Why Does Calcium Buildup Around My Faucets?

GosMorning bathroom sink faucets

Over time, hard water buildup clogs plumbing fixtures and destroys home appliances. We see it almost on a daily basis. In this guide, we’ll discuss why calcium builds up in the first place, why it’s so detrimental to your home, and common DIY tricks to slow down its accumulation.

Why Is Calcium Building Up Around My Faucets?

Calcium buildup looks like an accumulation of white crust around your plumbing fixtures. It can also leave stains on your glassware and leave your skin and hair feeling dry after a shower. But why exactly does calcium attach itself to your plumbing? The simple answer is calcium buildup is the result of excessively hard water. This is water with high mineral content, and it can vary from place to place.

How Much Is Hard Water Buildup Costing Me?

The sad truth is hard water can be costing you thousands of dollars in unnecessary appliance repairs and replacements. Calcium (also known as lime) attaches itself to your home’s plumbing system and creates clogs that ultimately destroy your appliances. Another common area we see calcium affecting is your water heater. Instead of your water heater lasting for as long as 8 to 12 years, calcium buildup will cut that life expectancy down to 6 or 7 years. So what are some easy solutions you can start doing today to save money on needless plumbing repairs?

How Can I Remove Calcium Buildup Without Calling a Plumber?

There are a handful of temporary tricks to cut back on calcium buildup that can save you from needing to call a plumber.

  1. Household Cleaners: Get in the habit of routinely wiping down the affected bathroom and kitchen fixtures with a damp cloth and an all-purpose household cleaner. Wipe away any calcium residue to prevent it from going down the drain.
  2. White Vinegar: Pour white vinegar into a plastic bag and secure it around the affected faucet. Allow the vinegar to sit for several hours before removing. Once the bag has been removed, use a scrubbing brush and baking soda to clean away the calcium.
  3. Lemon: If you’d prefer to refrain from using chemicals, a food high in citric acid, such as a lime or a lemon, will do the trick. Squeeze the juice onto a cloth and wipe the fixtures until they shine.
  4. Examine the Aerator: Oftentimes calcium particles will accumulate in the faucet aerator, creating a blockage that prevents adequate flow. Unscrew the aerator and carefully remove the calcium pieces. 

What Plumbing Systems Will Stop Calcium from Building Up Around My Faucets?

For a more permanent solution to hard water buildup, you’ll want to consider treating your water. This can be accomplished a couple different ways. Installing a water softener before your water heater will ensure all water coming into the home is softened. This will preserve your water heater and plumbing fixtures. You might also want to consider a reverse osmosis system that will remove other unwanted contaminants such as bacteria. Coupling these two systems together will greatly improve your drinking water while saving you on repeated appliance repairs.



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