How to Clean Sediment from Water Lines

If you’ve noticed dirt clogging your faucet’s aerator or discolored water, it’s likely there is sediment in the water. Sediment buildup is a nuisance to deal with, and it can have some adverse implications on your water heater, washing machine, and other water-using gadgets. It can also give water an earthy taste.

Sediment from Water Lines

There are four main methods of removing sediments from water lines: using cleaning chemicals, flushing the water system, cleaning with vinegar, or replacing the water pipes.

You could do this yourself or contact professional cleaning services.

Signs of Sediment in Water

Some signs of the presence of sediment in the water include:

  • Water running brown or yellow: Discolored water can indicate excess residue, a bad boiler, or a sewage leak. It can also suggest that there is some disturbance in the plumbing.
  • Sluggish plumbing: You may notice that your tankless water heater is a bit sluggish. Does your shower experience slow water flow? This suggests there might be a sediment buildup or clog.
  • Reduced water pressure: Draggy water pressure in faucets is a clear sign of sediment in the water.

In most cases, clearing sediment buildup is a simple procedure. If the sediment issue is primarily a cold water tank problem, you can easily rinse water from the line. However, rinsing out the hot water tank may need professional help.

4 Effective Methods for Cleaning Sediment from Water Lines

1. Use Productive Chemicals

CLR Calcium, Lime & Rust Remover

use productive chemicals

Removing sediments using proper chemicals is a fast, easy, and effective procedure. But you may need an expert hand to prevent chemical reaction accidents. If you choose to do it yourself, wear gloves for maximum protection and carefully adhere to the chemical use instructions.

Below is a stet-by-step process for using cleaning chemicals to clean sediments from the water lines.

  • Fill the faucet with cold water and leave space to submerge the bottle carrying chemicals.
  • Use a damp cloth or stopper to block the overflow and hold the bottle firmly.
  • Leave the solution to sit for 10-15 minutes for best results.
  • You can now open all hot and cold water supply systems at a high rate. It will push out all sediments at a higher pressure.

2. Flushing Method

Flushing Method

Flushing out sediment is an effective way to get rid of buildup in your floor drain. Follow these steps to flush out sediments from your water lines.

  • Adjust the ball valve to empty the hot water heater tank and ensure all cold water faucets are open.
  • Adjust water pressure using a pressure relief valve. Once the pressure is high, sediments will flush out of the tankless heater pipe quickly.
  • All faucets should be running at full capacity.

In most cases, an electric water heater comes with a flushing kit. Ensure the kit has a big hose length to reach the interior components. Alternatively, you can fix a garden hose to reach difficult places.

The flushing kit saves you a lot of money and keeps the heating elements running smoothly with no interruption. It also helps the system reduce biofilm, keeps your water main dead ends clear, and prevents bacterial buildup. More so, it maintains tap water clarity.

3. Replace the Pipes

Replace the Pipes

Sediments like rust might not come out through flushing or may persist even if you use rust removal cleaning chemicals. A rusted anode rod gives your drinking water a salty, sour taste. In such a situation, replacing the pipes become imperative. To replace the water lines:

  • Ensure you turn on cold water faucets and close the hot water faucet. The lightweight sediments will come out quickly.
  • Leave the drain valve open until the heater tank runs empty.

PVC offers versatility, strength, and durability. It is an excellent alternative to metal pipes, which rust easily.

4. Clean the Water Lines with Vinegar

Harris 30% Pure Vinegar

Clean the Water Lines with Vinegar

The combination of baking soda and vinegar is the easiest and cheapest way of cleaning water heater sediment. You need about 10 liters of bold white vinegar to clean sediment in the whole house. Each pipe needs a cup of baking soda to clear rust and other buildups.

  • Pour baking soda into the pipes.
  • Mix the white vinegar with some water and drain it to the pipes. The mixture of baking soda and vinegar in the pipes will cut through sediment buildup and clean water lines.
  • Open the hot water tap at the maximum capacity to drain rust from the pipe.


Sediment build up in your water lines can cause your water to be muddy or murky with an earthy taste. It will also cause water to flow slower than usual. The four methods described above will be effective in cleaning the water lines.


How do I clean the water lines in my house?

Cleaning water should be a regular maintenance routine. Clogged pipes can lead to costly repairs, and they reduce water pressure. Fortunately, there are reliable commercial cleaners trained to clear buildups in pipes.

They use strong chemicals to eat calcium buildup and drain sediments, leaving the water supply system clear of any particles.

Alternatively, you can flush the pipes after every six months. Empty the hot water heater and add a water softener to it. Refill the tank and allow the solution to sit for 30 minutes, then run water until the water line is clear of sediments.

How do you get rid of calcium deposits in your pipes?

Calcium deposits in the water pipes can be such a nuisance. Buy a water softening system to prevent calcium buildup. If this is out of your price range, then you can use diluted hydrochloric acid to eliminate limescale and calcium buildup.

Option two uses a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. It is the cheapest and inexpensive method to clean the water line. However, you need about 3 gallons of this solution for a 1,000 square-foot home.

What removes hard water deposits?

Minerals in water create hard water deposits. These minerals collect on plumbing fixtures, and they can clog your faucet aerator. Mineral buildup can make a relatively new faucet appear dingy and old.

Soak a rag in old white vinegar and cover the faucet, ensuring it is in direct contact with hard water deposits for 30 minutes. If you can make it an hour, even better. Then use a non-scratch sponge to remove the buildup. You can repeat this process with other fixtures.

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