One thing is for sure, when you have calcium buildup on your water pipes, you do not want to ignore it. The problem only gets worse and more expensive to fix as time goes by. Also, if you live in an area of the country where hard water is just a fact of life, you will have to clean your water pipes often OR invest in a water softener system.

The map to below from h2odistributors. Believe it or not, hard water is a very common problem in many homes, as you can see from the map above. USA hard water map.

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Essentially, hard water has a high mineral content. Per Wikipedia"Hard water is formed when water percolates through deposits of limestone and chalk which are largely made up of calcium and magnesium carbonates. In general, hard water is not a problem. Watering your lawn or rinsing your patio with hard water is no different than with soft water. The problem comes in bathing, washing dishes and clothing, washing your car, etc.

Know that the water softener system will not only save your pipes but it will help to save everything in your houses that uses water. Your washing machine, your dishwasher and your toilets and maybe even your skin! And 85 percent of American households have hard water. Water softeners remove the hard minerals and replace them with soft minerals.

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So, calcium is removed and replaced with sodium. Each of the other hard minerals are also replaced with soft ones. This is called "Regeneration". Water Softeners are great for decreasing the amount of calcium building in your water pipes but what can you do to initially clean out your pipes?

You can call us at Atlantis Plumbing here in Atlanta, Ga. Our number is We can take care of the problem for you and get your pipes working optimally again.

Note: You may see chunks of calcium and limescale, it's normal. If you think you are seeing more than should be in there, you may want to open your drain pipes below your sink and clean out the p-traps The U-Shaped pipe below your sinks.Is your shower drain having problems?

This guide will take you through the best DIY ways to get rid of calcium buildup in the shower.

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The best way to clear calcium buildup from plumbing pipes in your shower is using baking soda and white vinegar. A mixture of the two will dissolve the lime residue and leave the pipes draining faster. This is a temporary solution, so, if you want to solve the problem completely, consider installing a water softening system. Another quick solution to limescale calcium buildup in your bathroom is Lime-A-Way Bathroom Cleaner which is very good for removing lime, calcium, and rust.

This hard water contains chemicals including magnesium, sodium, and others. Limescale the gunk that builds up in the drains is made of calcium and magnesium deposits. This problem is common in steel pipes as opposed to PVC and copper ones.

You need to clear this buildup to have the proper level of drainage in your shower when in use.

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The good news is, you can descale the drains with homemade solutions. The baking soda works by breaking down the fatty acids in the sediments while also attacking the grime in your drain. It is advisable to use natural or natural-based products as their cleaning has no side effects. You can use a plunger drain pump to push all the water away. This usually creates a way for the stagnant water to drain away.

Take half a cup of vinegar and half a cup of baking soda and pour it into the shower drain. There is no special mix to it. You just pour them down the drain. Put a piece of cloth in water to make it damp then cover the drain with it.

After a while, you will hear bubbling and fizzing sounds from the vinegar and baking soda mixture.Is the stain at the water line? Or is it a build up along the bottom of the bowl? While vinegar will work, it does take a long time to work. Not un-common for build up in hard water areas to have issues with everything that uses water.

Tub rings, dishwasher issues, and sinks all suffer. Have you thought of getting a water softener? They have a bunch of different styles in which some use salt, and some do not that work very well. The initial cost might be reaching a bit, but when you figure out all the time and money spent on cleaning and replacement parts due to the hardness it may be worth in in the long run.

In any case, if its the bottom of the bowl, you need to vacuum out the water and pour the acid in and let it sit over night if you can. The using a strong nylon scrub brush have at it. If the issue is toilet ring stain, you need to get an old rag and lay it around the bowl after again draining it and soak the rag with the acid so it will remain on the area longer.

After an hour or two, put some more on. Keep it wet throughout the day. At the end of the day, put rag in plastic bag or hold it and flush toilet several times to rinse off the acid on it.

