An Anti Limescale Device Could Solve Your Limescale Problems

An anti limescale device can make appliances last longer and can soften your water.

They are an inexpensive solution to a potentially costly problem. A limescale prevention device, such as a magnetic ball, is worth having because it will almost certainly save you money by prolonging the life of your machine. It will also help keep your need for detergents as low as possible, making wash day a greener affair.

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What is an anti limescale device?

Simply something that stops the lime content of water depositing itself onto your pipes and appliances.

One solution is a kind of magnet. There are also chemical additives available which soften the water. Chemical additives can affect the quality of drinking water and can be inadvisable for some people. They may increase the amount of sodium in the water as it comes out of the tap.

Here we are looking at the magnetic anti-limescale devices.

What is hard water?

Water varies in the amount of calcium and other minerals that it carries. Water which contains a lot of calcium or other minerals in solution is called hard water. Soft water is water with little or no calcium or other minerals dissolved in it.

Some areas are known for their hard water, that is to say that the water carried to houses through the water supply network contains large quantities of naturally occurring lime or other forms of calcium and possibly other minerals, too.

This might not be a problem but unfortunately, lime in water has a tendency to be deposited on surfaces over time.

You can see the effects of this in some caves. For example, the well-known caves of Cheddar Gorge, near Bristol, England have many stalactites and stalagmites. These are formed over millennia as water drips from the cave roof. The minerals in the water sticks to the rock and form long, stone-like fingers of calcium.

Much the same thing can happen inside kettles and washing machines as water passes over surfaces. The movement of the water is different, so long fingers do not tend to grow - but scaly deposits of calcium carbonate adhere to pipes and moving parts.

Limescale is usually a greyish white but can have a reddish-brown hue if there is iron present in the water too. Hard water is generally harmless to health.

Why does limescale matter?

The parts affected may become narrowed and more prone to clogging with grease and debris. Scale inside washing machines can cause mechanical failure. Parts have to be replaced or even a new machine can become a necessity before it should. Even if actual damage has not occurred, the machine can become less efficient. A washing machine drum with limescale attached is heavier and therefore takes more energy to rotate.

Limescale can affect parts which are not easy to access, so the repair costs can be considerable.

Hard water is also more harsh for washing clothes. Fabrics last less long and the amount of detergent needed is increased by as much as 60%. Clothes washed in hard water can feel scratchy and rough to wear.

All this can -potentially - be solved by a good anti-limescale device.



What’s the solution to limescale in your washing machine?

One easy solution is to buy a magnetic ball such as the EcoZone "Magnoball". You place it in the drum with the clothes and it magnetises the water as it swirls around the drum. The magnetised water does not deposit limescale but rather the limescale exits the washing machine along with the water.

These anti-limescale devices are simple and cheap – you just have to remember to use them!

You should find that you need less detergent or soap powder to get your laundry clean. The net effect is like having soft water in your washing machine – but you do not need any chemicals to achieve this

Other anti-limescale devices can be fitted as a permanent part of your plumbing.

If you are having renovation work involving parts of your plumbing system, then this might be a solution to look at. We have one of these and it has kept the pipes clear of calcium for years.

Alternatively there are clip-on magnets available which do much the same job for a fraction of the cost. I do not know how well they compare for effectiveness but they have the advantage that they can be fitted by anyone in a few minutes – and they are quite inexpensive.

These little gizmos are harmless and solve the problem of lime deposits in your kitchen and bathroom. They may not remove limescale which has already been deposited, though.

Do magnetic anti-limescale devices actually work?

It seems that there is some scepticism about the benefits of magnetising the calcium salts in water. Calcium is not a metal, so you may well ask why a magnetic field should make any difference. There has been a study conducted by Bath University on the WaterImp which found that magnetising the water in pipes clearly worked. http://www.waterimp.co.uk/report.html

Mining companies also use these devices (large ones!) to help keep pipes clear. The scientific principle appears to be to do with Lorenz theory and the effect depends upon the strength of the magnet and the chemical composition of the water. There’s a discussion of this here: The Naked Scientist

It's clear that a few open-minded scientists are prepared to concede that they may well work and that not everything in the universe is entirely understood by the scientific community just yet!

All I know is that we had an in-line magnetic anti-limescale device installed when we changed some plumbing work 10 years ago and there was a big reduction in the amount of limescale that we notice around taps and in appliances.

I now use a magnetic ball in the laundry (along with a wash ball) but it’s probably early days to say how much difference it has made.

As an anti-limescale device is not expensive, this is certainly worth trying - and you could even save some serious money.

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