3 Tips to Protect Your Plumbing from Hard Water Damage
Hard water is the bane of many a homeowner. It’s found in just about every water source regardless if it’s well or city water. The water gets its name from the fact that it’s high in calcium and magnesium content. Over time, these minerals build up in the pipes and eventually clog your pipes and fixtures. Hard water is also the source of water stains that are difficult to clean without a lime and rust remover. The good news is you can protect your plumbing from mineral build-up and stop the stains. Here’s how:
Install a Water Softener or Reverse Osmosis System
Water softeners are a tried and true method of “softening” hard water. They work by filtering water through a substance suspended in salt water. The hard minerals undergo a process called ion exchange which causes the calcium and magnesium to switch places with
A reverse osmosis system has a membrane that removes minerals and other impurities as water flows through. This is simpler to operate than a water softener, but usually more expensive.
Replace Steel Pipes With Copper or PVC
This can be an expensive solution, but build-up is inevitable in steel pipes and the resulting damage can be catastrophic.
Flush Your Pipes With a Cleaning Solution
The process for flushing your pipes is involved and is best done by a professional, but it’s an inexpensive method for reducing build-up and extending the life of your pipes. Flushing pipes involves turning off the water to the home, lowering the water level in the water heater, pouring in two gallons of vinegar or lime remover, turning on the heater, then flushing the system through all of the water taps in the home. It’s a simple solution, but it’s best to have a professional perform the maintenance. Professionals perform the job quickly and know what to look for when running the operation.
Water build-up is going to happen in iron pipes if there is no water softener on the system. And even if a softener is added later down the road, there’s still existing build-up to deal with. Talk to a plumber about your options to reduce build-up and what to expect for future plumbing maintenance.