PLUMBING PROBLEMS ON THE COAST: What to Expect From Your Next Plumber.

Living near the San Diego coastline has many rewards, but it’s not always problem-free. When it comes to your plumbing, living on the coast can cost you in more ways than one. Hard water and the damage it causes to pipes, fixtures and other plumbing components is quite a big concern with coastal homes, so it’s wise to find a plumber that knows how to properly service and repair plumbing systems damaged by hard water.

What is hard water?

Hard water is the term used to describe water that contains high amounts of calcium and magnesium. Even though San Diego water is filtered and disinfected before it reaches your home, there’s no process to adequately remove these minerals beforehand. Calcium and magnesium cause what is known as limescale – a white or yellow crust-like material that builds up around faucets, shutoff valves and other parts of your plumbing system.

Limescale not only ruins the appearance of faucets and fixtures, it can restrict water flow, corrode internal parts, freeze or stiffen handles and will eventually result in leaks around the house. It will shorten the life of your faucets, supply lines, shut off valves and your water heater if the problem is severe.

How is hard water treated?

Many homeowners have turned to water softening systems to remove calcium and magnesium from their water. The problem with soft water systems is that they use a high amount of corrosive salts that are harmful to copper supply lines and other plumbing components. Also, the excess salts in softened water makes it undrinkable, requiring additional treatment to make it safe for consumption and irrigation.

A much better alternative to water softeners are whole-house water filters that use a magnetic ionizer to prevent limescale buildup. These systems don’t remove calcium and magnesium – instead they use an electric impulse to affect water molecules in such a way that that minerals are unable to deposit inside supply lines and other parts of the plumbing system.

How can a plumber help?

Beyond the installation of a whole-house filter, a plumber experienced with coastal conditions can easily identify problems caused by mineral buildup, make all necessary repairs and make recommendations on how to avoid further issues. These recommendations may include routine descaling to clean and remove mineral buildup from various parts of the system; regular water heater flushes or the replacement of affected shutoff valves and faucet cartridges.

A good plumber will also charge reasonably and aim to help you avoid future plumbing problems and costly repairs. Keep in mind that ignoring hard water damage will only worsen the situation and cost you more in the long run.

In general, the key to managing problems caused by hard water is finding a plumber that knows precisely how to identify and resolve plumbing problems specific to coastal areas. It will help make your next plumbing appointment speedy and affordable and will greatly reduce the need for future visits.