Water is amazing. It could please take a thick chemistry book to explain all of the possible elements and compounds that could complement it. After a while it will dissolve nearly anything but glass and some specialty materials. Fortunately, there exists a small subset of them which can be present in most frequent water supplies. Knowing somewhat about those will help the homeowner keep their plumbing system in top shape.
Probably the most well-known water contaminants will be the all-too familiar hard, chalky compound that we’re perpetually wiping off: calcium carbonate. It coats the surfaces of sinks and shower tubs. It lines the lining of shower spouts and drains. It accumulates inside handles and goes in every other small crevice.
Wherever water is available, you’ll usually find calcium carbonate. It is the mineral that creates ‘hard’ water hard. Though it’s not corrosive or even harmful, it may cause problems. Just like arteries do not work also when they build up fatty tissues, so pipes are less powerful whenever they clog. At fault is often calcium carbonate, at the very least in part.
Fortunately, it is easy to dissolve with baking soda and vinegar, or any one lots of commercial products. Sometimes, only a good scrub sponge is plenty. Keeping as many of it from increasing as possible assists in keeping your seals from suffering a young demise. Removing it keeps things sparkling.
Another common contaminant is actually a class of compounds: oxides. Be it red rust (iron oxide), green (copper oxide) or white (aluminum oxide) any of them will result in not only a degraded appearance.
Oxides form by corroding the main metal ones a part is created. Corrode enough and at some point its function is reduced or even compromised. The oxygen that mixes with all the metal emanates from the ever-present atoms in water (H2O). Some are free of charge floating within the water (as ions), some are easily torn loose to mix while using metal in a very simple chemical reaction. When that reaction occurs, the problem starts.
Rusty water isn’t harmful in small quantities, but it’s distasteful. Copper oxide makes a smooth surface crusty and decreases the diameter of pipes. Aluminum oxide produces pits in smooth surfaces in the event the metal from the part is oxidized, then washed or scrubbed away.
Some amount of oxidation is inevitable. Even areas away from kitchen and bath experience air which more often than not contains water vapor. However the difference might be dramatic. That’s a good reason that things in dryer climates often suffer a lot less in the problem. Keeping surfaces cleaned from water can radically slow the task. It will keep your plumbing attractive and fully functional years longer.
You will find there’s whole other sounding contaminants that could exist in water – lead, mercury, cadmium, sulfur and much more. But these are primarily accountable for harming our ‘pipes’ and ‘parts’, causing health conditions. But that necessitates some other kind of maintenance that, fortunately, plumbers do not get called to accomplish.