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Thread: Debris In Hot Water Only

  1. #1

    Default Debris In Hot Water Only

    Have a problem with debris in hot water only in residential application. Roman Tub filler does not have an aerator and debris is alway showing up when running hot water. Have changed anode rods to aluminum and still have debris, it's just a lighter color debris than the original magnesium rods. We have done extensive water tests and they all look good. We put a 10 micron filter on the main water line coming in and added a water softner just to make sure water quality was high. There are 2 hot water tanks in the system, one wired and the other is a holding tank which is looped through the Water Furnace Geo (desuperheater loop). 4 days ago we removed the aluminum anode rod completely just to see what would happen. Also flushed the tanks. Now, the hot water is yellow, and the debris is just as bad, or worse. Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Is this what your debris looks like?


  3. #3

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    It's finer. It started out with dark sandy type when we had the magnesium rods, and then turned silvery grey when we put in the aluminum rods. I have a sample a the office I could take a picture tomorrow and send.

  4. #4

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    Redwood, after reconsidering and talking to the homeowner just a few moments ago, he said this does look like the stuff he had. His water was also very yellow today. (This is 4 days after removing the aluminum anode)

  5. #5
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Have a look at this web page...
    Dip Tube Defect Information

    Check the manufacturer and Serial # against the list at the web page...

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the tip Redwood. We just did the vinegar test and we think that some of the smaller pieces may have dissolved, but for the most part, the larger pieces have remained. This HWT is 2 months old. I wasn't sure if the attached web page would be relevant because of the dates of manufacture, or if I should assume that dip tubes in any HWT could be defective? I am told that the HWT is glass lined. In your opinion, if there are no anode rods in the tank, will the glass liner deteriorate and if so, will we see any evidence of that in the water, ie: would it be yellow or would it actually break down enough to cause other debris in the water? (Assume the water is not hard. It is municipal water which has been treated and then softened further before entering the tank)

  7. #7
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    With a water heater that young the dip tube defect would not apply...
    That problem was back in the 90's but many are still in service.

  8. #8

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    Anyone else out there that has any ideas? We're really stuck on this one. One guys suggested that maybe there was electrolysis happening and that there could be a grounding issue somewhere. From what I have read on this topic, that is mostly associated with copper piping and often in well situations. This house has all pex water lines. It has 2 Hot Water Tanks, one master, one slave and it is hooked up to the desuperheater in the Water Furnace Geo unit. Is electrolysis at all likely? Does anyone have experience with that?

  9. #9
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    I would look into having water quality tested.

  10. #10

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    Water testing has been done. What do you think of these readings?
    Zinc extractable .023mg/l, Copper extractable .0146 mg/l, ph level 7.66, TDS 310 mg/l, Sulphate Soluble 107 mg/l, calcium 34 mg/l, Potassium 7.02 mg/l, Magnesium 8.75 mg/l, Sodium 39.1 mg/l, Iron <.01 mg/l, Manganese .0002 mg/l, Nitrate .070 mg/l, Hardness as CaC03 121 mg/l, Hardness 7.07gm/usgal, Conductivity 475 ??, Chloride 34 mg/l. According to ALS test labs, these numbers are all well within their "acceptable" limits. They give "Aesthetic Objective" figures which these readings meet easily. I am not an expert in any way so I don't know if any or all of these look good, bad, or ugly. Any thoughts.

  11. #11
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    It looks like flakes of hardness scale. Although it may take a day or 3, it should dissolve in vinegar or muriatic or other acids like CLR etc..

    The yellowish water can be iron/rust caused by a spot in the tank that has the glass lining broken and/or electrolysis from bad grounding of the heater or stray voltage. That's what an anode rod deals with. A well water system is no more prone to this than city water systems, it has to do with building current flow and grounding issues.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
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