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Throw it away. Again scrub the ring with stiff brush. It's at the water line plus along the top of the toilet, right above where the water comes out to drain into the bowl. This is far beyond just staining. I can post a photo when I get home in a bit. I can't use acid or chemicals of any kind while in the house - I get very ill from them.

One bathroom has no fan or window in it, and the other has both fan and window but they don't work well to air it out I couldn't use that bathroom for three days or sleep in my bedroom after it was primered with Kilz last year and that was with window open and fan on. I have considered getting a water softener, but I think the water tastes gross with it.

My grandparents have one and everything just tastes "wrong. I don't know anyone else who has this problem as bad as I do. I've never seen toilets with this much buildup. If you cannot use an acid on the toilet your pretty much out of luck other then to scrape it and to continue to use hard water tabs in the toilet. The holes in the toilet ring are very common and asked here a lot. A dental pick, mirror and a good pillow to kneel on is the method to clear those holes.

A 3-M pad green one will help scrub the ring without harming the toilet. It may appear that its scratching, but once clean use some comet and clean it. It will remove the dark scratch lines that you caused cleaning the bowl. So you have nothing to loose. As far as taste in water with water softener. If its properly operating, you should not be able to tell. Salt water units do tend to put more salt into the water which may change the taste, but if its properly operating you should not be able to tell.

Get your grand-dads checked. It may need adjustments on its cycle time. What you will notice with a softener is a almost slimy feel when rinsing off in the shower.

calcium buildup in toilet pipes

What is happening is the hard water minerals that normally dry your skin are not there and what your feeling is clean skin without the minerals acting like sand paper that prevents that slippery feeling.

Your soap will go much further, your clothes will clean better and last longer and it will be much easier to clean the shower walls and doors.We always had issues with the hot water pressure being weaker than the cold, and it takes forever to get hot. Now we know why! But we have some questions for you, please.

Why is this only in the hot water pipe in the kitchen? How bad is our water heater? And how do you prevent calcium build up? When the hot water running through the pipe cools, the minerals drop out of the water and deposit on the walls of the pipe. Now, about that block of calcium pellets: We have seen hot water pipes in older homes that were choked down to less than half its original size because of calcium deposits.

This is because calcium usually builds up in slow, gradual layers over the years, shrinking the diameter of the pipe.

Your photo tells us there was probably some plumbing work done in the past that knocked that layer loose into particulate, and wedged itself in the pipe.

Yours was an unusual situation. The calcium pellets would have to go out the faucet, but the aerator on the end of the faucet keeps that from happening. Calcium and Your Water Heater Like a faucet, a water heater does experience calcium build up. When they have not been flushed regularly, messing with it now can cause leaks or blockage, much like you had in your kitchen sink.

Pour Vinegar Into Your Toilet And See What Happens

A water softening system specifically geared toward reducing calcium in your water can help, but does not remove it completely and comes with maintenance issues and health debates. Whenever plumbing work is done to kitchen or bathroom sink faucets you can flush out the pipes. Do this by removing the faucet aerator as in the photo above and running the water for a couple of minutes.

The buildup of calcium is so slow that it takes decades for a problem to present itself.

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Unless there is a special circumstance like yours where the pipes were disturbed, occasionally flushing your pipes will most likely keep everything in good running order.

For answers to home improvement questions, visit the Mosby Home Improvement Library. And for remodeling and repair help in the Metro St.

calcium buildup in toilet pipes

Louis area, call Mosby at If efficiency, knowledge and quality craftsmanship are of the utmost importance, then Mosby is the partner for you. We are a design build firm that handles every aspect of your remodeling project from beginning to end. All team members needed to complete your project designers, architects and production crews are under one roof to provide time and monetary efficiencies, quality control, and seamless communication throughout.

From cabinets and countertops to sinks and appliances, to kitchen islands and breakfast nooks, we can help you from start to finish. For St. Louis, Missouri kitchen design and remodelingMosby is the right choice. Learn more about kitchen remodeling here. They begin the design process by learning about your exact needs and desires. Be it a hall bathroom, a master bathroom or an accessible bathroomour designers will make sure it looks the way you desire and performs above and beyond your expectations.

