How to Remove Limescale from Your Plumbing System

A chrome shower head with hard water deposit and rust stains from limescale.

An Overview of How & Why Limescale Forms

The buildup of limescale can be a real nuisance, especially when it starts to affect the plumbing in your home. As a homeowner, it is wise to understand what limescale is and how to prevent it from forming in the first place. This is especially true if you live in a region with a hard water supply.

At Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Pomona Valley, we encounter limescale on a regular basis. Some scenarios require professional expertise, tools, and strategies; other scenarios can be handled with a little elbow grease. It’s helpful to understand limescale’s properties before we talk about removing and preventing it from appearing on your plumbing. Limescale is a type of mineral deposit that forms when hard water evaporates. Hard water contains high levels of minerals such as calcium carbonate and magnesium.

Unfortunately, these mineral deposits can be left behind, causing:

  • Clogged pipes
  • Decreased water pressure
  • Crusty, green-tinged metal corrosion

Not only is this residue unsightly, but it can be difficult to remove. Fortunately, there are several methods for removing and preventing limescale buildup. Let’s look at some of the most effective ways to keep your plumbing system free from limescale.

How to Prevent & Remove Limescale

Flush Your Pipes with Hot Water

The best way to prevent limescale from forming in the first place is by reducing the minerals present in the water supply itself. One way of doing this is by regularly running hot water through your pipes so the minerals can’t form deposits on their surfaces. Doing this helps flush the minerals before they can settle on the walls of your pipes or fixtures, which can cause clogs and reduce water flow over time.

Remove Calcium Carbonate with Baking Soda

Another easy solution for getting rid of limescale is applying baking soda as an abrasive agent. Mix one cup of baking soda with two cups of warm water until you have a paste-like consistency. Use this mixture to scrub away any limescale accumulating on surfaces, such as shower heads or taps. This technique should help remove stubborn buildup for a clean, shiny surface.

Apply Vinegar as a Dissolving Agent

One of the most popular methods for removing limescale is using vinegar as a dissolving agent. All you need to do is pour vinegar down your drain and let it sit overnight. The acidity of the vinegar will break down the calcium carbonate and dissolve any buildup in your pipes. After letting it sit overnight, flush the drain with hot water to remove any residue from your pipes.

Like vinegar, lemon juice is an equally effective way of preventing limescale buildup (thanks to its acidic properties). Vinegar can be used proactively: Regularly pouring it down your drains and pipes can help combat mineral deposits before they form on pipe surfaces.

Use a Pipe Snake to Clean Your Pipes

A pipe snake is an instrument used to clean debris, sediment, and limescale inside your pipes. Insert the snake into your pipe and turn its handle clockwise until you feel resistance. Resistance indicates you’ve caught debris in the snake’s coils, which should be removed when you pull it out. Be sure to wear protective gloves when handling a pipe snake!

Install a Whole House Water Softener

Water softeners remove minerals like calcium and magnesium from your water supply before entering your pipes and fixtures. This removal is achieved via an ion exchange system that swaps hard ions for softer ones like sodium or potassium. While this strategy may not necessarily eliminate your limescale problems entirely, it can significantly reduce its concentrations.

Install a Water Filter

Whereas water softeners excel at reducing hard ions, water filters can go even further by filtering out contaminants in addition to hard ions. This approach will leave your water softer, cleaner, and free of harmful chemicals or particles that can damage your pipes or fixtures over time. Bear in mind that different types of filter systems are better suited for specific applications, so take the time to research which one is best for you before making a purchase.

Install Stainless Steel Pipes

Stainless steel pipes are resistant to corrosion and rusting, which makes them ideal for areas where limescale is likely to accumulate, such as bathrooms or kitchens. Stainless steel pipes last longer than other types of pipes. They are also much easier to clean and maintain, meaning less limescale buildup overall!

Let a Professional Clean Your Plumbing System

Limescale can be a real nuisance if not taken care of properly. Removing limescale from your property doesn't have to be complicated or expensive with these easy, cost-effective solutions available! These tips should keep your plumbing system free from mineral buildup and corrosion! Whether you choose one method or combine several, these strategies should help you effectively remove and prevent any limescale problems you may have in your home!

Never hesitate to contact Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Pomona Valley if you need professional assistance. Our plumbers can install water softeners and filters, clean limescale, and perform preemptive maintenance on your plumbing system! We utilize hi-powered equipment and cutting-edge techniques to repair, restore, and replace plumbing fixtures quickly and efficiently.

Do you need plumbing assistance with hard water issues? Call anytime!