Your plumbing can become clogged by various things, from foreign objects that are unintentionally flushed down the drain to everyday things like food, oil, or paper products. Fortunately, most of these objects are simple to remove. Calcium buildup in water drains and pipes, on the other hand, can cause major plumbing issues that ultimately lead to costly repairs.
What Causes Calcium Build Up?
Calcium deposits in pipes are typical in houses with “hard water,” or water containing a high mineral content of magnesium, calcium, or potassium. This hard water can (and usually does) build up in drains and pipelines, causing corrosion or clogs if not handled.
If you have hard water in your home’s water supply, you are probably already aware of it. If you’re unsure, search for white spots (also known as limescale) on your toilet, sink, dishwasher, and even your dishes.
Signs of a Calcium Build Up in Your Plumbing
The key to permanently removing calcium accumulation is to detect its early onset. The most straightforward approach is to be aware of the signs and symptoms of calcium accumulation.
Clogged drains are one of the most noticeable signs. If water begins to flush or flow more slowly down other drains, it might be a symptom of calcium accumulation in a shower or drain.
Damage to an appliance or plumbing fixture is another indicator of calcium accumulation. If you see a white buildup around a showerhead, shower drain, or faucet, it might be a symptom of hard water or a mineral buildup problem.
Skin discomfort when showering and difficulties washing clothes are two other common signs of hard water in your water source. If you live in an area with hard water, it will be challenging to create a lather using soaps or detergents. The additional minerals in the water may cause skin dryness as well.
Finally, soap scum, stains and streaks on dishes, excessive water heater energy use, and lime scales are signs of mineral buildup or hard water.
What to Do About Hard Water and Calcium Deposits
It’s easier to resolve hard water and calcium deposits before they become significant problems. Here are a few tried-and-tested ways to deal with them:
- Dripping faucets and showerheads in the vinegar help dissolve calcium deposits that are obstructing flow. Fill a plastic Ziplock bag halfway with water, attach it to the faucet, and leave it overnight.
- Install a water softening system. These systems are connected to the house’s water supply as it enters. To produce a more balanced environment, they remove hard minerals or replace them with other minerals, such as sodium.
- PEX (shorthand for crosslinked polyethylene) pipes should be used instead of metal pipes. Calcium readily binds to metals such as copper or galvanized steel, which can eventually cause these pipes to corrode from the inside. Since PEX is plastic, it fails to bind with calcium ions and is thus more resistant to limescale buildup.
If none of the solutions mentioned above can resolve your plumbing’s calcium buildup, you might need to remove the most affected pipes and soak them in an acid solution. If they’ve deteriorated too much, you may need to replace them, which can happen if limescale and mineral accumulation has gone unchecked for an extended period.
Hopefully, one of these treatments was effective in removing calcium buildup from your pipes. If you repeat the process at least once a year (assuming you don’t have a water softener system), you’ll keep both your pocketbook and your pipes pleased.
Are you suspecting a calcium buildup in your plumbing system? Professor Plumb can help! We are the best plumbing and drain service in Columbiana, AL. With over 20 years of experience, you can have peace of mind that experts will handle the job. Call us at (205) 671-5049 today to learn more about how we can help you!