Grease and grime aren’t the only things that can block your pipes. If you have hard water, which many households in the Los Angeles area do, mineral scale buildup is another threat. To prevent clogged drains, take steps to keep the scale to a minimum.
Flush the Scale Away
An annual cleaning helps prevent clogged drains by getting rid of the scale before it builds up to a problematic level. For this, you’ll need either vinegar and baking soda or a specially formulated calcium, lime, and rust removal product. If you choose the natural route, you’ll need 1 cup baking soda for each drain and 1 1/5 gallon vinegar for every 500 sq. ft. of floor space in your home.
Start by filling one pot of water for each drain and setting the pots aside. Shut off the water to your house and the power to your water heater. Drain the plumbing system by turning on all the indoor and outdoor faucets and flushing the toilet.
If you use a cleaning product, follow the product’s instructions. Most products need only around 10 minutes to do their job. Otherwise, pour the baking soda into each drain in the house, then go back through and add the vinegar divided more or less evenly between drains. Give the solution three or four hours to work. Heat the pans of water and pour them down the drains. Finally, open all the faucets fully to blast away the loosened scale.
Install a Water Softener
If you don’t want the hassle of frequent pipe cleaning and the other issues hard water brings, consider having a water softener installed. A whole-house water softener treats your water where it enters your house, so you’ll have soft water for drinking, showering, and washing clothes. This means fewer minerals end up in your pipes. Even so, you’ll still need to de-scale the pipes periodically.
By taking steps to keep scale out of your pipes, you’ll prevent clogged drains and prolong the life of your plumbing. If your pipes clog repeatedly, contact a plumber for professional cleaning.