Water scale is a result of minerals (calcium and magnesium) that are present in the water. Hard water contains a higher percentage or concentration of minerals than soft water. As the water comes into contact with surfaces, these minerals are left behind, causing a scale build-up.
Hard water can result in a variety of problems, commonly causing a build-up of residue in pipes, water heating systems, washing machines, dish washers, kettles, boilers and any other appliances that require a flow of water. This can result in ineffective drainage or even blocked pipes. It can also result in water heaters ineffectively heating water and damage the water heater causing it malfunction, draw more power to heat water or even breakdown. Hard water can make detergents less effective.
Water softeners are traditionally used to treat hard water, prevent and get rid of scale. These softeners normally add sodium (salt) to the water which ionizes the water preventing minerals from attaching to surfaces. This ionization process is effective in preventing scale build-up to a certain degree but is not as effective at removing scale that already exists.
A water descaler on the other hand are very effective at preventing and eliminating scale build-up. These descalers work by creating an electronic charge around the water pipes which prevents the minerals from becoming attached to surfaces, effectively keeping the calcium and magnesium in the water. They therefore do not actually soften the water but prevent scale and work to descale surfaces.
These electric descalers will start descaling surfaces immediately after installation. However, it may take time for the process to become noticeable or for the scale to be removed entirely. This is largely dependent on the period of time that the scale has had to build-up. The longer the scale has been present and the greater the extent of the problem, the longer the process will take to remove the scale.
It is therefore recommended to install a descaler in areas that have hard water with a high mineral content. The sooner the descaler is installed, the quicker it will be able to deliver optimal results. Not installing a water softening or descaling system may result in the need to replace appliances, pipes and water heating systems that have become damaged or inoperable due to the scale build-up.
The water descaling system should be installed at the point where the water enters the home, before the pipes branch off into different areas of the home. This will mean that all water entering the home will be effectively treated. This point is normally located at the main water switch or at the water meter on the property. It is therefore an effective means to treat an entire household’s water supply, no matter how large or small the home is.
The system is quite easy to install and does not require the expertise of a plumber or electrician. However, if you are unsure, it is best to have the system professionally installed to ensure that it is functioning correctly and that there are no problems. Working with water and electricity can create a number of problems so it is always best to take precautions when installing an electric water descaling system.
One of the greatest benefits of using an electric water descaler rather than a water softening system is that it does not require the constant addition of sodium or other chemicals to function. It should not require any maintenance after it has been installed.
Most systems will provide you with information regarding any malfunction via a read-out on a LED screen. This will allow you to rectify any problems quickly and easily. However, if you cannot fix the problem or the unit continues to malfunction, it is recommended to call in a plumber or water descaling installation and repair expert to resolve the issue.
Electric descalers are generally very energy efficient and draw only a small amount of power. You should therefore not notice much difference in your monthly power and utilities bill after the system has been installed.
These descalers are effective on different types of materials including copper, iron and a variety of plastic water pipes that are commonly used for hot and cold water in the home. It is therefore ideal for treating hard water in older homes as well as new homes or where plumbing has been updated.
The water descaler should function effectively for a number of years without the requirement of any type of servicing or maintenance. However, like most appliances and electric equipment, it does have a limited lifespan. Check up on the system every now and again to ensure that it is functioning and does not need to be replaced.
The treated water is safe to drink, keeping in mind that it has not actually been “softened” and the mineral content will not have been affected. In fact, the calcium and magnesium that is present in drinking water is essential to provide the required nutritional value of these minerals to the human body and prevent a deficiency.
It is important to ensure that the descaling system that you choose meets with the required safety standards. The system should be leak proof and prevent the water and electricity from ever coming into contact with one another. It may be advisable to connect the system to the earth leakage in the home so that it will shut off the power supply should any problems occur. It is recommended to have an expert electrician or plumber connect the system to the main earth leakage in your home.
If you are unsure whether you may have a hard water problem, you can have the water tested by your local utilities department or the department of health in your area. Alternatively, you can ask your local descaling water system expert to test your water and recommend the ideal system to install in your home. There are a variety of electric water descalers available on the market and it is advisable to weigh up the pros and cons as well as cost of each before making a purchase.