Decalcifying the Tap: How to Clean the Tap and Fitting Correctly

July 5, 2019

Is the water flowing more and more slowly through the tap in your kitchen? Or can you see white limescale on the tap in the bathroom? At the latest when water only flows drop by drop, it is time to decalcify the tap. We show you how to do it correctly in just a few steps.

What factors lead to limescale?

Two factors essentially contribute to the calcification of the tap and determine the intervals at which a tap must be decalcified. On the one hand, calcification depends on the hardness of the water, on the other hand on the age of the water pipes. The hardness of the water should not be underestimated. You can easily find the degree of hardness in your region on the Internet. At the same time, the age of the water pipes also has a significant influence on possible limescale deposits - old pipes in particular show heavy rust deposits. If you do not decalcify your tap regularly, massive blockages can occur, leading to increased water consumption. Our quick guide can help you save money and nerves!

This is how it works:

  1. Use a pipe wrench to unscrew the mixing nozzle or the aerator (the strainer at the outlet of the tap).
    Tip: Wrap the mixing nozzle with a cloth beforehand so that the surface is not damaged by the pliers.
  2. Place the individual parts such as the rubber seal, metal ring and strainer in a descaling agent. Let the parts rest in it for about a quarter of an hour.
  3. Clean the thread on the water tap.
  4. Rinse the decalcified parts with water
  5. Once all parts are free of limescale, you can reassemble the mixing nozzle and screw it to the tap.

Houzy Advice

Good to know

Common descaling agents contain chemical ingredients that can cause an allergic reaction. If you are allergic to a descaling agent, use vinegar or citric acid as an alternative. Vinegar essence should be used with water in a 1:3 ratio. Pro-tip: slightly warmed vinegar works even slightly better against limescale.


Clean and descale the entire fitting

If the water contains a lot of lime, it is advisable to decalcify the entire tap once a year. This is a little more time-consuming than descaling the sieve, but just as easy to do. But be careful: To clean the tap, place it in descaling agent for several hours. During this time, you cannot let any water flow there. Therefore, choose a suitable time for this work.

  1. Turn off the main tap and the shut-off valves so that no more water can flow out of the tap. To let the remaining water flow out, you have to open the tap.
  2. Place a bucket under your sink. This way, leftover water ends up in the bucket and not on the floor.
  3. Now you can loosen the hoses on the corner valves underneath the washbasin. These are fastened with so-called union nuts. It is best to use a suitable spanner for this. A pipe wrench also works, but you risk damaging the nuts.
  4. Now loosen the fastening of the tap. Pull out the washer with the retaining plate and then pull the tap upwards out of the hole in the washbasin.
  5. Next, remove the aerator from the tap and decalcify it (as described above).
  6. To descale the tap, place it in a bucket with the cleaning solution described. You can leave the tap to soak overnight and rinse it with clean water the next morning. 
  7. You can remove any limescale residues with a brush.
  8. Reassemble the aerator and attach it to the fitting. 
  9. Now push the hoses of the fitting back through the hole in the washbasin and secure the fitting on the underside. Fasten the hoses securely to the corner valves.
  10. Now you can unscrew the angle valves. Check the connections for tightness. If water drops appear, you must tighten the screws or replace the seals.

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