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Old 06-16-2009, 06:47 PM   #1
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Blueish Sediment Clogging Faucets


Hi Folks, first time homeowner trying to figure out what I have going on here.

Bought a 100 year old house recently. Had a bunch of plumbing work done by a L & I plumber. He did a really nice job.

All my pipes are copper and replaced sometime in the 70's or so. Rheem hot water heater dates to "around" 1995. I have "city" water, for lack of better terms. It's not a well.

The two new sinks that I put in, one in the kitchen, and a slop sink in the basement (directly under the kitchen) keep having the faucets get "clogged" with a bluish sediment. They look like small pepples, but upon squeezing one, turn into more of a powder.

I had the water tested by my local authority when I moved in (Suffolk County Water in New York) and they returned that everything looked A-OK. However, I can't seem to figure out what's causing this, and if I need to worry about my family safety.

I've taken a few pictures to try to give you an idea of what it looks like. It floats.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
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Old 06-16-2009, 08:10 PM   #2
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Blueish Sediment Clogging Faucets


Is it coming out of both the hot and cold sides, or just the hot?

Looks like sediment that collects at the bottom of a water heater. Excellent chance that's what it is if it's coming out of the hot side only.

I wouldn't drink the large particles, but the water is probably otherwise fine. Most WHs get a buildup of sediment over time; yours is probably just getting stirred up a lot.

You can check this by draining some water into a bucket from the WH's drain valve (turn the water off first).

Hmmm.. Not sure why it floats though..

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Old 06-16-2009, 09:04 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ScottR View Post
Is it coming out of both the hot and cold sides, or just the hot?

Looks like sediment that collects at the bottom of a water heater. Excellent chance that's what it is if it's coming out of the hot side only.

I wouldn't drink the large particles, but the water is probably otherwise fine. Most WHs get a buildup of sediment over time; yours is probably just getting stirred up a lot.

You can check this by draining some water into a bucket from the WH's drain valve (turn the water off first).

Hmmm.. Not sure why it floats though..

Scott,

Thanks so much for taking the time to help. It does seem to be coming only from the hot. Hadn't thought to test that, but running hot water produces a bunch, and the cold only a bit, and after a minute none. So i'd assume it's just what's left in the faucet.

Does it usually not float? It certainly does in this case.

I haven't noticed it at all on the second floor. Could it be not enough pressure to get it up there?

Thanks again.
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Old 06-17-2009, 05:03 AM   #4
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Blueish Sediment Clogging Faucets


could it be from your watersoftner??
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:31 AM   #5
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It is likely the dip tube in the water heater deteriorating, and it will be in all faucet aerators. This used to be a common problem in the '90's, but seems to be returning. Any way, the dip tube needs to be replaced, but if the heater is older, it may be best to replace it. It is very difficult to get that stuff flushed out of the system.
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:18 PM   #6
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Blueish Sediment Clogging Faucets


CHECK OUT THIS WEB SITE FOR HOW TO CLEAN AND FLUSH,

http://www.househow2.com/archives/ti..._dip_tube.shtm

OR THIS INFORMATION MIGHT HELP

http://www.terrylove.com/wwwboard/messages2/19574.html

OR ALSO HERE

http://www.grassroots.ca/homeowner_h...on-lawsuit.php


BEST OF LUCK WITH YOUR PROBLEM
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35 YR. MASTER PLUMBER WITH PH.D IN WATER HEATERLOGY, MASTERS DEGREE IN DRAINLOGY,
PLUMB ANY PIPE, SNAKE ANY DRAIN, MAKE COLD WATER BOIL ON A FREEZING DAY
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Old 06-17-2009, 02:15 PM   #7
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could it be from your watersoftner??
Forgive my ignorance, but I don't believe I have one. Is that possible?
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Old 06-17-2009, 02:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
It is likely the dip tube in the water heater deteriorating, and it will be in all faucet aerators. This used to be a common problem in the '90's, but seems to be returning. Any way, the dip tube needs to be replaced, but if the heater is older, it may be best to replace it. It is very difficult to get that stuff flushed out of the system.
Thanks a ton Bill. Is that a different part than the anode? Someone suggested to me that that may be the problem as well.
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Old 06-17-2009, 02:21 PM   #9
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The dip is different than the anode rod. The dip tube send the cold water to the bottom of the tank and the hot water rises to go the the faucets.


http://www.masterplumber.net/electricwh/dip_tube.htm
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Old 06-17-2009, 02:35 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by chops11 View Post
Forgive my ignorance, but I don't believe I have one. Is that possible?
You probably don't have one.. I don't know anyone that has a water softener on LI. Besides, it would be very noticeable -- it looks like a small water heater, usually about 3-4 ft. high, and would be connected to your main water supply.

It seems everyone is in agreement that the problem is with your water heater.. Common wisdom is that they last about 7 years (of course some last much longer than that). If yours is about 15 years old and is causing problems, I say just replace the whole thing. You could change out the dip tube and/or anode rod, but IMO a replacement is worth the piece of mind vs. a flooded basement.

As for it floating -- I was thinking it was sediment which should be heavier than water. But I suppose over time the particles in your sink would settle to the bottom if you left it for a while.

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