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  • What is this?

    Anyone run into this? I removed this from the cold side of bathroom fixtures today. Probably 5 times this amount from just a lav. faucet and toilet valve.

    Well water.
    Filtered by back to back sediment filters.
    Bottom fed water heater.
    Poly pipe with black plastic fittings.

    Trying to learn.

    By the way, I was scared the cops would pull me, search me, and put the charm bracelets on me for having this with the way it looks.

    J.C.
    Last edited by BobsPlumbing; 01-18-2010, 11:41 PM.

  • #2
    Re: What is this?

    looks some like calcium chips, is the water hard water?
    so could be the "sand" that the water is in the aquifer, we once had a well that pumped sand, but ours look like a brown beach sand,
    since there is not any thing to compare to for size, what is the aprox size of the chips?
    some type of built up scale on the interior of the pipe and some how broke lose.

    what is in the water filters?
    Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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    Comment


    • #3
      Re: What is this?

      Originally posted by BHD View Post
      looks some like calcium chips, is the water hard water?
      so could be the "sand" that the water is in the aquifer, we once had a well that pumped sand, but ours look like a brown beach sand,
      since there is not any thing to compare to for size, what is the aprox size of the chips?
      some type of built up scale on the interior of the pipe and some how broke lose.

      what is in the water filters?
      About the size of Rice Krispies.

      J.C.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What is this?

        Looks to me like filter ag. Its used for physical whole house filters. If the outlet screen on a filter system failed at some point in the house it would get everywhere. Any chance they had a whole house filter at some point.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: What is this?

          Looks like calcium or lime from the bottom of the heater. If the heater is bottom fed, is there anyway there is a cross connection somewhere forcing water back through the heater and pushing sediment into the cold water supply. Try turning off the feed valve on the cold side of the heater and see if this sediment still shows up in the cold water lines.
          Distractions are everywhere, don't lose sight of your dream.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: What is this?

            Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post


            ...Bottom fed water heater....


            J.C.

            That's where I'd start.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: What is this?

              Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
              Anyone run into this? I removed this from the COLD SIDE of bathroom fixtures today. Probably 5 times this amount from just a lav. faucet and toilet valve.

              Well water.
              Filtered by back to back sediment filters.
              Bottom fed water heater.
              Poly pipe with black plastic fittings.

              Trying to learn.

              By the way, I was scared the cops would pull me, search me, and put the charm bracelets on me for having this with the way it looks.

              J.C.
              looks like calcium to me. i have seen it in the bottom of dishwashers, and washers. hard water is the problem. i've seen it in water heaters as well but since we know it is on the "cold water" side we know it is not the water heater.
              the only dumb question is the one that is not asked!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: What is this?

                Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                Anyone run into this? I removed this from the cold side of bathroom fixtures today. Probably 5 times this amount from just a lav. faucet and toilet valve.

                Well water.
                Filtered by back to back sediment filters.
                Bottom fed water heater.
                Poly pipe with black plastic fittings.

                Trying to learn.

                By the way, I was scared the cops would pull me, search me, and put the charm bracelets on me for having this with the way it looks.

                J.C.
                Have nothing to add,Great learning experience for Me,when It's solved.
                Great post thanks
                I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: What is this?

                  riddle me this batman

                  the sediment is only in the cold fixtures.

                  the house has a double set of sediment filters.

                  so here is my take on your issue

                  the secondary filter failed and allowed the trapped material to get past it.

                  the water heater has absorbed its share of this in the tank and as it doesn't float, it settled in the tank and is waiting for you to drain it.

                  check your filter bowls for signs of this crud and filter damage.

                  rick.
                  phoebe it is

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What is this?

                    Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                    riddle me this batman

                    the sediment is only in the cold fixtures.

                    the house has a double set of sediment filters.

                    so here is my take on your issue

                    the secondary filter failed and allowed the trapped material to get past it.

                    the water heater has absorbed its share of this in the tank and as it doesn't float, it settled in the tank and is waiting for you to drain it.

                    check your filter bowls for signs of this crud and filter damage.

                    rick.
                    I did. No signs of the "crud" or filter damage.

                    J.C.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: What is this?

                      I run into this problem every couple of months in my town. It all stems from the hard water and the bottom fed water heater. Usually the water heater is about ten years old. Over the years the bottom of the water heater gets full of the sediment that is in your picture. As the water heater heats, thermal expansion takes place, pushing little chunks of the sediment back into the cold water line.

                      My guess is this a manufactured home you were working on.

                      Manufactured homes have a tee right under the floor of the water heater. The bottom of the tee is the incoming cold water, the top of the tee goes to the water heater. The side of the tee goes to feed cold water to the rest of the house.

                      Anyways, when thermal expansion pushes the sediment out of the water heater, it goes to the tee directly under the floor of the water heater. Now, as people use the cold water faucets, the sediment gets carried down the cold water lines. Eventually it gets enough sediment in the cold water shut off valves, shower valves, pipes, etc. that people notice the hot water volume is fine, but the cold is severely diminished.

                      Then people call me up saying that all of a sudden they have no cold water. But this problem almost never happens suddenly. It usually gets worse and worse for several years.

                      What I do in these situations is get them to let me replace the water heater with a top fed water heater, then I can clean out the cold water lines, and give them a warranty that the problem won't come back. I've probably done this about 50 times in the last several years, and I've never had to go back and clean sediment out of their lines again.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: What is this?

                        Nevada, that sounds right on the money. Mfg. home and all.

                        Double thanks for the info.

                        J.C.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: What is this?

                          Originally posted by Nevada plumber View Post
                          I run into this problem every couple of months in my town. It all stems from the hard water and the bottom fed water heater. Usually the water heater is about ten years old. Over the years the bottom of the water heater gets full of the sediment that is in your picture. As the water heater heats, thermal expansion takes place, pushing little chunks of the sediment back into the cold water line.

                          My guess is this a manufactured home you were working on.

                          Manufactured homes have a tee right under the floor of the water heater. The bottom of the tee is the incoming cold water, the top of the tee goes to the water heater. The side of the tee goes to feed cold water to the rest of the house.

                          Anyways, when thermal expansion pushes the sediment out of the water heater, it goes to the tee directly under the floor of the water heater. Now, as people use the cold water faucets, the sediment gets carried down the cold water lines. Eventually it gets enough sediment in the cold water shut off valves, shower valves, pipes, etc. that people notice the hot water volume is fine, but the cold is severely diminished.

                          Then people call me up saying that all of a sudden they have no cold water. But this problem almost never happens suddenly. It usually gets worse and worse for several years.

                          What I do in these situations is get them to let me replace the water heater with a top fed water heater, then I can clean out the cold water lines, and give them a warranty that the problem won't come back. I've probably done this about 50 times in the last several years, and I've never had to go back and clean sediment out of their lines again.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: What is this?

                            I've had the same problem with top-fed water heaters, though it isn't common, even though we do have a lot of hard water here.

                            I've had to go around taking off stops and flushing the lines. The water heater could be cleaned out, and it may help with the problem.

                            Comment

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