Limescale is a common problem within many Saskatoon residences. In fact, one common example can be seen as a white buildup on the inside of cooking pots and pans. Limescale is caused by minerals suspended in water. Some common substances include calcium salts and magnesium. While this can be unsightly, the fact of the matter is that limescale will damage water heaters over time. What impact does this substance have and when is it a good idea to contact a professional plumbing service like Perfection Plumbing & Drain Cleaning Ltd.?

limescale deposits

Limescale and Water Heaters: A Bad Combination

We can think of limescale as the “cancer” of water heaters. There are numerous ways in which it can damage a system. One of the most common impacts is that it can slow heat transfer between different parts of the tank. When limescale begins to build up on parts such as the gas burner, portions of the tank can heat up to abnormal temperatures. This may result in a weakening of metal parts on hot water tanks over time, and of course, such a condition will dramatically reduce the lifespan of the entire heater.

Another issue is that many portions of the system can become clogged or completely overwhelmed by these deposits. The exact impact will depend upon the area where the limescale occurs. In some cases, deposits may be able to completely cover the lower heating element on electric units. This causes the element to fail and will need to be replaced. Limescale can also clog valves and pipes–even up  to the point where no hot water flows from the tank at all. Electronic circuits may fail while recirculation valves can become “stuck” and burn out quickly.

When Should a Plumber be Called?

Many water heaters suffer from the effects of limescale. Some common hints that this could be an issue include:

A reduced flow of water from the unit.
Water that is not heated to the proper temperature.
Noticeably higher energy bills.
Strange noises emanating from the bottom of the tank.

In any of these instances, it is critical to employ the expertise of a qualified plumber. He or she can diagnose the issue and provide useful advice in no time at all.

Sources:

The Effects of Limescale on Health, Tackling & Removing Limescale
How to Remove Limescale and Hard Water Deposits, Cleanipedia