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Everything You Need To Know About Limescale

Have you ever noticed white, mineralized deposits around your faucets, on your tea kettle, or at the joints of pipes? That's limescale. Composed of minerals, it occurs when hard water, which is rich in the minerals calcium and magnesium, runs through your pipes. A little limescale might not seem like a big deal, but in fact it can cause a number of problems, from unattractive bathroom fixtures to blocked pipes. Knowing a bit about limescale can help you avoid it and get rid of it when it does appear.

The Risks of Limescale

Perhaps you don't care about a little white white residue around your faucets, but that's no reason to ignore limescale. If you have limescale on your faucets, it's probably also accumulating inside of your pipes, and that can lead to major plumbing issues down the road. Pipes may become partially or permanently blocked by limescale, and often the only solution once the problem starts affecting the flow of water is to replace the pipes. Limescale can also build up inside appliances that use water, such as dishwashers and coffee makers, reducing their lifespan.

How to Prevent Limescale

Limescale can be prevented by softening your water. Water softening systems remove the calcium and magnesium in hard water and replace it with sodium. Don't worry, this is not enough sodium to make your water taste salty. Water softeners are typically whole-home systems that treat water as it enters your home, so none of the water flowing  through any of your pipes leaves any deposits behind. Typically, you can have a water softener installed by a plumber or general contractor.

How to Remove Limescale

Removing limescale from your faucet is not too hard. All you have to do is make a paste out of baking soda and water, apply it to the faucet, and wipe it away after letting it sit for a couple of hours. You can also use a commercially prepared limescale remover if you prefer.

You can assume that if there is limescale in your faucet, there is also limescale in your pipes. Have a plumber come examine the extent of your limescale buildup. If it is minimal to moderate, your plumber may be able to use special chemical treatments to remove the deposits from your pipes. In cases where the pipes are almost completely blocked, you may be advised to have the pipes replaced, as cleaning them is very difficult once the limescale reaches a certain thickness.

Limescale is common throughout the United States, as many municipal water supplies have hard water. However, just because it is common does not mean it should be ignored. Addressing the problem now may prevent more costly plumbing repairs in years to come. For more information, contact a company like Blount's Speedy Rooter.