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Limescale


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This is a continuation of this thread (that topic is now locked)

http://www.washerhel.../300-limescale/

Having had my new Miele from about Feb 2007, it got blocked by limescale March 2011 (4 years)

So despite using very generous doses of Persil and subsequently Persil concentrated powder (and a hot wash every month as advised in the Miele Manual). It still built up horrendous levels of limescale on predominately 30 degree low temp washes.

A Miele engineer had to come out and remove the offending limescale to restore the water flow.

He advised using Citric acid every 6 weeks on an empty hot wash.

Have used citric acid and it really does remove the limescale from the rubber door ring and filter/housing.

The use of citric acid is not mentioned in the 2007 Miele manual and this is probably the most economic solution for owners in hard water areas over Calgon, generous use of detergent.

I got a bulk 10kg pack of citric acid off ebay for £30 (much cheaper than Miele branded individual doses http://www.miele.co....x?rdid=&aid=510 £5 for 250g)

10kg works out at 40 doses and at £5 per 250g Miele price, that's £200 worth of citric acid for £30. (or 75p a dose every 6 weeks)

So for me, generous use of detergent didn't work with the downside of slightly soapy clothes (from over dosing) and more expensive detergent costs as we were using detergent copiously. Citric acid now allows more normal amounts of detergent, so each box goes a longer way. Citric acid bought in bulk is our new limescale defence. Will report back in a few years

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Thanks uumode: Your post is worrying because if you use the proper amount of detergent, and a good quality one you should not have limescale problems. Manufacturers of detergent, and washing machine manufacturers say if you don't use enough detergent you can have limescale problems in hard water areas, therefore implicitly implying that if you do - then you won't.

An integral component of washing machine detergent is water softener, and part of its job is to protect the washing machine from limescale. It shouldn't need any extra help.

The only two pieces of information you mention that seem potentially relevant is that the machine has done predominantly 30 degree washes and you say you used amounts of detergent that could be construed as too much causing a lot of foaming. I've no idea if they could account for it in any way, it doesn't seem likely to be honest but your experience is counter to what should happen.

Where was the Miele blocked exactly?

I'm linking this topic to my Whitegoodshelp article on Calgon as on the face of it your experience contradicts my advice there. Hopefully many others will post their experiences here too, which will help build a better picture.

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It is worrying, since armed with knowledge from the original thread, my strategy was to use the correct amount of detergent, Persil Non-Bio in my case, (perhaps Bio fares better).

Since the Miele machine uses water conservatively, the standard rinse in certain circumstances doesn't fully rinse out the suds. (we put in a full dose even if washing say a single coat, and I think the machine calculates the water). However this was the price of protection, and I certainly wanted to keep an expensive Miele running for many, many years without limescale problems. Or so I thought.

One part that got blocked was the filter, totally jammed. Miele engineer had to force it out, and the filter got replaced with a new one. Engineer was concerned that the machine would be compromised soon and advised using Citric Acid. Used one dose and after a couple of washes, machine wouldn't drain. (excuse my lack of technical knowledge) a round ball valve thing, that got coated in limescale, making it stick, so it wouldn't move into it's other position to drain the water from the machine.

Engineer came again, and cleaned this out, and I used more citric acid, about another 3 doses in about 3 weeks to clear the limescale. Used another dose 1st May and the filter housing is squeeky clean, hopefully it will stay that way.

/EDIT

Here is my hardness level from water board for my postcode

mgl CaCO3 (ppm)

326.0

Degrees Clarke

22.8

Degrees German(DH)

18.3

Degrees French

32.6

Detergent rating

HARD

Edited by uumode
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I live in a soft water area, you have some very bad water there, installing a water softener might be worth it in the long run.

John.

"Hardness in mg/l as calcium carbonate" = 45

"Hardness in mg/l as calcium carbonate" = 18

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"Hardness in mg/l as calcium carbonate" = 45

Taking even your higher figure, my water is over 600% harder :(

perhaps that's why detergent doesn't ward off limescale in those circumstances. I'm beginning to think the general guidance of 6 weeks hot wash citric acid may not be enough. Perhaps monthly... will see how it goes.

I've calculated the cost of water softners in the past and it's quite expensive (compared to detergent)

Also I read Miele specifically don't recommend connecting the washing machine to a water softener.

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Also I read Miele specifically don't recommend connecting the washing machine to a water softener.

I have info on that topic here - Connecting a washing machine to a softened water supply

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  • 3 years later...
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We live in a moderately hard water area, Kingston upon thames (18.62 eh) and have bad limescale problems.

Bathroom has a yellow/light brown scale that invades all the grouting and sealing around the bath. Our kettles scale up in a few weeks, but haven't had too much of a problem with washing machines. We live in an upstairs flat, in a two storyer building, and are surrounded by neighbours, who dont have the same problem as us (at least the ones we can talk to).

Not sure if it is something to do with the old pipe work, but i managed to get rid of some short sections of lead pipes, so now we are all copper, but we run a seperate water heater to the central heater boiler. supsicion is water heater, but Im no expert.

We use two tablets of Fairy in our washing machine, one in a small load, but we do pack a full load to the brim. no problems with clothes not washed or stained, though some black teeshirts have a bronze staining from time to time ???

Our first WM built up quite a lot of scale, but we used a different detergent then, powder based if I remember, and had to use a descaler on a 90 degree wash (paused for about ten minutes) to get rid of the stuff on the element, and since then, every year I've used the same thing, a kettle descaler liquid to make sure it doesnt comer back. our last WM (Indesit) lasted nearly 12 years before the bearings went., so I must be doing something right.

Our new WM, another Indesit advises a 30 wash cleaning cycle (program selective) using something like Calgon as an additive, I wonder if this a useful addition though or should we use a double dose of detergent ?

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Calgon just softens water and doesn't remove limescale. It is not a descaler, it is purely a preventative so it's pointless using it in a wash cleaning cycle. For it to work you need to use it in every wash but as my article says, detergent contains water softener too and protectds against limescale. If you are getting limescale in the washer you need to use more detergent or use Calgon with normal detergent levels - Is Calgon Worth Using?

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thanks for the reply.

I suspect the original WM had scale build up due to the fact we didnt know we were a hard water area and used what we thought was just enough powder to do a clean job.

Now we use tablets and follow box and manufacture recommendations, we've not had a problem, but I still descale once a year to make sure. Though our new WM is only a month old and we're wary of advertising bull and such like, but know that we have limescale problems, not being able to see the element for signs of build up makes it difficult to know if we use enough detergent.

I presume a yearly clean out with a kettle descaler wont damage the machine, I normally use a hot wash, 90 degree setting and wait until the drum fills and heats, then pause to let the stuff do its work, then continue with rinse and drain. I'd like to keep our new WM for as long as possible and dont want to damage it unecessarliy, so I'm a little concerned that maybe that was what contributed to the bearings going.

As you can tell, I'm a bit of a tinkerer. :)

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not being able to see the element for signs of build up makes it difficult to know if we use enough detergent.

That is a good point, at least with a kettle we can see how much limescale there is.

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