In the Mohave County area of Arizona, you’re more likely to have hard water than not. And that’s whether you get your water from a municipal source or from a well. According to EPCOR’s water quality reports, the entire Mohave County area has hard water to very hard water. This includes the Mohave, North Mohave and Willow Valley Water Districts. If you need to know how to treat calcium buildup in toilet pipes, keep reading.
Scale – What Is It?
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. It’s a little harder to see in your toilet, but if your toilet is flushing slow, and you’ve checked to make sure there’s not a clog and the water supply valve is letting enough water into the tank, you may have a calcium buildup in your toilet pipes. The good news is, there’s an easy short-term fix for that. There’s also a long-term fix.
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. Then you will need to dissolve any calcium buildup that is in the plumbing. 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.
To clear the deposits, you’ll have to get down low so you can see under the toilet bowl rim. 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. You can use distilled white vinegar or a chemical product such as Lime Away or CLR. 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. This sends the product through the toilet’s pipes and out through the jet holes, removing the mineral deposits.
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.
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. You can do this by installing a whole house water softener system. A water softener system treats the hard water before it enters your home’s plumbing, so the calcium buildup never has a chance to happen. 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. As a result, the beads “pull” the minerals from the water as it passes through the water softener tank. A small amount of added salt helps the process along and recharges the beads so the process can begin again.
A water softener system is your best long-term solution to hard water.
Call Plumbing By Jake for Water Softener Systems and Plumbing Repair
Call 928-377-5910 for an emergency plumber 24/7 or during regular business hours if it’s not an emergency. You can use our contact form to schedule plumbing repair or installation of a water softener system for your home or business. At Plumbing By Jake, we back every repair or installation with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. We serve Kingman, Bullhead City, Golden Valley, Lake Havasu, and all of Mohave County, Arizona.