Everything You Need to Know About Limescale Prevention

Water Flowing Out of Outdoor Faucet

How often do you find yourself needing to clean that chalky green or white coating off of your plumbing fixtures?  Perhaps, a little too often?  Well, you can thank limescale build up for that extra work.

Limescale is made up of mineral-rich deposits that collect around your faucets, showerheads, and drains. You see it often, as it’s a natural byproduct of clean water that has a higher concentration of minerals like calcium, iron, and magnesium – what we know as “hard water.”  While it is safe and may just seem like a superficial problem on the outside, the truth is that limescale can cause terrible problems for you pipes on the inside, as well, contributing to the development of stubborn clogs over time.  So, how can you prevent this buildup from happening?  You have two popular options:

1. Dissolve Your Limescale:

Before you grab a wet rag and start scrubbing, know that the mineral content in limescale is incredibly resilient.  This is no ordinary, quick clean-up job.  You have to take slightly more drastic measures, and dissolve it.  This is the option that most people choose to deal with their limescale problems.  

The good news is that you can dissolve limescale with just a mild acidic solution, like vinegar.  The best way to go about fixing this problem is to first remove the affected fixtures, faucets and showerheads, then put them in a bucket of vinegar.  Leave them submerged for about an hour.  When you take them out, give them a scrub, and the remaining limescale should fall right off.   This process gets rid of the unsightly color on the outside as well as removes any buildup on the inside.  

Now, if you’re unable to remove your fixtures, you can still let the vinegar do the job for you.  Simply pour some into a plastic bag, wrap it around the affected fixtures, and secure the bag with a rubber band or zip-tie.  This works for exposed pipes as well.  If you want to remove buildup from them, just soak a rag in vinegar and wrap it around the affected area, again, securing it with a tie.  

While there are other chemical cleaning solutions available, we recommend trying vinegar first.  Chemical solutions can be effective, but they run the risk of causing certain health issues from exposure, like skin and lung irritation, which is why they are not often recommended for use by property owners.  If you would like to explore this option, however, speak with a professional who is skilled in handling these types of chemicals, and go with a solution that is specifically formulated to handle lime, calcium and rust.  

 2. Water Softening:

If dissolving solutions still can’t solve your problem, you may want to consider a water softening system.  All these do is mix sodium-based solutions directly into your incoming water supply in order to counteract the damaging effects of mineral buildup.  It’s that simple!

These are a longer-term solution that can be very helpful to you for many years to come. To learn more about water softeners, visit our page on Water Treatment Systems first, then give us a call.

If you find your limescale problem consistently popping up, don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation.  We’ll come out and test your water for mineral content and discuss the best options to solve your plumbing problems.  


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