What Are Those Crusty Build-Ups in My Plumbing?

You notice a white and yellow material forming on your faucets, on your showerheads, or on other visible places around your plumbing. It’s crusty and flaky, and doesn’t remove easily. What is it? Does it indicate a serious issue with your plumbing?

We’ll explain what causes this build-up, and why it calls for hiring a plumber in Beacon, NY to look into it. Smart Systems has 24-hour emergency service ready for any of your plumbing needs.

That crusty build-up means hard water

The reason you see these deposits on your plumbing fixtures is because of hard water from the municipal water supply. “Hard water” is a term that confuses people (isn’t hard water called ice?) but it is a frequent occurrence in homes. Hard water is water with a high level of mineral content. The minerals in hard water are usually magnesium, gypsum, and various calcites. Hard water rarely poses any health risks to drink, although it may not taste as good as “softer” water with a better balance of chemicals.

However, hard water can have a negative effect on your plumbing. You can see part of that effect in those flaky deposits: the calcium in hard water will build-up inside plumbing. It can occur slowly, but it will begin to accumulate over time. If you notice these calcium deposits on your fixtures, that certainly means they are developing unseen, inside the pipes as well.

The danger of this build-up is that it will increase the water pressure inside the pipes. Although it’s almost unheard-of for a calcium build-up to close off a pipe completely, even a small layer of calcite on the interior lining will begin to restrict water flow, and this will cause the pressure to increase. High water pressure is dangerous for your plumbing because it will cause water to try to escape at the easiest points it can, which are usually valves and connections. Leaks will begin to spring up, often in places where you can’t see them. Once leaking starts, it will spread—this isn’t an issue that will go away.

If you start discovering this flaky and crusty material on your fixtures, you should call a plumber to see if the damage has spread to the pipes and started leaks. A professional plumber can reduce the damage from hard water with appropriate re-piping and leak sealing. The plumber can also recommend various solutions for reducing the hardness of your water.

Take good care of your plumbing so it will take good care of you: only rely on professional, highly-trained plumbers to work on your plumbing. Smart Systems can do the job for you when you need a skilled plumber in Beacon, NY.

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