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Problems Caused by Buildup in Your Pipes

Some of the most frustrating plumbing issues are when your drains slow, your pipes clog, and your water pressure decreases. Each of these can be caused by the buildup of mineral deposits in pipes, known as scale build-up. Left unchecked, this buildup can lead to many problems with your plumbing, including burst pipes. Fortunately, a process known as pipe descaling can help prevent many of these problems. While many people don’t know much about pipe descaling, it’s an important part of maintaining plumbing systems. In fact, hiring a plumbing professional to descale pipe in your home can prevent costly repairs and help extend the lifespan of your pipes.

What is Pipe Descaling?

When buildup from mineral deposits, rust, and grease begins to coat the inside of your pipes, it can lead not only to slow water flow and clogs, but also corrosion in your plumbing system. This can be particularly problematic in areas where the water supply has a high mineral content. The abundance of minerals in the water can cause sediment, rust, and mineral deposits to build up on the inside of pipes, forming a thick layer that grabs solids as they passed. After some time of this, the pipe can become clogged or blocked. Mineral deposits in your faucets can cause low water pressure, and you will notice that less water comes out of the faucet than you are accustomed to seeing.  Pipe descaling involves the removal of this buildup from inside the pipes, so that water can flow freely through the pipes.

How Does it Work?

Replacing and repairing pipes can be expensive and inconvenient. Often, it involves digging up the yard, in order to get to the pipes. Descaling, however, is a non-invasive method of cleaning pipes and restoring them to their top function. Descaling extends the life of your plumbing while preventing future problems, like clogs or leaks. Additionally, descaling removes sediment from water lines, improving the quality of your water. During the descaling process, there is no interruption of water usage, and descaling does not inconvenience those living in the building. Pipe descaling is not just effective, but also convenient and affordable, and it serves the dual purpose of cleaning your pipes and improving your water quality.

Pipe descaling is done by a professional plumber, who will first inspect your pipes to determine the amount of buildup and the best method of descaling. Sometimes, descaling is done with chemicals, and in other cases, your plumber will descale your pipe with abrasive tools. The, your pipes will be descaled, using one of a few methods.

Plumber checking the pipes for descalling - Triple-T

Methods For Pipe Descaling
  • Hydro jetting: This method of descaling blasts water at high pressure through the pipes, to clear out severe clogs. Plumbers have special nozzles and tools to accomplish this, as high pressure water won’t do the job on its own. One such tool, the descaling nozzle, rotates a chain through the pipes, scrubbing off mineral deposits and rust.
  • Chemical Descaling: This method may be used when scale buildup is not too severe, and the pipes do not have much of a blockage. By using a special chemical solution to break up the buildup, the plumber is able to flush away both the solution and the buildup. This is a good solution when hydro jetting wouldn’t be practical or could damage the pipes. It’s important to leave chemical descaling to the professionals, because it can damage pipes if used incorrectly.
  • Acidic Descaling: For cases in which heavy scale buildup is the result of hard water, pH water can be used in customized descaling treatment.
  • Mechanical Descaling: This is an environmentally friendly method of descaling, using mechanical means like a wire brush. Hydro jetting can also be considered a method of mechanical descaling.
  • Electronic Descaling: When buildup is particularly stubborn, electronic descaling can be used, generating a magnetic field or low-voltage current that charges mineral particles and keeps them from settling in the pipes.
  • Thermal Shock: Subjecting pipes to abrupt temperatures can dissolve buildup on pipes, and this is a technique often used when the buildup is severe or other methods have failed.
Why Should You Get it Done?

If you have cast-iron pipes in your home plumbing, they should last for 50 to 75 years. However, several different things can speed their deterioration. Mineral buildup is not the only problem cast iron pipes fail, and in fact, putting grease down the drain is the top cause of cast-iron corrosion and degradation. Acidic soils and detergents can also contribute to the problem, and if you try to unclog your drain with drain chemicals, you can further damage the pipes. Descaling cast iron sewer pipe and water pipes is one of the most effective ways to keep your pipes clean and prolong their lifespan.

What Types of Pipes Benefit from Descaling?

Cast iron pipes are particularly prone to becoming coated with magnesium salts and iron oxide. That is why descaling cast iron pipes is necessary, but scale can also build up in copper or concrete pipes. While some new homes do use copper pipes, new construction generally involves pipes made of PVC, PEX, copper, or galvanized steel, which are unlikely to need descaling. Descaling acts as cast iron pipe cleaner, making your cast iron pipes more functional and longer-lasting.

What Options Do We Offer?

Descaling your pipes is an excellent option if you are wanting to know how to clean sediment from water lines, pipes, and drains. However, there are also ways to keep scale from building up in the first place. If you are wondering how to prevent calcium buildup in your pipes, a water filtration system may be your answer. At Triple-T Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, and Electrical, we offer a wide variety of water filtration systems for homes and business, designed to treat, filter, and purify the water in your home, giving you cleaner, safer water and prolonging the life of your pipes.

Contact Triple T for Pipe Descaling

If your pipes are showing signs of corrosion, and you need a professional to descale your pipes, you can trust Triple-T Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing to keep your plumbing in great shape. Since 1974, our family-owned and operated business has been committed to serving our community, providing the very best heating, air conditioning, air quality, and plumbing services. We’re dedicated to customer satisfaction, and we continually train our employees so that we’re always up to date with the latest technology. When you’re ready for “Service Beyond Expectations”, contact us for all your plumbing, air quality, and HVAC needs.