GCSE Chemistry Unit 3 Revision (9)

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Hard Water

  • Hard water makes scum and scale
  • Hard water won't easily form a lather with soap - you get a nasty scum instead.
  • This means to get a decent lather, you need more soap.
  • The problem is the hardness minerals in the hard water reacting with soap.
  • Hard water also forms furring or scales (mostly calcium carbonate) on the insides of pipes, boilers and kettles.
  • Badly scaled-up pipes and boilers reduce the efficiency of heating systems, and may need to be replaced - all of which costs money. 
  • Scale can even eventually block pipes.
  • Scale is also a bit of a thermal insulator.
  • This means that a kettle with scale on the heating element takes longer to boil than a clean non-scaled-up kettle - so it becomes less efficient.
  • Worst of all, hard water can also cause a horrible scum to form on the surface of…


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