Keeping your water pipes clean is an essential part of overall home maintenance. Knowing how to keep water pipes clean will save you a lot of money in plumber fees.
Over time, water pipes will become clogged with debris, lime deposits, or even roots growing into the pipes. Once this happens it can lead to costly repairs. However, there are some things that you can do to help keep your water pipes clean.
1. Commercial Cleaners
Today there are a large variety of commercial pipe cleaners on the market. They work with strong chemicals that eat at the calcium, lime, and rust deposits that build up over time. Depending on where you get your water from, a city supply or a dug artisan well, there will be different minerals and chemicals found in the water. As the water runs through the water pipes, minerals can sit on the pipe walls and begin to close in.
Commercial cleaners are poured into the main supply pipe. Once you add the chemical additives, you must flush out your water before you start drinking it or bathing in it.
Be aware that chemical cleaners have drawbacks. The strong chemicals used to rid pipes of build up can also begin to deteriorate the pipes themselves. Constant use will slowly eat away at the pipes, thus causing a need to replace the pipes and possible water damage repair due to leaks.
2. Water Softeners
You may live in an area that has a higher than average mineral count in the water. This will cause "hard" water, which basically means that the water is full of lime, calcium, and other minerals. If you have a hard water problem, you will see white flake build up around your faucets, shower heads and along the sink basin.
You can keep your water pipes free of minerals by installing a water softener that will circulate the water through a pump that has either a potassium or a salt filter to trap the minerals. You must continually add new salt to the system and clean the filter, but you will see a drastic reduction in the minerals in the water.
3. Lime Removal Techniques
Hot water pipes are very susceptible to lime build up. The hot water is the actual cause of the problem. The water will dissolve the lime into a state where it flows freely in the water. When it cools off, any lime left will settle in pipes or the hot water heater, causing a decrease in water flow or a clog.
If you find that this is the problem, empty half of your hot water heater and simply add some lime remover to it. Refill the hot water tank and then let it sit for a few minutes. Let the hot water run through all your faucets until the water is clear and free of any bubbles and foam.
If you have water that is heavy in lime, you will probably need to repeat this process every few months depending on how much hot water you use.