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Ask a Plumber: What Causes This White Buildup?

Here’s a common question we hear from our customers: “What causes this white buildup I see on my faucets, drains, and other fixtures?” They usually follow up with: “Is it serious? Can I do anything about it aside from scrubbing it away?”

We will answer these questions in this post—it’s a bit more detailed than you might imagine—and tell you the best way to remedy the problem.

When you need a plumber in Orlando, FL, call on a company that has proudly served Central Florida since 1975: Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. We offer 24-hour emergency service for your convenience.

Answer: Hard Water

That white buildup that often encrusts the surfaces of your fixtures is calcite residue from hard water. You may have heard about hard water before without properly understanding what it means. Hard water generally refers to any water with a high mineral content. Specifically, it means water with large amounts of calcium-containing minerals such as gypsum. The magnesium mineral dolomite, which also contains calcium, is another common mineral suspended in hard water.

Usually, these minerals pose no threat to your heath: hard water may not taste as good as “soft water,” but it is rarely dangerous. However, it can cause trouble for your plumbing and any appliance hooked to it.

The visible white buildup is calcification from the minerals in hard water. Aside from looking ugly, this calcite will start to coat the inside of your pipes, which will restrict water flow and start to raise the pressure within the plumbing until it erupts into leaking. The calcification will also infiltrate your hot water heater (or boiler, if you use one) and leave limescale alone the inside of the tank, which can seriously impair it. Hard water will also damage components in your dishwasher and laundry.

What can I do about hard water?

Hard water comes to you through the municipal water system, so the best way to combat it is through a whole-house water treatment system attached to the main line. Water softeners will filter out the excess minerals from hard water and rebalance the water with sodium. Installing a water softener of this size requires the work of professional plumbers.

Do not ignore the evidence of hard water in your home: it might be causing damage to your plumbing out of your sight. Hire experienced plumbers like those at Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. to test your water and then offer solutions to the problem. We have experience with many types of water treatment systems, and we will know the best way to fix your troubles with hard water. Hire an Orlando, FL, plumber from Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. today.

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