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Thread: air in hot water line

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member mikeandteri's Avatar
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    Default air in hot water line

    I live on a well and each morning I get a small blast of air when hot water faucet is turned on (only in my hot water line) and this has started only in the last week (26 NOV). Some background information. I filled a glass with cold water and let stand overnight. In the morning there were some bubbles along the side of the glass. Middle of Oct, I had repairs done in the backyard which required a bobcat hauling dirt to go over my well line. The construction people told me that the weight of the tracked bobcat carrying dirt was not enough to damage the pipes - I live in State of Maryland. I also drained the hot water heater in the beginning of NOV as water temp seemed lower - since then, the water has been hotter. I did not adjust the thermostat - 116 degrees. My hot water heater sits on several bricks which are in contact with the concrete. I have not tried to shut off the well pump and let system stand for the day - hard to do with everyone home. I have not noticed any drop in pressure after a couple of hours. The air discharge is a single burst and all good for rest of the day - so far.

    Thank you for any assistance

  2. #2
    DIY Junior Member mikeandteri's Avatar
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    Default More background on teriandmike question

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeandteri View Post
    I live on a well and each morning I get a small blast of air when hot water faucet is turned on (only in my hot water line) and this has started only in the last week (26 NOV). Some background information. I filled a glass with cold water and let stand overnight. In the morning there were some bubbles along the side of the glass. Middle of Oct, I had repairs done in the backyard which required a bobcat hauling dirt to go over my well line. The construction people told me that the weight of the tracked bobcat carrying dirt was not enough to damage the pipes - I live in State of Maryland. I also drained the hot water heater in the beginning of NOV as water temp seemed lower - since then, the water has been hotter. I did not adjust the thermostat - 116 degrees. My hot water heater sits on several bricks which are in contact with the concrete. I have not tried to shut off the well pump and let system stand for the day - hard to do with everyone home. I have not noticed any drop in pressure after a couple of hours. The air discharge is a single burst and all good for rest of the day - so far.

    Thank you for any assistance
    I have a water softener and just replenished the salt 3 days before.

  3. #3
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    For a damaged line to leak and let in air, there would need to be a top-side checkvalve that would keep it from being pressurized. It would also require that the checkvalve on the pump not hold. That is not unusual since the checkvalve holds better if it has constant pressure against it.

    If that is the case, then you could also be getting contaminated surface water into your system!

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member mikeandteri's Avatar
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    I have not noticed a drop in water pressure if I let the system sit with pump off for as long as 5 hours. I will try leaving off overnight ~12hours. If any type of crack, you would expect drop in pressure by morning?

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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    If there is no top-side checkvalve, then the underground line should stay pressurized and have no opportunity to suck in air.

    Another possible source of air is the brine line on your softener. That could aerate the water enough that the dissolved air gets driven off when heated.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member mikeandteri's Avatar
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    I appreciate your assistance. Not sure what you mean by "no top-side checkvalve." I have a release valve on water heater in case of over pressure or too high water temp and I have a whole system pressure release if whole water system gets too high pressure. I have a square D with a pressure switch set at 45-65. This is what I was looking at to determine if my system had a crack/hole.

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    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    I don’t think the air is coming from the well or pressure tank. A hydro-pneumatic style tank would let excess air out with the Air Volume Control. A bladder style tank would not dump trapped air on first opening a faucet. It would wait a few minutes until the tank was almost empty, and then blast air out the faucet.

    So I think the air is coming from the softener system somehow.

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    DIY Senior Member Reach4's Avatar
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    Topside means not in the well casing, but outside or in the basement-- somewhere not down the hole.

    Could it be that the well has naturally effervescent water?

  9. #9
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valveman View Post
    A bladder style tank would not dump trapped air on first opening a faucet...
    The HWT could be a natural accumulator for air in the water. Heating water drives off the air, just as what kills fish in a stream if it gets too warm. It is also the bubbles you see in a pot before the water comes to a boil.

    When the AVC on my tank stopped up, the air would not be regulated so would move forward and collect above the media in the iron filter and softener. This would cause the water to absorb more air than it could hold. When the water was heated, the extra air would be driven out of suspension and collect at the top of the tank. The first use of hot water would result in the air getting bled off.

  10. #10
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valveman View Post
    ...It would wait a few minutes until the tank was almost empty, and then blast air out the faucet.

    So I think the air is coming from the softener system somehow.
    valveman, The softener inline would not let the air to move forward and blast out the faucet the way you describe. The air gets trapped above the media and the bulk of it goes to the drain when it backwashes.

    I also mentioned air entering via the brine line. If the brine float valve doesn't close when it has sucked up all the brine, it will keep sucking air that then collects above the media. Since the brine draw happens after the backwash, the air is trapped there until the next regen.

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