Help! My Pipes Are Clogged and I Don't Know Why
Signs of hard water
It's an aggravating job, but someone has to do it. Crawling under the creepy crawl space to change the leaky pipe, that has calcium build up. The crawl space reeks of moisture and mildew. Smells of sewer assault the nose. A small spider scurries away as the light illuminates it. The hope of not encountering a snake weights on the mind. Finally, the problem emerges as the light from the flashlight pushes away the darkness. The plumbing has been corroded clear through.
Mr. P. (my hubby) told me that the corrosion on the pipe is the cause of hard water build up. As the water travels through the plumbing, it leaves behind specs of minerals. Calcium and lime are part of these minerals. They are the ones that cling to the pipe walls, building up, until the pipe clogs. When the water begins to leak outside the pipe, calcium/lime deposits are clearly seen building up around the leak.
What is hard water?
Hard water is water that contains large amounts of minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and lime. When these minerals are present in water, it is difficult to lather soap. There may be times when the water containing this minerals is so “hard” rendering the water as unfit for use in washing.
Hard water on a metal paint can
Hard Water Corrosion
Water conditioner treatment
How do you treat hard water?
Hard water is treated with a water softening solution. A device that is similar to a hot water tank is attached to your pipes. Water comes in from the outside faucet. It flows down through the device and into the sand (mineral bed) The mineral bed pulls the deposits from the water. The discarded minerals are then drained outside and the “soft” water continues to flow into the house.
How the sand and salt works.
When the minerals are flowing through the water conditioning device, the minerals cling to the sand. A salt solution then flushes the minerals out of the sand when the device is full. The minerals are then drained out of the drain pipe. The end result is "soft water" that is now free of the hardening minerals. Silica, “sand” will put a light coating on pipes which will actually protect them.
Does hard vs soft water make a difference?
How does one pick out how large of a water softener/conditioner device?
It depends upon the water conditioner itself. On average, it takes 75 gallons of water per person in a household. Add that by how many people are in your household and it should give you a close estimate as to how big of a device is needed.
To protect your plumbing investment, it is a good idea to check your lines for hard water corrosion and ground wires.
© tlpoague 2011
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A four generation plumbing company serving the New York area for over 90 years.
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