The quality of tap water in megacities raises great criticism. But it becomes even worse when even bad water suddenly stops flowing completely or is supplied with a weak pressure. The first thing to do in such a situation is to interview your neighbors.
If they do not have problems with the pressure of the water supply system, then most likely your pipes are clogged. In most cases, you can clean the water pipe at home on your own, without resorting to the services of public utilities.
how to clean water pipes in your house
Causes of pipe clogging
Water pipes in old buildings (standard wiring in an apartment) are steel communications of small diameter (15 mm).
The specificity of such communications eventually leads to the accumulation of impurities on the inner wall. Gradually, the clearance in the pipe decreases, the water pressure at the supply drops. This does not happen overnight and may not be immediately noticed by the residents. The X hour comes when the weak water supply begins to interfere with the normal operation of the washing machine, boiler, gas water heater.
Sometimes the water supply in a single apartment suddenly stops completely.
Reasons for a clogged water pipe:
- Mechanical filling of the internal lumen of the water supply system with sand suspensions in the supplied water. The reason for the blockage is the inadequate quality of the tap water and its insufficient purification.
- Natural aging of steel water pipelines, their corrosion. In the process of rusting the inner part of the pipes, iron salts are formed, which fill the inner lumen of the communications with a loose mass. The situation is aggravated by the small diameter of the intra-apartment plumbing.
- Accumulation of salts contained in hard tap water on the pipe walls. Natural salts dissolved in water, for various reasons, can precipitate and linger on the walls of water supply lines. The accumulation process in this case is slow, but over decades, such deposits can completely shut off the water supply.
- Breakage of the valve, mixer.
- The weakening of the water flow at the bends of the water pipes, in the wiring places creates favorable conditions for the deposition of contaminants on the fittings.
- The coarse filter is dirty.
Note! Blockages more often occur in places where there are mechanical irregularities in communications or obstacles.
Locations typical of blockages:
- Water filters. Filters for mechanical purification of tap water are currently installed by many owners. This is often the reason for the lack of water supply to the apartment.
- Filter on the water meter.
- Valves. The valve acts as a natural obstacle to the flow of water. Salt deposits on the tap that shut off the water can be the reason for the weakening of the pressure or the lack of water in the apartment.
- Mixers. On the working surfaces of the mixer, both salts dissolved in hard water and rust from pipes, small particles of water contaminants that have seeped through the filter are deposited.
- Water pipe bends. The distribution of the water supply around the house assumes the presence of pipe turns. In the place where the water pipe makes a sharp bend (90 degrees), the deposit contaminating the pipe settles in a larger amount than in straight sections. Elbows, adapters, tees are clogged as often as valves, filters on meters.
Note! To eliminate a blockage in a water supply system, the nature of the pollution does not matter. You can self-clean the pipe at home only if it is not clogged due to complete wear and tear.
How to clean the pipe yourself if you could not find the place of blockage
There are several ways to clean the water supply communications at home:
- Turn on the water in all taps and gently tap the communications along the entire length. If water comes out of the tap with rust, dirt, then the action can be repeated several times. At the same time, rust, sand, and salt deposits fly off from the walls inside the pipe. Impurities are flushed out of the pipeline with a stream of water under pressure.
- Household chemicals. To do this, a cleaning agent for steel pipes is poured into the water supply lines. Access to all household appliances is preliminarily blocked so that aggressive chemicals do not get inside. Leave the solution for 2-3 hours. Then they are washed with plenty of water, opening the pressure to full capacity. This method of cleaning water pipes is controversial, since it can pose a danger to humans in the event of a delay in household chemicals inside the communications.
- Mechanical cleaning by yourself using a special cable. For such cleaning, the pipes are dismantled. The plumbing cable carefully passes the “insides” of the water supply section several times. A rigid cable brush effectively cleans the inside of the water supply system, tearing off rust, scale, sand and salt sediment from the walls. At the end of the communication procedure, connect and rinse.
There is a method for cleaning a water pipe, which is called a water jet. Its essence is that the dismantled pipe is connected to a high-pressure hose and the blockage is pierced by the pressure of water. However, this method cannot be used for home use.
When to call a specialist
If you have never dealt with pipes, mixers, household appliances, then call the plumber right away. You will have to contact a specialist if it was not possible to clean the communications on your own. Perhaps your pipes are so overgrown with deposits that they can only be replaced.
Replacing steel water pipes once with new ones will save yourself from problems with water supply to your apartment for decades.
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For the smooth operation of the water supply system, preventive measures should be taken to combat possible blockages. Water quality in cities with old communications leaves much to be desired, even with efficient treatment facilities.
The flow of water into the common pipeline brings scale and plaque from the walls of old pipes. Without protective devices, all “garbage” safely migrates to you. If in a large diameter of common communications he has nothing to catch on, then in a pipe with a diameter of 15 mm he will quickly create a plug.
Measures to prevent blockages are simple – this is the installation of coarse filters (primary) at the inlet of the water supply to the housing. Periodic cleaning of such filters is not difficult. The filter mesh will reliably protect your water supply system from the ingress of sand, rust and other suspended matter from the central communications.
Additional filters must be installed in front of hot and cold water meters.
Note! Prevention of water supply blockages is needed not only for uninterrupted water supply, but also for extending the service life of household appliances.