What is limescale in potable water?

The chemical formula of limescale (drinking water) or limescale (heating water) = CaCO3 (Calcium Carbonate) + MgCO3 (Magnesium Carbonate)​

​The presence of limescale in water is often expressed as the hardness of the water expressed in TH (Hydrotimetric Title or French degrees ° f); 1 ° f hardness = 10 mg / L of limescale; limescale is 80% of all dry residues present in water. Dry residues are calculated according to the electrical conductivity of the water expressed in µScm-1. For example in Rhode St. Genèse in Belgium, tap water has 647 µScm-1 for a hardness of 37 ° f, i.e. 647 x 0.71592 (given conversion factor) = 463 mg / L of dry residues including 370 mg limescale (hard water). 1 French degree = 4 mg calcium or 2.4 mg magnesium per liter of water.​

Hard water provides the amount of calcium and magnesium our body needs to promote bone consolidation, help muscles and the nervous system work properly, and prevent the risk of cardiovascular disease or osteoporosis. It also participates in the defence of the human body.​ « The mineral elements present in tap water, by participating in the daily mineral supply necessary for the proper functioning of the body, have a definite beneficial role for health. Calcium in water could also play a role in protecting against cardiovascular disease. The role of calcium in fat elimination and blood cholesterol regulation is also recognised » (source Ministry of Health France 2006).

In France, the Nutritional References of inorganic minerals for the population (RNP) are 950 mg / day for adults over 25 years old, and 1000 mg / day between 18 and 25 years old (source ANPES 2017). The WHO (World Health Organization) speaks of an “optimum below 1000 mg / liter“. Most doctors believe that healthy water should contain a variety of inorganic minerals and trace elements containing between 50 and 500 mg / liter for daily use.​

The consumption of sufficiently hard water, along with a balanced diet allows you to cover your daily calcium and magnesium needs.​

What is limescale in heating water?

All mineralized water (including tap water) contain limescale in the form of aragonite (softer and soluble limescale) which eventually turns into calcite (hard and compact limescale which encrusts and hardens inside the pipes).​

This limescale will precipitate around the resistances of the boiler (which heats the water to +/- 55 ° C) which will decrease its energy efficiency and stay inside the sanitary pipes with the risk of clogging them! ​

In order to avoid these inconveniences, it is therefore advisable to treat this scale:​

  • Either by removing it (what a softener does by ion exchange by adding sodium to the water),​
  • Either by transforming its mineralogical structure in order to make it more soluble, which prevents it from becoming encrusted and promotes its evacuation by the swirling flow of water (which the Biodynamizer® does). limescale therefore remains in the water but it is less offensive.​

Water hardness scale: Depending on the geological nature of the soil, the physicochemical composition of the water will not be the same. Thus, water passing through a limescale soil or chalky soil will provide water with a high limescale content while water passing through rocky or sandy soils will be considered as soft:

  • from 0 to 5 ° f: very soft water
  • from 5 to 15 ° f: soft water
  • from 15 to 25 ° f: medium hard water
  • from 25 to 40 ° f: hard water
  • > at 40 ° f: very hard water ​(plan in this case an adapted treatment of limestone !)

Pan test: restructuring of the limescale after boiling, comparison between tap water (left) and biodynamized water (right)​

Dynamization will modify the structure of limescale in water

The Biodynamizer® treats limescale with the mechanical vortex & magnetic vortex by modifying its mineralogical structure (calcite -> aragonite -> vaterite) and the morphology of limescale crystals (their size increases). 

 The polarization of the water molecules induced by the magnetisation makes it possible to increase the coagulation of the limescale crystals (early germination) which reduces the drawbacks of limescale (which clings to the walls):  

  • The mass of scale remaining around the resistors and in the bottom of the boiler decreases (temperature at 55 ° C, 130L / day)
  • The adhesion of limescale inside the sanitary pipes decreases

This is done in the Biodynamizer® thanks to: 

  • The combination of a fast-turbulent flow and a strong magnetic field who amplify the efficiency of the magnetic treatment of limescale. The magnetic force potential will be proportional to the velocity of the flow inside the vortex.
  • The alternating strength and orientation of magnetization (N / S-S / N) as well as the magnetization of the copper tubes increases the magnetic gradients (= the density of the lines of magnetic fields) and also improves the efficiency of the treatment of limescale.

The disadvantages of a water softener ​

  • Does not filter pollutants in the water​
  • Altered taste of water (salt taste due to sodium)​
  • Removes much of the precious minerals (containing trace elements)​
  • Does not provide a limescale protective layer on the inner surface of the pipes which protects against corrosion of galvanized pipes (if set to ≤ 5 ° f)​
  • Adds sodium to the water (Na + = +/- 60% of the salt composition; = +/- 140 mg / L for a reduction in hardness from 30 ° f to 5 ° f; recommendations for sodium consumption for humans: max 200 mg / L (according to European directive on drinking water 98/83) because sodium increases blood pressure (bad for people with heart or kidney problems)​
  • Its operation uses +/- 100 Kg / year of salt (Sodium Chloride: Na + Cl-) for its regeneration; this produces chlorine dioxide (salt + chlorine from city water) which is released into the water which corrodes the galvanized pipes!​
  • Releases brine (limescale + chlorite) to the environment (via sewers)​
  • Discards a lot of water for regeneration (100 L of water per regeneration which takes place every 5 days!)​
  • There is a risk of development of bacteria & germs in the ion exchange chemical resins if there is no regular maintenance (after 5 years of operation: An annual maintenance is compulsory in order to disinfect the resins! Otherwise there is a risk of bacteriological contamination of the water by microorganisms!).​

Maintenance of the most common household appliances

  • For the iron, use distilled water from the clothes dryer to prevent it from getting clogged (standard procedure),
  • For taps, wipe a cloth (if necessary, with white vinegar) every 15-30 days at the outlet of your taps (this is a standard maintenance).
  • For shower heads, soak them every 6 months in white vinegar (this is standard maintenance).
  • For kettles or coffee machines, do not allow the water to boil at 100 ° C (60-70 ° C is clearly sufficient), because water vapor tends to precipitate limescale. Renew the water for each boil + regularly clean the bottom of the container with white vinegar to descale it. This is a standard maintenance depending on the interior coating of the devices,
  • Regarding the dishwasher, standard maintenance: rinse aid, dishwasher tablets for the shine of glasses, regenerating salt in the dishwasher, regular cleaning of the dishwasher filter; in case of very hard water, use crystallized citric acid (in combination with the tablets).
  • For shower screens (normal cleaning),
  • Water decanters, clean the bottom with white vinegar or citric acid in water,
  • For the washing machine you can continue to use fabric softener (but it will be less necessary).
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