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Thread: Green Particles

  1. #1
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Default Green Particles

    I have a customer that is getting Green particles buildup in his water heater. This has been going on for 3.5 years. It is so bad he has to empty his shower heads and faucet aerators every 2-3 days because they plug up. His washer supply lines would clog up at the screen every 2 loads only on the hot side. If he flushes the water heater it will last a couple of weeks then returns. When flushing the heater the water will be greenish with a ton of the particles in a bucket if he uses one and the problem will be back in a week or 2. He was the original owner since the home was built and has always had the problem since the 2-3rd week he owned the home. The green particles are semi hard, they will break up if rubbed between the fingers. He is selling the home and has to disclose this but would rather fix the problem.

    Any ideas. I'm stumped. I guessing something to do with the copper pipe but beyond that no idea. This is a municiple water supply not a well.
    Last edited by Cass; 04-12-2007 at 04:11 AM.

  2. #2

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    I would send off for 2 water tests. One on the cold and one with the green stuff in it. that should tell you what it is.

  3. #3
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Ok, that is an option......any one else wana tak a shot at it?

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    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    This might be a long shot, but what about the tank lining? Maybe that particular heating tank has some kind of coating that happens to be breaking down into green particles.

  5. #5
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    Default type of green

    green like copper? Corroded, oxidized?
    or another green -- darker than that?

    What did the builder say? This is the first owner.
    What kind of HW water is this? What did the HW heater manufacturer say?

    david

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    Plumbing Contractor srdenny's Avatar
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    Cass
    I recently drained 3 75 gallon commercial water heaters and manually removed enough of those green particles to fill a 5 gallon bucket. Asked my water heater rep for a solution and he suggested the following be placed on the incoming cold water line to the heaters. http://www.zetarod.com/
    I haven't been given the go ahead to do it yet. But, anything is better then having to repeatedly stick my hand in a slimy water heater with a wet vac.

    I just took care of a customer who had black particles in their hot water. Had to change out the magnesium anode with an aluminum one and power flush the heater (no hand hole, unfortunately). And, the conclusion that it was the anode and not something else took a little time to arrive at.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    I'd look for some test results on that thing. I doubt it would hurt anything, but I don't see it working, either. Anything passing by would quickly lose any charge it might have picked up.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srdenny
    Cass
    I recently drained 3 75 gallon commercial water heaters and manually removed enough of those green particles to fill a 5 gallon bucket. Asked my water heater rep for a solution and he suggested the following be placed on the incoming cold water line to the heaters. http://www.zetarod.com/
    I haven't been given the go ahead to do it yet. But, anything is better then having to repeatedly stick my hand in a slimy water heater with a wet vac.

    I just took care of a customer who had black particles in their hot water. Had to change out the magnesium anode with an aluminum one and power flush the heater (no hand hole, unfortunately). And, the conclusion that it was the anode and not something else took a little time to arrive at.
    The rod your talking about is supposed to take the place of a softner, this water is already soft from a softner and the softner co. has been out 2 times and has no idea what the problem is.

  9. #9
    Plumber/Gasfitter dubldare's Avatar
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    Cass, Iíve seen this a few times, and while I canít give any definite answer, I can give you my take and a few links for you to make up your own guess.

    When Iíve seen the blue/green buildup, it has always been on municipal water. Sometimes itís of almost a semi-solid gel in the bottom of a WH thatís getting replaced, other times its crud plugging aerators, other times itís a customer asking ďWhy is my water blue/green in my white tub when I fill it?Ē



    http://www.hotwater.com/bulletin/bulletin14.pdf
    http://www.water-research.net/corrosion.htm
    http://www.finishing.com/304/79.shtml
    http://www.pushback.com/Wattenburg/bio/BlueWater.html



    I donít really buy into it being an electrical issue too often. What does make sense to me is high PH causing the pretty colored water. The city I live in runs an 8 to 8.5 ph, mostly because of old cast iron water mains and our acidic clay soil we have here. Blue/green water here is kind of a normal thing, plus it looks pretty.

    My guess is that in most cases that Iíve come across, it lines up with the TB from AOSmith: high PH reacting against an aluminum anode rod .*

    Best of luck, let us know what works.

    * Now, it may not be widely known, but due to cost cutting, magnesium is not used for anode rods unless by special order. Aluminum rods have been used for the past ~10 years. Per a conversation I had with an AOSMith engineer a few years ago, only wholesalers who specifically ask for (and some isolated areas of the country) get new heaters with magnesium rods, the rest are aluminum.
    --Customers of plumbers: Never be afraid to ask for proof of licensure of the plumber servicing your equipment. A licensed plumber will be proud to show you his personal license.--

  10. #10
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Thanks, I go back tomorrow an will replace the rod with a mag rod and see what happens. Any one else want to take a shot?

  11. #11
    Plumbing Contractor srdenny's Avatar
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    Cass
    I suggest you flush the heater to remove as much of the crud as possible. Otherwise your customer will be experiencing green slime indefinitely.

  12. #12
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    He has flushed it several times.

  13. #13
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Jelly slimey says bacteria. Has there been any odor to this water; cold or hot?

    Setting the temp to 140*f kills all bacteria.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
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    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  14. #14
    Plumbing Contractor srdenny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cass
    He has flushed it several times.
    I mean flush it after you change the anode rod.

  15. #15
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

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