Be Proactive In Removing Mineral Deposits From Pipes

1 February 2016
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If you have hard water in your area, particularly if you have a well, you might get mineral and calcium deposits building up in your pipes. The major symptoms of this condition are low water pressure and slow draining in all of the taps and drains. A plumber can remove these deposits if the blockages are mild; if they are severe, though, you may need to have your home replumbed. Avoid having this happen by periodically removing the mineral deposits from your pipes and setting up a system that will keep most of the minerals out.

Install a Water Softening System

If you have hard water, a water softener will filter out a lot of the limestone and calcium that would otherwise begin to settle in your pipes. A water treatment company or a plumber can help you here, as water softeners come in various styles.

One popular style is a container that attaches to your aerator on the outside of your house and contains rock salt. Other styles exchange the calcium in the water supply with potassium or hydrogen. Talk to a professional about which style is right for you, depending on your area and the hardness of your water.

Remove Minor Deposits Yourself

If you are noticing very low water pressure or your drains all seem to be mildly clogged, you might be able to take care of the problem yourself. The safest way to do this is to use vinegar and baking soda. If this does not work, then your plumber can use a strong hydrochloric acid solution, but this is a chemical that requires extreme caution so as not to contaminate the water supply; therefore, it's best to use the vinegar/baking soda combination and leave the heavy duty chemicals to the pros.

There are several steps you can follow to try to clean out your pipes.

  1. Fill up several large pots with water. It's best to have one per sink and tub or shower in your home. Also, fill a few gallon containers if you have no bottled water, because you will be without water for a few hours. You can use the water in the jugs for drinking, cooking or washing your hands in the meantime. Put the pots of water aside; you'll be heating them up later.

  2. Shut off the breaker to the hot water heater and shut off the water supply to the house.

  3. Let all of the water out of the pipes. Do this by opening all of the taps until all of the water is out. Flush the toilets a couple of times, and don't forget to open the spigots outside to let the water out there, too.

  4. Close all of the taps. Don't forget about the outdoor ones!

  5. Sprinkle a cup of baking soda down each drain. Start at the highest point of your house; if you have an upstairs bathroom, begin there and move down toward the basement.

  6. Pour vinegar into each drain. You can pour until the drain won't hold anymore and it starts backing up into the sink or shower. Again, start upstairs, as the downstairs drains will need less vinegar. Bubbling and hissing sounds are normal.

  7. Let the solution sit for several hours. Three hours is a good minimum. Go ahead and turn on the water supply to the house, but don't open any of the taps yet.

  8. Boil the water in the pots. Pour a large pot full into each drain, starting with those located upstairs first. It should go down quickly and smoothly. Be careful when doing this.

  9. Open all of the taps. You might see chunks of limestone deposits coming out of the downstairs taps and the outdoor spigots. This is normal, because some of the deposits will remain in big chunks. Run the taps until all of the water is running clear.

If this procedure does not make your water run and drain more smoothly, it's time to call in a plumber to fix the problem for you. Also, if you are not having a water softener installed, it's best to go through all of the steps each year or two as maintenance. For more information about reducing the damage from hard water, contact a company like The Pleasant Plumber plumbing services.