Here at K and M maintenance, we work across the North West to provide gas and boiler solutions to homeowners, landlords, and commercial businesses. One of the problems we sometimes encounter is known as kettling. This is caused by hard water. But what exactly is hard water? And what kind of impact does it have on the boiler? Well, this is our guide to hard water and your boiler.

What is hard water?

Water that contains both calcium and magnesium ions is known as hard water. These ions are dissolved in the water from different rock types. This is why different places in the UK have different levels of soft, or hard water. Here in the North West, the water falls somewhere in the middle, with some homes experiencing problems because of moderately hard water.

What is the problem with hard water?

Hard water itself is great for developing teeth and bones, but unfortunately it isn’t so great for your boiler. Or your kettle. Or even your toilet. That’s because the main problem that hard water causes is limescale. Otherwise known as calcium carbonate.
In the boiler, this calcium carbonate gets left behind after the water is heated, and it builds up in the pipes and on the heating element itself. The more limescale that builds up, the more difficult it is for your central heating system to maintain heat, and the less efficient your boiler becomes. Eventually, limescale can lead to a full boiler breakdown.
Before that happens, you might first notice:
  • Cold spots in your radiators
  • Rattling noises from your pipes and boiler

In summary

The ions in hard water can cause limescale to build up around the heat exchanger in your boiler. This prevents your boiler from working at full efficiency and increases the cost of your bills. If you have a limescale issue, why not contact us at K and M Maintenance today?