A Tale Of Two Pipe Killers: Avoiding Corrosion And Lime Scale

Posted on: 28 June 2016

If you've ever had a friend or relative who needed to have the pipes in their home replaced, you know how expensive and extensive this project can be. Wouldn't it be nice if you could take steps to ensure your pipes don't suffer the same fate? By improving your understanding of the two issues that most commonly lead to the need for pipe replacement, you can.


Corrosion is the process by which a metal breaks down. It occurs in most all metals to a certain extent, though some metals are more prone to corrosion than others. The majority of pipes in today's homes are made from copper because it does not rust, but copper does still corrode after years of exposure to water and other substances. If the corrosion becomes severe, your pipes may become pitted and start leaking, especially around joints where the pits lead to a poor fit between pipes. Thankfully, there are a few ways you can reduce corrosion in your pipes:

  • Avoid using chemical drain cleaners. They eat through the metal in your pipes, accelerating the rate of corrosion. Use a plunger or mixture of baking soda and vinegar to clean your drains instead.
  • Minimize your use of strong household cleaning chemicals, like bleach and ammonia.
  • Have your water pH tested. Water that's slightly acidic will corrode pipes faster. If you find that your water is acidic, your plumber can install a system to neutralize it as it flows into your home, minimizing pipe damage.

Lime Scale

Lime scale is a type of mineral buildup. It occurs when minerals like calcium and magnesium settle out of your water and build up within the pipes. Eventually, lime scale will build to the point that it blocks your pipe completely, and the only solution will be to replace the damaged pipe.

The only way to prevent lime scale buildup is to have hard water "softened" as it enters your home. Hard water contains a higher proportion of dissolved calcium and magnesium than soft water. A water softener will remove these minerals from your water as it flows into your home, preventing them from later settling in your pipes as lime scale.

Some areas have hard water, while others do not. Your plumber, like Midwestern Plumbing Service, can test your water hardness and tell you whether or not it is likely to lead to lime scale if you don't install a water softener.

 If you can prevent lime scale buildup and corrosion, your pipes should remain in good shape for many decades.


Avoiding Plumbing Problems

After we purchased a brand new place, I was blown away with how many plumbing problems it had. It seemed like every time we turned around, there was another issues with a sink, a toilet, or a shower. After doing a little research, we discovered that the home had been having trouble with plumbing for quite some time, and we knew that we needed to fix things. We decided to have a professional plumber come in and completely overhaul our system, and that decision was absolutely the right one to make. This blog is dedicated to avoiding plumbing issues the first time around.

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