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Old 03-22-2006, 08:32 AM   #1
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Chunks of Scale in faucets - Water Heater?


We have recently had a problem with the flow of our kitchen faucet. It virtually stops running. We now have to take apart the stems and tap and soak the scale (not sure what it is, calcium?) out and put it back together. Once it started in the adjoining bathroom we decided it must be the water heater so we drained and drained and drained until we had clear water. Thought that might help, but it's back. Do we need a new water heater? The city had done some water work outside maybe 30 feet from our house where our line comes in. Could they have knocked something loose? I don't know if the neighbors are having the same problems.

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Old 03-22-2006, 09:37 AM   #2
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Chunks of Scale in faucets - Water Heater?


"Scale" can be anything from actual mineral deposit buildup from inside the supply lines or water heater to particles of deteriorating dip tube inside the water heater.
If the scale is white and hard when wet, it is most likely dip tube particles (solution: repalace water heater cold water supply dip tube inside tank).
If it is white and soft when wet, it is most likely calcium mineral buildup (consider a standard ion exchange water softener, which will remove calcium and magnesium that make the water "hard".)
If it is black and hard when wet, it is most likely internal scale from obsolete galvanized supply pipes (solution: replace the supply pipes).
Good Luck!
Mike

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Old 03-22-2006, 11:24 AM   #3
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Chunks of Scale in faucets - Water Heater?


Thanks so much! It is white and hard when wet. Hubby's gonna love it when I get to tell him the solution. LOL
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Old 03-22-2006, 02:13 PM   #4
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Chunks of Scale in faucets - Water Heater?


Replacing a dip tube is not that difficult.
Just tell him to turn OFF the power to the heater, turn off the cold water supply and relieve the water pressure off of the heater tank by opening a nearby hot water tap. Disconnect the cold water supply line at the top of the tank, and remove the deteriorated dip tube and replace it with one for that make and model water heater.
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Mike
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Old 03-22-2006, 06:23 PM   #5
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Chunks of Scale in faucets - Water Heater?


You could also consider a filter for the water line before it comes into the water heater. That would filter any particles coming through the water. It must also be said if the water heater is older and you have never flushed it before flushing can cause it to go bad quicker. Those rods aren't that hard to replace. However if its a gas water heater and older you should just replace the unit now. Electric is a different story. Rich T. on ask this old house just went through that with a homeowner a few weeks ago about water heaters.
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Old 03-23-2006, 09:15 PM   #6
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Chunks of Scale in faucets - Water Heater?


this dip tube to be replaced....isn't that almost the length of the water heater? How would you get that out?. The ceiling would get in the way. I wouldn't have room to lift it out.
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Old 03-23-2006, 10:34 PM   #7
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Chunks of Scale in faucets - Water Heater?


Those are pretty long. I'm not sure exactly how long. Someone else with have to answer.
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Old 03-26-2006, 12:04 PM   #8
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Chunks of Scale in faucets - Water Heater?


Quote:
Originally Posted by skits
this dip tube to be replaced....isn't that almost the length of the water heater? How would you get that out?. The ceiling would get in the way. I wouldn't have room to lift it out.
That complicates things a little. You may have to drain the heater, cut it loose and move out or tip it enough to allow room to extract the old tube and insert the new one.

Let us know how it turns out.

R. Watson

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