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The Problem with scale and rust

What is Limescale?

Scale mainly consists of calcium and magnesium - two minerals that by themselves have a healthy effect on the human body. However, what is good for living organisms quickly becomes a scale problem as scale deposits in the piping system, in machinery or on surfaces around the house. So-called hard water holds high concentrations of calcium: the more calcium in the water, the harder the water and more problems.



The birth of limescale

Scale builds up as soon as hard water flows through a pipe. Calcium in untreated water crystallizes into a sticky structure (1). These crystals adhere to each other, adhere to surfaces and immediately produce solid scale deposits that have a very destructive effect.

Scale grows in particular when the water pressure changes. This happens when water changes direction in a bend or intersection which then causes turbulence; or when it leaves the piping system through a faucet. This drop in pressure enhances the formation of calcium crystals, which form a burr-like structure that adheres anywhere.

Scale also particularly forms in warm areas such as on heating elements or radiators. The hotter the surfaces, the more scale will develop. Typical problem spots are heating elements, water heaters etc.

scale problem heater

scale problem heating element

More limescale-related problems: rust and bacteria


Rust is common problem in combination with scale

The main components of scale are calcium and magnesium. This would lead us to the believe that scale deposits have a white color. However, most scale deposits are red. The reason behind this lies in the relationship of scale and rust. As soon as scale deposits have built up, all iron and oxidized iron particles imbed into the scale. This creates the red color. This also means that rust is firmly attached to the pipe which causes a serious threat to the pipe by pitting corrosion.

rust problem

Dangerous bacterial growth in the scale sockets

Scale deposits are also perfect breeding grounds for bacteria and other unwanted micro-organisms. As the deposits have an uneven, rough surface, these little sockets are a perfect hide-out for bacteria to nest in. Whether it is cold or hot water you will face an increase in potentially dangerous substances that linger on the scale.

scale and bacteria problem

Typical problems caused by scale & rust

  • Blocked piping system
  • Loss of water pressure due to a reduced pipe diameter
  • Rust accumulation in the pipes that may lead to corrosion
  • Bacterial growth in drinking water carrying pipes
  • Repeated repairs or replacement of household appliances
  • Replacement of the whole piping system
  • Loss of energy in the hot water circuit and high costs for heating
  • Dull surfaces in bathroom and kitchen
  • High cleaning costs and the need of aggressive cleaning agents
  • Malfunctioning machinery
  • Long pauses in production when machinery has to be maintaned and cleaned leading to inefficient production planning

Scale Problems

Scale Problems

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