limescale inhibitor or system, you can optimally protect your home from limescale build-up while also preserving all important minerals in the water.
Types of Limescale Inhibitors
Limescale inhibitors are categorized into four major types.
To prevent the formation of limescale, these systems use radio frequencies flowing through wires wrapped around the pipes. The electrical energy flowing through the wires causes minute seed crystals to form, which are precipitated by dissolved calcium in the water. When the water is heated, the seed crystals attract additional scale. The larger crystals that form as a result are washed away by the water flow. Ideal for protecting individual appliances, but if powerful enough, they can also be used to protect the entire water system.
Checkout the BWT electronic water conditioner Wrappa 2, a great solution to minimise the impact of limescale.
2) Magnetic and Electro Magnetic
These devices primarily alter the physical characteristics of the minerals that can cause limescale and promote the formation of larger, needle-shaped crystals rather than the normal small cubic pattern found in hard water. This reduces the scale’s stickiness and allows it to be washed away by the flow of water. Inhibitors like the Limefighter make use of permanent magnets and are ideal for protecting individual appliances such as showers and electric kettles whilst larger more powerful models like the BWT Powermag utilise the strength of powerful electromagnets to deliver effective protection for commercial applications. The conditioning effect on the water is temporary and is not usually suitable for treated water that is likely to be stored before use.
These systems do not require an external power supply or the addition of any chemicals. Instead, they add trace amounts of metal, usually zinc or iron, to prevent the formation of limescale, which disrupts the chemical equilibrium of the water. They also serve as a site for scale to precipitate, thereby protecting water heating appliances. Discover how Compact Lime beater 2 can help you reduce the impact of limescale in your home and protect your appliances.
Ideal for preventing limescale and corrosion in central heating systems. They work by introducing a very small amount of food grade polyphosphate into the water feed, which sequesters the calcium in the water and aids in the prevention of limescale formation on the heat exchanger. It protects against limescale and corrosion whether you want to protect a single appliance or the entire house.
BWT Combi Care is an excellent water treatment solution for your heating system, ensuring improved performance and efficiency by preventing limescale and corrosion.
A brief overview of limescale protectors