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Thread: Problem with water spots on chrome fixtures

  1. #31
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    It would probably take less than 90 seconds to wipe the water off the fixtures after using the shower. Or, maybe something like a chrome polish or Rain-X might prevent the spots.
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  2. #32
    DIY Senior Member mrmichaeljmoore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    It would probably take less than 90 seconds to wipe the water off the fixtures after using the shower. Or, maybe something like a chrome polish or Rain-X might prevent the spots.

    That is what I've been doing as I search for a solution to this problem.
    But, and maybe I should have made this clear in my original post, but I'm also concerned about the buildup of the spotting on the shower tile, tub. I concur that wiping down the fixtures takes just a minute or so, but you surely wouldn't suggest drying down the entire tub and shower?
    And like I said in the earlier post, I've noticed pitting on some of the chrome hinges for the glass shower door.....where water may collect as it dries.

    I've tried rain-x, car polish, etc. It helps a bit, in that it causes the water to bead up much more, thereby having less spots...But the spots still accumulate.

    So, yes, I will continue to take the various preventative efforts to minimize the damage of the spots, but I would prefer to alleviate the problem altogether.....

    You've been in the water business a long time.....any thoughts on the silica possibility? And any experience using the Siliphos or Polyphosphate treatment?

    Thanks.
    mm

  3. #33
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    I am not a fan of whole house RO, but if you really want to alleviate this issue, this may be your only real solution. Modern Whole house RO's have become very common and the price has dropped significantly over the past 10 years. We distribute a turn key whole house RO system that has proven very effective for your type of water. The real problem is that it is costly to maintain and to purchase. If you have the money to spend on a whole house RO and dont mind the maintenance requirements, send me a PM. I can probably recommend to a few different companies that can be of great assistance to you.

    Polyphosphate feeders are chep, but rarely effective. It would cost very little money to try.

  4. #34
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    It might be worthwhile to contact your local County Extension Office. They usually can do limited testing locally, but more importantly have a relationship with your state land grant university, who often have some pretty exotic testing capabilities.

    I like ForkWheelDrive's dinner-plate methd of capturing the culprit's tracks. Take the plate to a good testing lab and ask them to identify the white stuff, and Viola! you know what's causing the problem. Instead of the plate, though, start with a beaker and evaporate a LOT of water to get a nice big sample. A local university, or maybe even an exceptional high school, with a good chemistry department might even do it for free as a class project to illustrate that chemistry has a practical use .

  5. #35
    DIY Member jasper7821's Avatar
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    I'm a total noob and this is my first post to someone else's thread.
    I have a CR Spotless car washing system that takes the TDS to zero and is supposed to leave no water spots whatsoever.
    I live in Tucson and after washing my silver car I still saw just a tab of spots. I just got a new car and it's black and after washing the car I saw tons of spots.
    After sending a water sample to CR Spotless and them having it tested it they found silica in the water.
    They sent me another cartridge called a Silica Buster.
    I washed the black car again and and let it dry in the 100 degree temp and now there was not a spot anywhere.

    So maybe using something like that in the house will leave everything truly spot free.
    Just my uneducated guess to take it with a grain of salt.

  6. #36
    DIY Senior Member mrmichaeljmoore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    I am not a fan of whole house RO, but if you really want to alleviate this issue, this may be your only real solution. Modern Whole house RO's have become very common and the price has dropped significantly over the past 10 years. We distribute a turn key whole house RO system that has proven very effective for your type of water. The real problem is that it is costly to maintain and to purchase. If you have the money to spend on a whole house RO and dont mind the maintenance requirements, send me a PM. I can probably recommend to a few different companies that can be of great assistance to you.

    Polyphosphate feeders are chep, but rarely effective. It would cost very little money to try.
    Ill send you a PM regarding the whole house RO and polyphosphate....
    I don't think I want to go the route of a whole house RO.....I don't want to add anything else to my "honey-do" maintenance list.

    About polyphosphate feeders....can you recommend a unit? It might be worth a try.....

    thanks.
    mm

  7. #37
    DIY Senior Member mrmichaeljmoore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasper7821 View Post
    I'm a total noob and this is my first post to someone else's thread.
    I have a CR Spotless car washing system that takes the TDS to zero and is supposed to leave no water spots whatsoever.
    I live in Tucson and after washing my silver car I still saw just a tab of spots. I just got a new car and it's black and after washing the car I saw tons of spots.
    After sending a water sample to CR Spotless and them having it tested it they found silica in the water.
    They sent me another cartridge called a Silica Buster.
    I washed the black car again and and let it dry in the 100 degree temp and now there was not a spot anywhere.

    So maybe using something like that in the house will leave everything truly spot free.
    Just my uneducated guess to take it with a grain of salt.
    Thanks for the help and info......
    I may look into some sort of polyphosphate system for the house to reduce the silica as a last resort. Not sure what else to try at this point.
    Just have to find one that works for whole house and is DIY friendly....

    Oh, and the wife wants to me to do some research to make sure the polyphisphate is safe for home use!!

    mm

  8. #38
    DIY Senior Member mrmichaeljmoore's Avatar
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    Original poster here....again....
    I have an update...but unfortunately, no solution to the spotting problem.
    As I said previously, I've been trying to get to the bottom of this spotting issue.
    Up to this point, I have been merely wiping down the chrome fixtures after each shower. But, that doesn't fix the problem..........that's the same thing as just adding oil to car that's losing a quart a day.
    Plus, I can see where spots are starting to accumulate on the tile walls of the tub....and on the sink bowls....and bathtub....

