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Scale & Rust

The Scale and Rust Problem

What is lime-scale?
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.
   
     
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The birth of scale deposits
   
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.
 
     
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More scale-related problems:
rust and bacteria
Scale is a foreign substance to the pipe wall that causes tremendous problems by acting as blockage. It also has a destructive effect on machinery parts. Unfortunately, scale deposits also attract other unwanted substances which again create even more problems and threats:
   
     
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Rust - a 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.
 
     
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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.
 
     
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Typical problems caused by scale and rust
   
kalk_scale_red_cross Blocked piping system
kalk_scale_red_cross Loss of water pressure due to a reduced pipe diameter
kalk_scale_red_cross Rust accumulation in the pipes that may lead to corrosion
kalk_scale_red_cross Bacterial growth in drinking water carrying pipes
kalk_scale_red_cross Repeated repairs or replacement of household appliances
kalk_scale_red_cross Replacement of the whole piping system
kalk_scale_red_cross Loss of energy in the hot water circuit and high costs for heating
kalk_scale_red_cross Dull surfaces in bathroom and kitchen
kalk_scale_red_cross High cleaning costs and the need of aggressive cleaning agents
kalk_scale_red_cross Malfunctioning machinery
kalk_scale_red_cross High production costs due to maintenance
kalk_scale_red_cross Long pauses in production when machinery has to be maintaned and cleaned leading to inefficient production planning
kalk_scale_red_cross Decrease in productivity
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Water Hardness Classification

Water Hardness

Water
hardness
ppm
Parts per million (mg/l)
GPG
grains per
gallons US
°dH
German
hardness
°fH
French
hardness
very soft 1-70 1.0 - 4.2 1.0 - 4.0 0.1 - 7.0
soft 71-125 4.3 - 7.2 4.1 - 7.9 7.1 - 12.5
medium hard 126-250 7.3 - 22 8.0 - 14 12.6 - 25
hard 251-500 23 - 30 15 - 21 25.1 - 50
extremely hard 501 and more 31 and more 22 and more 51 and more

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Water Hardness in your country
   
     
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Kalk und Rost Problem


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