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What caused this???

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  • What caused this???

    Well, the the water heater company said what it was, do you know? The blue/green funky stuff, not the hose or bucket.

    -Customer complained of popping noise when the heater heated.
    -Water is very hard, customer has a softener
    -heater four years old.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: What caused this???

    Its calcium and probably manganese as well and I take it the softener is not connected to the water heater
    sigpic

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    • #3
      Re: What caused this???

      I tried to flush it. The boiler drain is now clogged, and I did notice some debris in faucet screens. I want to replace the heater because I afraid that fixtures may become clogged down the run due to this accumulation being disturbed. I checked and the water heater will be five years old in june 2010. I just dont feel comfortable changing the rod, and flushing the unit. If the rod is gone, I wonder how much damage is already done to the tank? If this were discovered the first year, then it may not be that bad.

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      • #4
        Re: What caused this???

        do you think it could be the glass they line the tanks with. they told me in plmg school that when that breaks down it causes cavitation( popping noise) in a water heater. could be.... i've been wrong before

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        • #5
          Re: What caused this???

          Originally posted by JCsPlumbing
          High PH in the water reacting with an Aluminum based anode rod.

          Then the water heater operating makes this gel/sediment create Aluminum Hydroxide Gas and "popping & rumbling".

          Usually can cure it by flushing the heater good and replacing the anode with a Magnesium based one.

          J.C.
          You hit the nail dead center, JC.

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          • #6
            Re: What caused this???

            Originally posted by JCsPlumbing
            Up to you. You can change the rod and it last many more years. You may discover that the rod is not "gone". Just some part has flaked off and caused this. Have to pull and see though.

            I did this on one about 2-3 years ago. No problems. Customer happy and I have done other things for them since.

            Good luck.

            J.C.
            I had this problem with an A.O. Smith heater last year. If you can't flush the tank, then yes, you are eventually going to have problems with clogging of aerators and fill valves. Save yourself and the customer some time and change the heater.

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            • #7
              Re: What caused this???

              Originally posted by Swade Plumbing View Post
              I had this problem with an A.O. Smith heater last year. If you can't flush the tank, then yes, you are eventually going to have problems with clogging of aerators and fill valves. Save yourself and the customer some time and change the heater.
              Do you connect all of your toilets to the hot water?

              J.C.

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              • #8
                Re: What caused this???

                Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                Do you connect all of your toilets to the hot water?

                J.C.
                I know, sounds stupid.
                And no I don't hook toilets up to the hot, but the crap ended up in the cold line somehow. My guess is that the hot overwhelmed the cold somehow.
                The toilet in question was right above the heater and they had the heater cranked up hot. The feed to the heater was constantly hot to the touch.

                For the record I did not install the heater originally, nor did I pipe in the water for the house

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                • #9
                  Re: What caused this???

                  I started running into this quite a few years ago. At first, I thought that the city had been using some kind of lubricant on water mains. Eventually, some city employee brought me a printout of the cause being due to changes in anode rods. IIRC, it has mostly to do with heaters that sit for a while, unused. One of my first encounters was a heater I'd installed in a new house that was filled but not used for three months while it sat empty. It was a State heater with an access hole, and I rolled the heater out onto the porch and opened the hole to empty it.

                  As to how it gets into the cold water line - water expands as it heats and if there is no check valve on the incoming water, the higher pressure forces it back toward the street into the cold water. I have the same problem with lime sediment sometimes.

                  If we're talking about the same stuff, it's got a soft feel to it, sort of like some silicone compound - slimy.

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                  • #10
                    Re: What caused this???

                    BINGO!!!!!

                    This is a State water heater, but it does not sit idle.

                    I changed out the water heater today. I installed a Rheem Guardian. I was able to drain 80% of the water. I did not pop the boiler drain at the customers house because of the the muck...so a lot of it and water ended up in my van...

                    I cut open the side of the heater as I could not get the rod out. It was completely gone. Glad I did what I did, and the customer is very satisfied.

                    The muck is very, very slimey.

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