Learn more about bathroom remodeling here. Whether it is time to replace builder grade sidingolder masonite sidingor update the look of your home, Mosby has a team of siding specialists educated and certified in the installation of vinyl siding, fiber cement siding, natural and engineered wood sidingcedar sidingtrim and flashing.

Learn more about siding installation and replacement.Mineral deposits can occur when there is a high concentration of minerals such as magnesium, potassium and calcium in your water.

calcium buildup in toilet pipes

This is known as hard water and can become a problem for your drains and pipes if not prevented or removed. These minerals are picked up by groundwater as it flows through the soil and rocks. You will notice if you have hard water build up when there are whites stains on the surfaces of your appliances and household items such as your toilets, sinks, dishwasher and even your dishes.

If left untreated or not removed, hard water build up can cause some serious issues to your plumbing, but also your health. Calcium buildup, also known as limescale, can be dissolved by using acids but it is a rarity for buildups to occur in copper pipes. Although it is possible, the levels of Calcium will need to be extremely high.

If you see hard water build up occurring, you'll need to install a water softener to treat the water. This will not only save your pipes, but also your washing machine, dishwasher and toilets. Solutions like CLR drain cleaner can reduce the amount of hard water build up in your drains and pipes, but this is not a longer term solution. CLR Drain cleaners are also toxic and damaging when it comes in contact with skin so this is not a fully recommended solution.

However, if you are just looking to clean the outside of your fixture like your shower head and faucets then CLR drain cleaner will work perfectly for that purpose. As far as removing the calcium from the inside of the copper pipes, there is nothing you can put into the pipes that you would want to drink later. No governmental agency will allow plumbers to treat the inside of copper pipes because of the hazards involved.

CLR drain cleaners won't permanently fix the issue either and these solutions also contain toxic chemicals you wouldn't want in your drinking water.

How to Remove Calcium Buildup in Pipes

You could use vinegar in the pipes, but it would take a lot of vinegar and you would have to leave it in the pipes at least 24 hours. You would have to remove all of the water in the pipes and replace it with vinegar.

Vinegar dissolves calcium and minerals. Then you would have to flush your pipes. The vinegar taste may be in the pipes for some time afterwards, but it is completely harmless versus store bought CLR drain cleaners.

A better solution is to simply replace the pipes with PEX plastic pipes. Plastic is completely resistant to any mineral build-up and provides higher pressures and water flow rates than copper pipe. Categories Pipes.If you need to know how to treat calcium buildup in toilet pipes, keep reading. Hard water can result in the buildup of scale — dissolved calcium and magnesium salts that can collect on your plumbing fixtures over time.

The calcium in hard water is responsible for those white rings in your pots and pans, or the spots on dishes. You may also see white buildup on faucets. The short term way to treat calcium buildup in toilet pipes is to physically remove visible calcium buildup, and scrub it away. Then you will need to dissolve any calcium buildup that is in the plumbing.

How to Get Rid of Calcium Buildup in the Shower Drain

The age of your toilet and how frequently you clean it can help determine how best to treat the calcium buildup. The buildup may be in the pipes themselves, or just in the rim feed and jet holes of the toilet bowl itself. These are the holes under the rim, where the water comes into the bowl when you flush. If the holes are clogged with calcium buildup, that can restrict or even block water from flowing into the toilet bowl.

You can use a wire coat hanger or a small pin and poke it into the holes to try and remove any buildup. If you use a pin, just be sure not to drop it into the toilet! For good measure, you should run something through the toilet tank to dissolve calcium deposits that might be in the toilet pipes.

calcium buildup in toilet pipes

You may want to wear gloves and use eye protection if you are using a chemical product. With a chemical solution, first, you pour a small amount into the overflow tube and letting it sit for 10 minutes or even overnight. Then flush the toilet. With vinegar, you can use a spray bottle to spray it directly under the rim, after you have physically removed as much of the buildup as you can.

