How to Remove Calcium Buildup in Pipes
Of no fault of your own, your home may be stuck with hard water simply because of your geographical location. Hard water refers to the amount of minerals such as calcium and magnesium floating in the water circulating throughout your home plumbing system. And the harder your water is, the more destructive it is to your pipes, appliances, and fixtures. Some of these problems include clogging pipes and drains, inhibited water heaters, inefficient appliances, stained plumbing fixtures and surfaces, and much more.
What is Calcium Buildup?
Calcium is commonly known for building up in and around shower drains and plumbing fixtures, but can do major damage even further down your pipeline.
Not only does it make clothing feel more abrasive and scratchy, even smelly, it can dampen the quality of your hair and irritate your skin when you shower.
Calcium finds its way to build up anywhere your water reaches throughout the home such as any appliance that uses water, including your washing machine, dishwasher, water heater, and even something as small as your coffee maker. Inefficiencies caused by calcium buildup in your appliances can even increase your energy bill.
Calcium can also cause staining in your appliances and around your fixtures, affecting the overall cleanliness of your bathroom and kitchen.
A more extreme problem caused by calcium would be clogging in your pipes, potentially resulting in their need to be replaced, which can be invasive and expensive.
As you can see, calcium buildup is a problem that truly affects your overall quality of life in your home!
How to Remove Calcium Buildup in Pipes
Luckily, if you’re experiencing pipe clogging as a result of calcium buildup, there’s a chance you can resolve it yourself – all you need is…
- a lot of white vinegar
- baking soda
- a large pot of water for each drain you are clearing
(You can use commercial products which utilize hydrochloric acid such as CLR or Lime-A-Way, but there’s always the danger of ingesting and inhaling such toxic chemicals)
Step 1: Turn off all your water, and even your water heater breaker.
Step 2: Empty all your pipes throughout your home by flushing the toilets and turning on all the taps. If you have any hoses, turn them on too! Once everything’s drained, go back and turn off all your taps again.
Step 3: Start pouring one cup of baking soda down every one of your drains. Then, slowly pour the vinegar until the pipe cannot hold anymore. Let it sit for 3-4 hours.
Step 4: Detach all your showerheads and put them in a mixture of your vinegar and baking soda for at least three hours. Scrubbing each head before soaking them might make calcium removal easier.
Step 5: Boil each pot of water after letting your drains soak for 3-4 hours, and pour them in each of your drains. This should finally remove the calcium clogging in each pipe you are treating.
Step 6: Turn on every faucet one at a time, flush your toilets again, and turn your water heater on.
And that’s it!
Unfortunately, this isn’t a long-term solution, but a short-term remedy if you have particularly hard water in your area. Which means future clogging is inevitable. You may have to repeat this process once or twice a year if you want to keep calcium clogging from occurring again.
Find Long-Term Solutions at Deer Valley Plumbing
If you want to save your home from invasive and expensive pipe replacements, then consider having a water softener installed in your home plumbing system. At Deer Valley Plumbing, we offer a variety of water treatment methods to meet the particular needs of your budget and your home.
RO systems further filter your water by passing it through a semipermeable membrane dedicated to removing contaminants from your water, including chlorine, fluoride, lead, and even proteins produced by bacteria.
Some of the most popular RO systems include:
- Waterdrop G3 System
- iSpring Water Filtration System
- APEC 4 Stage Water Filter Systems
- PureDrop 5 Stage System
- Home Master Artesian Water Filtration System
Salt-Based Ion-Exchange Water Softeners
Effective in removing calcium and magnesium from your water, these systems use resin beads designed to remove these minerals. These beads go through a cleaning process, known as “recharging” so that they can be continually reused.
Salt-Free Water Conditioners
These types of water filtration systems crystalize minerals such as magnesium and calcium through a process called Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC), removing the ability of these minerals to attach to your pipes and scale in your water heater.
For decades we’ve been fighting hard water for homeowners across the Valley. Using tried and true plumbing practices, along with cutting-edge technology, our professional plumbers are equipped to accomplish whatever it takes to bring your tap water to the next level.
Don’t wait any longer for high-quality water, contact us today and we’ll finally get you water that works with your plumbing system, not against it!