Calcium Build-up in Your Drains and Pipes? Here’s How To Fix It
Your plumbing can get blocked up by all sorts of materials – from foreign objects that accidentally go down the drain to everyday food, grease, and paper products. Luckily, most of these blockages are fairly easy to clear. However, there’s another type of problem that isn’t as simple to diagnose or fix – calcium build-up in water drains and pipes.
What causes calcium build-up?
Calcium deposits in pipes are common in homes that have “hard water,” or water with a high mineral content from magnesium, calcium, or potassium. This hard water can (and typically does) build up in drains and pipes and, when left unresolved, can cause corrosion or blockages.
If you have hard water in your home’s water supply, you likely know it already. But if you’re uncertain, be on the lookout for white stains (AKA limescale) on your toilet, sink, dishwasher, and even your dishes.
How to remove calcium deposits from pipes
Solving calcium build-up largely depends on the type of pipes you have in your home. For drain pipes that are blocked by mineral deposits, it can be as simple as using a drain cleaner like CLR or home remedies such as baking soda and vinegar. However, this is only a short-term solution as the mineral deposits will return if you don’t get to the root cause.
Water supply pipes are tricker to descale as you don’t want to introduce dangerous chemicals to your drinking water. Some homeowners look to other, safer alternatives such as vinegar or baking soda, but it would take large amounts of each to effectively remove large amounts of residue – not to mention a vinegar taste will linger in your pipes for a long time.
To reduce the chance of calcium build-up and protect your overall plumbing system, there are a few proven solutions.
- Install PEX piping. Modern pipes made out of PEX plastic are more resistant to limescale than copper pipes.
- Installing a water softener system. These units remove or counteract the hard minerals from the water as it enters the home, thereby reducing the risk of calcium build-up in the plumbing.
Get advice from a Chicago plumber
If you are unsure of whether or not your drain and pipe problems are stemming from a calcium build-up, or if you know you need assistance softening your hard water supply, call on Rocket Plumbing. Schedule an appointment by calling (773) 219-1200.