To let it run through the tank and out the toilet bowl jet holes, you would pour a substantial amount of vinegar into the overflow tube, and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.

Then flush. You can prevent the buildup of future mineral deposits by cleaning the toilet at least weekly with toilet bowl cleaner and a stiff bristle toilet brush, paying special attention to the area under the rim.

The only way to truly prevent calcium buildup in your toilet, pipes, and other plumbing fixtures is to treat the source of the problem — the hard water. You can do this by installing a whole house water softener system.

In addition to preventing scale buildup, a water softener will greatly reduce soap scum buildup, staining in your toilet or tub, and can increase the lifespan of your appliances that use water.

Most water softeners work the same way, using a process called ion exchange. Small beads inside the water softener system carry a negative charge, which attracts the positively-charged minerals like calcium and magnesium in the water. A small amount of added salt helps the process along and recharges the beads so the process can begin again. You can use our contact form to schedule plumbing repair or installation of a water softener system for your home or business.

Short Term Ways to Treat Calcium Buildup in Toilet Pipes The short term way to treat calcium buildup in toilet pipes is to physically remove visible calcium buildup, and scrub it away. Long-Term Solution — A Water Softener System The only way to truly prevent calcium buildup in your toilet, pipes, and other plumbing fixtures is to treat the source of the problem — the hard water.

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A water softener system is your best long-term solution to hard water.Calcium buildup in your pipes can be quite a nuisance. Ignoring a limescale problem can turn a nuisance into a downright nightmare for your bank account. So, what can be done about the problem without costing you a fortune? First of all, there are a few ways to removing limescale and mineral accumulation in your pipes. The best way is to permanently fix the problem by purchasing a water softening system that will prevent calcium buildup from occurring.

These systems can be expensive, but to keep costs down, you can install them yourself. If you do decide to go this route, you'll still need to use one of the two methods outlined below in order to clean out the minerals that are currently plaguing your pipes. If you choose not to install a water softener, you can still use one of the explained methods; however, you need to understand that these are only temporary solutions and that calcium buildup can come back repeatedly over time if not properly addressed.

One way to remove unwanted calcium buildup is to purchase a product like CLR. This is a product with an acid that is engineered to cut through the calcium, limescale, and other minerals to deep clean your pipes. This chemical can be quite pricey, but if you can find a generic version or a hydrochloric acid product dilute according to the brand's instructionsyou may be able to make this DIY project cost effective.

Another issue some have with this chemical has to with their particular plumbing systems. For example, if you have a well, you don't want this caustic chemical going back into your potable water.

Option two uses a good old vinegar and baking soda mix to clean the calcium buildup out of your plumbing. This is the cheapest and safest method, but it will take a lot of mixture and a lot more time to complete than an acid-based cleaner.

If you go this route, you'll want approximately two to three gallons of white vinegar for a 1, square foot home and about one cup of baking soda per drain. Note: You can opt for vinegar only approach, as the baking soda isn't a must, but it will help the process go smoother, faster, and more effectively than using vinegar alone.

No matter what option you chose to remove your limescale or calcium buildup, you will follow the same steps as outlined below. Alternatively, when using a store bought acid product, the process only takes minutes. Then set them aside until step four. Turn off the water to your house before filling your pipes with either solution. Also turn off the breaker to your water heater so that it won't burn up while no water is coming in or flowing through. Turn on the taps in all areas of your home, including your outdoor hoses, to allow all water to drain out of the pipes.

Flush toilets as well. Note: If you're using the vinegar to clean, remember that you'll be waiting three to four hours to use any of the taps in your home again, so fill water jugs if you'll need water for any household chores or conveniences. Now it's time for the fun part, pouring your choice of limescale and mineral dissolvent into the drain.

If you're using CLR or another highly acidic option, use goggles and gloves before working with the product so that it won't splash back on you and harm your skin or eyes.


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