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Hard Water, Hard Cash!

Hard Water, Hard Cash!

Hard Water, Hard Cash: can your business save money by softening up?

Around 60% of the UK and 85% of the US’ water supply is considered to be ‘hard’. Basically, it contains elevated levels of magnesium and calcium that built up in water-using appliances to raise household energy bills by up to 25%.

Whether or not a water supply is considered abrasive is determined by the geographical make-up of the area that it flows through before reaching your taps. If the rocks are soft, these limescale-causing minerals can easily become picked up along the way.

How can I tell if the water is hard?

Lime scale build-up is most symptomatic of hard water.  Limescale is the ugly white build up that often occurs around household surfaces, mainly in the kitchen and bathroom where taps are in frequent use.

Whilst limescale can cause your surfaces to appear unclean, this is the tip of the iceberg in terms of its ill-effects.  Where limescale hits you in the pocket is in the areas you can’t see; most prominently inside pipes and appliances.

Limescale-in-pipe

Limescale build up in your pipes = increased expenses!

So why should I be worried?

The calcium and magnesium elements present in hard water have a tendency to build-up on the inner walls of pipes and on the inside surface of your boiler, obstructing water flow. The solid residue that is forms is notorious for reducing energy efficiency. In fact, just a 6mm thickness is estimated to reduce energy efficiency by around 6%, but in extreme cases this can reach as much as 25%!

Worse still, if the build-up is allowed to reach a certain level, it can cause the boiler metal to overheat, usually resulting in failure.

Will my business be affected?

In short, any business can be affected if their water supply is considered ‘hard’. Not only does it undoubtedly cause boiler issues, but it can also reduce the lifespan of water using appliances quite dramatically. In fact, it’s known to:

  • reduce the lifespan of toilet flushing units by around 30%
  • reduce the lifespan of water taps by 60%, and;
  • reduce energy efficiency by around 6% from just a 6mm build-up in pipes

However, businesses in certain industries are naturally worse-affected than others. Probably one of the worst-off would be hospitality.

Limescale is notoriously difficult to firstly get rid of, but secondly keep away. Deposits left behind from hard water leave a streaky finish on glassware and crockery, and can mean cleaning bathrooms and showers takes a lot longer. It even uses more detergent as hard water doesn’t react as well with cleaning product as soft!

Bedding, soft furnishings and towels, which need to be in top condition for hoteliers come out of the wash much fluffier when washed in soft water, and if washed regularly, are likely to last up to 40% longer.

Finally, if your business has a kitchen, whether that’s a canteen for staff or a full-blown restaurant, you might be interested to learn that the quality of certain dishes can be compromised by the magnesium and calcium in hard water. This is most noticeable in vegetables and beans, as magnesium and calcium add extra reinforcement to their natural starchy coating. This slows down the cooking process and can stop the beans from cooking properly at all.

And it can even compromise your brew round… when hard water is boiled, particles of limescale float to the top, reacting with the natural properties in tea and coffee to form a film.

Softening your businesses water supply can save money. Although the most pressing issue is heating and energy efficiency, and the obvious concern for costly appliances, there are a number of ways you could be affected day-to-day. Installing a commercial water softener requiring minimal on-going maintenance can be quick and easy cost-cutting exercise.

 

About The Author

This article was contributed by Laura Moulden on behalf of EcoWater Systems, leading manufacturers of water softening systems since 1925.

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  • http://www.internationalgiveaways.com/ Ronnie

    Ohh that’s scary info. I was always scared of limescale buildup but I had no idea that it can actually affect your bills, too!

  • Ronnie

    Ohh that’s scary info. I was always scared of limescale buildup but I had no idea that it can actually affect your bills, too!

  • Dustin Knauer

    Interesting. I’ve seen this kind of build up in our sink faucets at work, but never thought that getting a water softener would also help save us money in the long run. Thanks for the info!

  • http://www.contest-corner.com Beeb

    Ugh, I know just what you mean about the film – I made a cup of tea in London years ago and got that same gross film from the water! Luckily, where I live at the moment has very pure water.

  • Marika

    I hate hard water, and also water that is fluoridated, that’s actually poison for the body. A good water filter can help with this.

  • Elisebet F

    We don’t have hard water, but my parents used to have it (they moved recently). I hated it! Would leave a film everywhere and felt weird when I washed my hair.

  • Liz

    urgh yeah I heard it makes your hair and skin gross too. If you’re in the UK, this is a pretty good tool for checking your area http://www.ecowater.co.uk/why-a-water-softener/test-your-water-water-in-the-uk/post-code-checker/

  • http://homeinfo101.com/ Scott B

    This is a very serious issue that people should look into. Who wants to lose appliances for no good reason? Thanks for the article.

  • http://newyeargreeting2014.com/ Rana Irfan

    Really this is very serious issue. I agree with Scott B. Thanks for sharing this nice post.

  • http://socialhospitality.com Debbie Miller

    This is great; I’d never thought about hard water and the effect it could have on business.

  • peachkins

    I didn’t know hard water had such an effect! Thanks to this post!

  • Kyle Wiley

    I can definitely tell when someone’s water is too hard. It feels so uncomfortable on your skin when showering!