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Old 02-06-2009, 11:05 AM   #1
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Crud in supply lines


Recently purchased a home built in 1964, a few weeks ago I was replacing the vanity in our master bath. I was unable to get the shut off valves to work, so I replaced them. Upon removal I found loads of black gunk in the line(appeared to be galvanized piping) which had clogged the shutoff. I intend to replace the supply lines to our faucets this spring. I have also noticed a huge loss of water pressure whenever another faucet is opened. I was in the shower the other day, my wife turned on the faucet for the bath tub in the guest bath for my little boy's bath, my shower may as well have turned off. Could the crud cause this, or maybe the water softener in the house that isn't in operation but is connected to the plumbing restricting flow?
Also, the supply lines in the crawlspace are all copper, they change to the galvanized when they go up through the floor, is it possible the copper is full of crud, or is the copper less susceptible to this? Just trying to get a handle on what all this is going to entail for planning purposes.

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Old 02-06-2009, 12:13 PM   #2
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Crud in supply lines


If you turned off the main water when you replaced the valve, you may have pulled in extra sediment and clogged the filters in the faucets which is decreasing your flow. (pressure is always the same) Galvanized pipes will need to be replaced if they burst. Copper pipes should be fine. Also be sure you have flushed your water heater which should be done every year.

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Old 02-07-2009, 12:42 PM   #3
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Crud in supply lines


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Originally Posted by Bob Mariani View Post
If you turned off the main water when you replaced the valve, you may have pulled in extra sediment and clogged the filters in the faucets which is decreasing your flow. (pressure is always the same) Galvanized pipes will need to be replaced if they burst. Copper pipes should be fine. Also be sure you have flushed your water heater which should be done every year.
The gunk was attached firmly to the water lines. It was manganese that had accumulated. I'm curious as to whether this would be attached to the copper lines as well? If I don't have to change the copper lines this project will be very easy, just replace the stubs through the floor.
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Old 02-07-2009, 01:23 PM   #4
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Crud in supply lines


The "crud" you are finding in the galvanized pipes will have no effect on the copper pipes. However if the two were directly connected that galvanized pipe may have damaged that connector. copper and steel should never come in contact. Electrolysis takes place due to the salt content of the water. By removing the connections if they exist on the copper to steel transition you should be fine. If the galvanized pipes are only in the walls you could replace them with PEX. Much easier to work with. If the anode tube in the water heater goes bad it will also be placing "crud" into your lines.
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:00 AM   #5
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Crud in supply lines


I just went through this, except my home had black pipe used for gas as my supply lines. When taking them out, it looked like someone did #2 down them... disgusting. Like Bob said, replace them with pex and be done with it.
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Old 02-13-2009, 12:08 PM   #6
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Crud in supply lines


I would disconnect and by-pass the softener if you are not using it. When I was a Water Service Inspector in Ohio, a customer complained about low pressure. I checked the pressure at the main and had 60 pounds. At the houses outside faucets, I had around 30 pounds. When I went to the basement, I found a premium water softener system (and this was a City water service with great water) attached. I did pressure tests on both sides of the softener and thats where the pressure was reducing. The gunk in your lines is probably from the galvanized pipes. Electrolosis is caused when dissimilar metals (such as steel and copper) are connected without a dielectric connector.

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