Hard water in Great Britain can cause a lot of problems in both domestic and commercial situations, but with the recent increase in the use of ‘instant hot water’ devices from companies like Zip, Quooker, and Franke, it might be that you need to take extra care that you don’t end up with a very expensive disaster on your hands.
Whilst some of these ‘Instant boiling water’ products are cheaper than others, they are all many times the price of a kettle, and worse – you cannot see what build-up of scale might be happening inside. If it gets too bad and causes a malfunction, you will probably find that the manufacturer is not particularly sympathetic, if you have not been taking care of it (in fact, we’ve seen a couple of these situations play out online, and they certainly got rather heated!).
So the first question you should probably ask is whether you are in a hard water area or not. Your local water company can give you a definitive answer on that, but this is a useful chart from British Water:
British Water also say* that 60% of UK homes have hard water, and point out that just 1.6mm of scale buildup on heating elements causes a 12% loss in heating efficiency.
So basically, that’s the bad news – i.e. lime scale buildup can cause big problems for your expensive boiling water tap, and most of the UK is affected.
The good news is that a scale filter will prevent this happening, and they are not particularly expensive.
Filters to prevent the build-up of water scale work by removing (often through ion-exchange) the minerals calcium and magnesium before they reach your instant boiling water unit, and are either placed within the unit themselves, or in-line in the pipework before the unit.
Filters and filter kits are available from many suppliers: if you are a Zip owner, you may like to read this article for more details on what to get, or check out the Zip filter section at Electrical Deals Direct. Otherwise, contact your supplier to check out what they would recommend.
[*Source: Publication reference ISBN – 1 9034810 2 3 by British Water ]