Plumbing Repair: 3 Places Where Microbial Growth May Accumulate in Your Plumbing | Richmond, VA

Plumbing Repair: 3 Places Where Microbial Growth May Accumulate in Your Plumbing | Richmond, VA

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Many homeowners don’t realize that microbial growth can have a profound negative impact on the quality of their water and their plumbing. Their home may need more plumbing repairs if there is significant microbial growth, as microbial growth is often corrosive and will eat away at the plumbing.

Those who leave well enough alone and are the type to bury their heads in the sand may find that the microbial growth will only worsen over time. This means that they’ll need even more plumbing repairs in Richmond, VA, to solve their problem.

The Longer Microbes Grow, the More Biofilm Develops

One of the main reasons why microbial growth can have such a significant impact is because microbes will develop a biofilm as they grow. A biofilm is a slimy barrier that covers the microorganisms and protects them from external elements, like disinfectants.

#1 Water Softeners

Those who live in areas where water is high in calcium carbonate might decide to add water softeners to their home. These water softeners are typically installed downstream of the building’s point of entry. They are used to remove calcium carbonate and other minerals that can accumulate in the plumbing out of the water.

Without the water softener, you’ll also notice that your home’s water heater will need to work overtime. The calcium carbonate and other minerals will accumulate on the plumbing and make it difficult for heat to transfer.

Unfortunately, water softeners that are installed downstream of the hummus point of entry or susceptible to microbial growth. If microorganisms grow in this area, there aren’t many disinfecting chemicals that can get rid of the microorganisms, so they’ll continue to grow until they get out of hand. These microorganisms will eventually break off of the biofilm and make their way into the water supply. At which point, you’ll notice that you need plumbing repair.

The most common repair that is recommended at this point is to reinstall a new water softener. Depending on the extent of the contamination, the water softener may be too difficult to repair or clean.

#2 Point-of-Entry Water Treatments

Another vulnerable area of your plumbing may be the point of entry water treatment. This is a place where microbiological growth is most prominent, and for several reasons:

  • Water in this area tends to sit in the tank for extended periods of time. The water may be stagnant for a period of this time, allowing microorganisms to grow uninterrupted.
  • The tank also has a very large surface area. This is because the higher surface area can better treat the water because there are more ion-exchange resin beads and granular activated carbon for the water molecules to attach to. The increase in surface area, however, also gives the microorganisms more space to grow and develop their biofilm.

If microorganisms are accumulating in this area, it can be difficult for the average homeowner to reach. You’ll need a professional to come in for some plumbing repair. The professional can also inspect the water treatment device and tank to see whether it is still functioning effectively.

#3 The Water Source

Last but not least, another place where the microorganisms may be coming from is the initial water source. If you notice signs that there’s microbial growth in your water, this is usually one of the first places that most plumbers will look. Treating the water source, however, isn’t easy.

If your building’s water source comes from a private well, microorganisms can enter the water source through the groundwater. It can also leech into the water through the surrounding soil. Most homeowners, however, get their water from municipal sources. If this is the case, the plumber may need to look at any viable solutions available. It’s much more difficult to find a solution when the water comes from a municipal source.

Quick Signs that There’s Microbial Growth

If you notice signs of microbial growth, you’ll want to call a plumber as soon as possible to prevent having to deal with major plumbing repairs in the future. Some common signs of microbial growth to look for include:

  • Discolored water. This usually happens when your plumbing is made from copper or some other type of metal. You’ll notice that some metals will leech out into the water, causing it to discolor. You might also notice that the water has a weird metallic taste to it.


  • Leaks in the plumbing. The biofilm is corrosive in nature and can cause pitting and pinhole leaks to develop in the plumbing. This type of leaking will require extensive plumbing repair if you allow the problem to continue.

It can be difficult to detect microbial growth. Due to this reason, you’ll need to keep an eye out for all of these other signs. Once you notice these signs, call a professional immediately. Minor microbial growth is easy to contain and can also be easy to fix. If you wait, you’ll need to not only deal with major plumbing work, but you might also face health consequences as well.

Call bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of Richmond, VA for Plumbing Repairs 

Biofilm can easily damage your plumbing, and you’ll need to call a plumber to perform plumbing repairs in Richmond, VA. This might include cleaning the plumbing or patching up certain sections that have pitted. If the damage is too extensive, you may need to replace certain areas of the plumbing instead.

bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of Richmond, VA, offers a wide range of plumbing repair services, from drain cleaning services to repiping services. All of our plumbers are licensed, insured, and have a wealth of experience. They can provide you with many recommended solutions to choose from and help you figure out what’s wrong with your plumbing system.

Give us a call today at 804-930-8757. You can also request an appointment online when you’re ready!

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