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I have a fairly new home, built in 2007, in Arizona. I noticed today that most of the faucets in our house are starting to get hard water deposits on them where the water is coming out. It got me thinking, the pipes must have similar build-ups, and it can't be good for them. Is there hard-water deposits inside the pipes inside my homes, and if so, is there a fairly quick and easy way to clean the hard-water deposits from out of the pipes? Not the easy ones to get to, mind you, but the pipes in the walls and such. I'm pretty sure the pipes are all PVC, if it makes a difference.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Faucets have screens on them. Your pipes shouldn't have deposits on them because the sediment will build-up on the bottom of the tank when it is being heated (the change in temperature and stagnation are the main reasons for the sediment falling out of solution -- neither of which happens in pipes,) and it shouldn't go out of the top. The screens on the faucets are to stop debris that are lighter than water.

That's not to say that it's impossible for pipes to get build-up, but you'd have major water heater problems prior to your pipes getting clogged. Clean the screens to see if the flow rate / pressure goes up. If it clears up the problems, no need to mess with the pipes!

(Also, another way to test whether it is merely the screens giving you the problems is to test it using the cold water. If the cold water is also slow, it's the screen on the faucet, not scale build-up in your pipes.)

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No, you need not fear that the insides of your pipes are becoming encrusted with this. The crud is dissolved in your water. It only appears when water evaporates, leaving it behind. Since water will not evaporate inside your pipes, no problem there. It stays dissolved in the water.

You can of course get a water softener.

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