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Hard Water Buildup in Pipes: Consequences & How to Fix

Hard Water Buildup in Pipes: Consequences & How to Fix

The water in your home may be categorized as “hard water” due to a large abundance of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, copper, brass, and iron. These elements are absorbed by groundwater as it travels through the soil near your home. While it may not be dangerous to consume hard water, the excess minerals in this type of water will have detrimental effects on your plumbing system.

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As hard water travels through your pipes, fixtures, or shower head, you may begin to notice a large buildup of scale from the calcium and magnesium in your water. To help you prolong the life of your plumbing system, we’ve outlined the negative consequences of hard water buildup in your pipes and how to fix it.

Negative Impact of Minerals on Steel, Copper, & PVC Pipes

As the steel pipes in your home reach the end of their lifespan, they will slowly become clogged due to a buildup of lime scale from calcium and magnesium. This issue is not limited to residential steel pipes. Both PVC and copper pipes may become clogged with mineral deposits as they become older.

To protect the water and sewage lines in your house, we recommend investing in a whole-house water softener system to remove magnesium, calcium, and copper from your water. If this issue is not resolved, the hard water buildup in your pipes will negatively impact your water pressure. In addition, a large abundance of magnesium and calcium in your pipes may cause a moderate to severe clog in the future.

Signs of Clogged Pipes & Hard Water

Hard Water Buildup in Pipes: Consequences & How to FixLow Quality Drinking Water

Prior to noticing symptoms of low water pressure in your home from hard water buildup, you may begin to notice debris or small particles in the water from your sink or shower. These particles are collected by moving water as it travels through your pipes to your fixture. 

The debris in your drinking water is caused by minerals such as copper, iron, magnesium, and calcium. If this issue is not corrected by investing in a water softener system, the hard water buildup in your pipes will continue to grow until the pipe becomes clogged.

Unfortunately, the only way to fix a clogged pipe is to perform a water line installation. To save money on a repiping project, talk to a local plumber in your area about the benefits of investing in a water softener system.

High Water Bills

If your pipe becomes clogged due to a large buildup of hard water, excess water or waste materials will become trapped in the plumbing line. As the pressure in the pipe increases, a crack will begin to form. This will cause water to escape into other areas of your home prior to reaching your sink or fixture. Since a large quantity of water is being wasted due to the hard water buildup in your pipes, you will begin to notice drastic increases to your water or utility bills.

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The Consequences of Using CLR Drain Cleaning Chemicals in Pipes

CLR drain cleaning solutions should never be utilized to remove a buildup of hard water from your water or sewer lines. This chemical drain cleaning solution will begin to cause damage to your pipes as your house becomes older. In addition, CLR drain cleaning chemicals may cause poisoning if it is used in a water line that is connected to your sink or fixtures.

This chemical drain cleaning solution may also cause moderate to severe skin irritation. While this chemical drain cleaner should not be used to fix a buildup of hard water in pipes, this type of solvent is safe to use on the exterior of sinks, faucets, and shower heads to remove spots.

Is it Possible to Remove a Buildup of Calcium in Pipes?

Unfortunately, the only fast and safe way to fix a clogged pipe is to replace it. No state or federal institution will allow a licensed plumber to pour a CLR drain cleaning solution into a pipe that is used for your drinking water. This is because this type of solvent will cause severe health issues or death if it is consumed.

A minor buildup of hard water may be able to be fixed by pouring vinegar into your water or sewer line. However, it may take the vinegar a day or longer to disassemble the buildup of calcium or magnesium. If you choose this method to eliminate the blockage in your drain line, you will be required to flush the pipes to eliminate the odor and taste from the vinegar. Although it may not be convenient to use vinegar to restore the flow of water in your pipes, it is a safe and reliable way to save money on plumbing expenses.

Read More: What is the Cost to Replace a Damaged Water Pipe?

Hard Water Buildup in Pipes: Consequences & How to FixInvest in PEX Pipes & A Water Softener to Prevent Mineral Buildup in Your Pipes

If you choose to have a clogged pipe in your home replaced, we recommend investing in PEX plastic pipes. This type of pipe is more resistant to a buildup of hard water minerals such as copper, iron, calcium, and magnesium.

Once your new pipes are installed, you should consider purchasing a whole house water softener system to remove the minerals from your water. This will help increase the life cycle of your pipes, washing machine, water softener, faucets, and shower head.

Water Softener & Water Line Installation Services Near You

WM Henderson provides trustworthy water softener installation and replacement services to homes in Pennsylvania. A whole-house water softener system utilizes salt to remove minerals from your drinking water. This type of system is engineered to protect your drainage lines or appliances from corrosion and damage. 

The team of licensed plumbers at WM Henderson also provide other plumbing services such as sump pump repair, sewer pipe maintenance, and water line repair. If you notice damp drywall or wet flooring in your home, this is a sign of a clogged pipe. Give our team a call by phone at (484) 206-8594 or book an appointment online to receive assistance with a plumbing problem.

Our team also offers heating and cooling services to keep your family comfortable. WM Henderson has been providing dependable plumbing and HVAC services since 1977 in areas of Pennsylvania including Coatesville, West Chester, Broomall, and Conshohocken.