    So......
    In order to try to figure out what exactly the spots are made of, I took the lid from one of my wife's stock pots (I think it is aluminium?) and filled the lid with water.....about an 1/8" inch or so. Then i put the lid on top of my wood pellet stove. The heat caused the water to evaporate leaving only the white residue (and some wood pellet dust). I attached pictures of the lid for all to see.
    I did this for a few days and then I took the lid to the local lab and had him test it.

    Here are the results of the tests on the residue on the lid:
    Copper: 3.16 mg/L
    Iron: 10.29 mg/L
    Manganese: .96 mg/L
    Hardness: 64 mg/L
    Sodium: >1265 mg/L

    Just for reference, here are my water specs (from my original post):
    Here is my raw water analysis:
    Hardness - 21 GPG (grains per gallon)
    Iron - 0.05 mg/l (ferrous)
    Manganese - ND (not detected)
    pH - 7.3 standard units
    TDS (total dissolved solids) - 472 ppm

    My treated water analysis :
    Copper - none detected
    Iron - none detected
    Manganese - none detected
    Chloride - 11.9 mg/L
    Hardness- none detected
    Sodium - 110.7 mg/L
    Nitrate as N - none detected
    Nitrite as N - none detected
    Color - 0
    Odor - 0
    PH - 7.8
    Turbidity - 0.3 NTU
    Sulfate - 40.5 mg/L
    TDS - 364 ppm

    Silica: 15.9 mg/L

    My existing water treatment setup:
    1. Big Blue sediment cartridge filter
    2. Autotrol 255/762 48K water softener (installed in 2006)
    3. Big Blue RFC cartridge filter

    I confirmed that the treated water is at 0 gpg hardness at all fixtures using a Hach 5B Hardness Test Kit.

    On the stock pot lid, there is a bare spot. I was able remove some of the spotting build-up with CLR.
    BUT..............and here is the big BUT............the CLR will NOT clean the sink stoppers that have the spotting on them. The only thing that cleans them is my Never Dull chrome cleaner.
    NOTE: I was also able to clean sections of the lid with water, vinegar, and Clorox cleaner...
    I attached pictures of the sink stoppers also showing the spotting accumulation. I had nothing to do with the clean spot in the center of the stoppers....i think it's because the stoppers are slightly rounded, no water sits there, so no spotting accumulates.
    I also attached pictures of the chrome cover piece for the bathtub overflow. There is some slight spotting there. I usually wipe it down after each shower/bath....but some spots have still accumulated. CLR will not remove them.....only the Never Dull chrome cleaner.

    So, in summary, I'm still at a loss.

    Thank you in advance for helping.
    mm
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  9. #39
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrmichaeljmoore View Post
    Here are the results of the tests on the residue on the lid:
    Copper: 3.16 mg/L
    Iron: 10.29 mg/L
    Manganese: .96 mg/L
    Hardness: 64 mg/L
    Sodium: >1265 mg/L
    There is an old saying... "the solution to pollution is dilution". What you've done is the reverse. By evaporating off the water, it skews the numbers. The numbers are more meaningful in the context of the original volume of water.

  10. #40
    DIY Senior Member Reach4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrmichaeljmoore View Post
    Silica: 15.9 mg/L
    Hmmm... Post #2 on the thread mentions silica. I presume that was not tested for in the raw water, or could something be adding the silica?

  11. #41
    DIY Senior Member Reach4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrmichaeljmoore View Post
    Silica: 15.9 mg/L
    Hmmm... Post #2 on the thread mentions silica. I presume that was not tested for in the raw water, or could something be adding the silica?

  12. #42
    DIY Senior Member mrmichaeljmoore's Avatar
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    Correct. The silica test was done on treated water.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reach4 View Post
    Hmmm... Post #2 on the thread mentions silica. I presume that was not tested for in the raw water, or could something be adding the silica?

  13. #43
    DIY Senior Member mrmichaeljmoore's Avatar
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    I hear what you are saying.
    But at this point in my quest, I was trying anything to get a better idea of what is causing the spots/stains.



    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    There is an old saying... "the solution to pollution is dilution". What you've done is the reverse. By evaporating off the water, it skews the numbers. The numbers are more meaningful in the context of the original volume of water.

  14. #44
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Ja, but the largest number by far is sodium and we know that is the product of ion exchange. The harder the water, the more sodium. Granted, while sodium leaves water spots, they do clean up easily. I hear silica is tough to clean off.

  15. #45
    DIYer / Mech Engineer ForkWheelDrive's Avatar
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    Mr Moore, you sound like you're at the same place I am. My water quality is very similar to yours and I've done the evaporation experiment many times. I never got the dried residue tested itself, I really just use it as a visual indication of what the water will leave on the fixtures. I've come to the conclusion that the high TDS (mostly sodium after the softener) leaves the residue and the silica is what makes it difficult to clean off.

    I will say I've had some luck with tuning my softener better. The installer set it 'high' to combat the build-up issues thinking it was hardness (even though the treated water was testing soft). I measured our actual weekly usage and tried a conservative hardness value to get a capacity / brine draw time of 3-4 minutes. This is down from 8 minutes as was previously set. I am using much less salt and the evaporation test yields a slightly less-white appearance. There is still residue but it's a little more clear. Hach 5B still shows it at 0 gpg.

    I have a shallow well (60' I think) so I'm sure this contributes to my issues. I am considering a whole-house RO at this point. I've learned that other homes in my area are running them and they seem to be becoming the new standard as the prices come down.

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