If you live in a hard water area, you may be familiar with the problem of calcium build-up. Over time, the minerals in your water supply deposit themselves within your pipes, causing slow drains, clogged shower heads, low flow, hot water that isn’t as hot as it should be – the list goes on! There is more than one way to resolve the issue when it occurs.
Option A: Buy a water softener, continue as normal and expect immediate improvements in a matter of days and complete descaling of your plumbing in around 6 months.
- Little to no effort.
- Permanent solution.
- Pays for itself in savings.
Option B: Acid flushing is commonly done: First of all, switch off your water supply. You can usually find your main supply tap in the bathroom or utility room. This is the most important step! Next, use a calcium and rust remover at a 50/50 combination with water, and carefully flush the solution through the pipes. Remember that this is a heavy-duty chemical cleaner, so don’t allow it to flow to a reservoir or water storage container – you don’t want to get it in your drinking water.
If you don’t want to use harsh chemicals, you can try white vinegar instead, which is also effective at dissolving calcium build-up – although you should still take care to keep it out of the potable water supply. Combine in a 1:2 ratio with baking soda, which creates a bubbling action that makes it more effective. You can use a long-handled brush to scrub the pipes if necessary.
Finally, remove your shower heads and taps and give them a good clean – soak them in your chosen cleaning solution for a few hours, which should make the caked-on calcium easier to scrub off. Of course once your pipes are clean, it may be worth [considering a water softener]( so you don’t have to go through this again!
- Time consuming.
- Bad for the environment.
So there you have it, the best way to avoid scaled pipework is to remove the hardness from the water in the first place by installing a water softener.