Dealing With Lime Deposits
LESLIE: Bobbi in Tennessee. You’re an interesting caller. You’re a carpenter. Tell us about yourself.
BOBBI: Well, I am a female carpenter; have been one for the last 15-20 years. And there’s not very many of us out there.
LESLIE: What’s your specialty?
BOBBI: Well, scaffold builder, actually.
TOM: Oh, interesting.
BOBBI: (chuckling) Yes. (laughing)
TOM: Does that job have a lot of ups and downs? (laughing)
BOBBI: Oh, yes. More ups than downs. Unfortunately.
TOM: (overlapping voices)Yeah, well, as long as you don’t come down quickly. So how can we help you, Bobbi?
BOBBI: Yes. Well, my question is I have a well going into my home; water well. And … which contains a lot of lime in our water. And my question is what can I do to help prevent lime buildup in the lines going into the house?
TOM: What kind of lines do you have going into the house, right now? What kind of plumbing lines are they using for that? Is it a plastic line?
BOBBI: Oh, I have PVC.
TOM: You have a PVC. And has lime buildup been a problem in the PVC pipe?
BOBBI: Well, my neighbor … we have had to take his toilet up and replace it because they had a lot of lime buildup in the toilet itself; in the trap.
LESLIE: In the trap, but …
BOBBI: And so we had to take his toilet up and replace the toilet. And we’re looking at how can we prevent that from happening to us.
TOM: Well, I don’t think you can prevent it on the supply side unless you put in a filtration … a water conditioning system. You put in a water conditioning system with a filtration unit, you may be able to reduce the amount of particulates inside the water. But, you know, when it’s pressurized like that, you have to catch it once it gets inside the house.
BOBBI: Oh, okay. Yeah, I was hoping we could be able prevent it from actually getting in. I didn’t know if we could put an inline filter before it actually gets to the house itself or …
TOM: No, you put it right inside the house. Now, have you ever had this water tested?
TOM: Well, that would be a good thing to do. Because, this way, you’ll know what you’re dealing with. And depending on how the water test comes back, you’ll know exactly what kind of filtration system to put in.
BOBBI: Okay, yeah. Because I was looking at possibly putting in an inline filter before it actually came into the house.
TOM: Well, it doesn’t matter where you put it but, generally, you’re going to want to put it inside the house because, this way, the equipment’s not going to become deteriorated by the outside, by the environment.
BOBBI: Yes. Because right now, the shower heads themselves are starting to get lime buildup in those.
TOM: Yeah, well, the way to deal with that is you take them apart and you soak them in a little vinegar and water.
BOBBI: Vinegar and water?
TOM: Yep. That’ll melt that lime deposit right away.
BOBBI: Oh, okay. Well, yes, I haven’t heard that. This is all new to me because I just moved to Tennessee and I’ve never had this problem before. (laughing)
TOM: Well, home improvement is always a new adventure, Bobbi.
BOBBI: Yes. (laughing) Yes it is.
TOM: Well, think of the bright side. If you ever want to replace your roof, you could easily build your own scaffold and get up there and do it. (laughter)
BOBBI: Oh, that is true. And do the work myself, so I’m good to go.
TOM: There you go. Bobbi, thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.