Have you been noticing strange shower noises recently? Are your pipes making an audible whooshing noise whenever you turn the shower on? It probably isn’t anything serious, but this could indicate an ongoing issue that needs treatment before it grows worse.
What is the “Whoosh”?
Those strange shower noises are worth paying attention to because they can hint at worse problems in your walls. While it may seem natural for water to gurgle a bit as it moves through your pipes, good plumbing and high-quality pipes will be very quiet. If you heard a lot of water rushing, gurgling and “whooshing” sounds when you turn on a shower, that indicates a problem, and that problem is usually scale build-up in your pipes.
What is scale? It’s a mineral deposit that builds up in layers as water moves through your pipes. You may have heard that water can be “hard” or “soft” (and what that means for laundry, cooking, etc.). Hard water has a lot of mineral particles floating in it. Usually this isn’t a problem, but when water is heated and sent through the pipes – like when you take a shower – those particles tend to precipitate out and attach themselves to the inside of your plumbing pipes.
Scale and Future Problems
A little bit of scale is hardly noticeable. But as those microscopic layers build up, they start to cause problems. Water doesn’t run through the pipes as smoothly, which creates strange shower noises and similar issues. But this is just the beginning.
Over time, scale can grow worse and worse until it starts decreasing your water pressure, filling your hot water tank and even blocking your pipes.
Getting Rid of Scale and Stopping the Noise
You have several different options in dealing with scale. One of the simplest and most effective is to install a water softener in your plumbing system that removes calcium and other minerals before they can build up in your pipes. This prevents the problem from getting worse, but it won’t treat current scale and the prices of high-quality water softeners may make you cringe.
Another option is to flush out your pipes with a chemical mix or a vinegar solution that will eat away at some of the scale layers. It is best to hand this task over to a professional since you need to make sure the mixture doesn’t wind up in any tanks or drinking water. Finally, you have the option to replace your pipes entirely if you find that there are other problems present or your pipes are old and in serious need of an upgrade.
For answers to your questions, contact the Pink Plumber today!