Water Heater Deposits

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum' started by Cathie, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. Dec 31, 2009 #1

    Cathie

    Cathie

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    I have a 3 year old Bradford White Water Heater, Model M250T6DS5. I am getting white chunks of something in the faucet screens. I took it in for analysis at our laboratory and it is not calcium. I have drained the water tank twice and flushed it out. Bradford White representative said it does not sound like dip tube pieces since it turns to powder when rubbed between fingers. Some of the larger pieces (about 1/8"-1/4") are about 1/16" thick and barely curved as if having been stuck to something round. Any ideas?
     
  2. Dec 31, 2009 #2

    Redwood

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    It sure sounds like a dip tube to me...
    Are you sure that it is only 3 years old and not 10+ years old?
     
  3. Dec 31, 2009 #3

    Cathie

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    No I had it installed in 2007. And the serial number indicates that it was made in 2006. I called Bradford this morning to verify that info. But would the dip-tube's pieces crumble like powder? Now I am wondering if it might be lime, if not calcium deposits.

    Thanks for your reply
     
  4. Dec 31, 2009 #4

    Redwood

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    Do they dissolve in vinegar?
    If so they would be lime
     
  5. Jan 1, 2010 #5

    Cathie

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    I put some wet pieces in apple cider vinegar several days ago and I believe some of the smaller pieces may have eventually dissolved. But if they did, it took several days to. I am drying out a few of the larger chunks today and then will soak them in white vinegar (suggestion of our testing lab here in Eugene). Here's a dumb question...is lime different than calcium?

    Thanks for your reply.
     
  6. Jan 1, 2010 #6

    Redwood

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    calcium and calcium oxide would be the names.
    Close but different.
     
  7. Jan 2, 2010 #7

    Cathie

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    Ok, now would calcium and calcium oxide both dissolve in white vinegar? These little samples don't seem to be dissolving.
     
  8. Jan 2, 2010 #8

    Speedbump

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    Hardness in well water and many times city water have both calcium and magnesium. These deposits could be either or both. I don't think a water heater company would make a dip tube that would fall apart that quickly.
     
  9. Jan 2, 2010 #9

    Cathie

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    Thank you both for your replies. I guess I will just keep cleaning out the aerators every few days and emptying and flushing the water heater every few months for awhile. Maybe it will work it's way out of the system eventually. I just won't be drinking tap water anymore until I am assured it is safe.
     
  10. Jan 2, 2010 #10

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    I doubt that those little white deposits could hurt anyone.

    A water softener would take care of the problem in most cases. Calcium and Magnesium are what softeners remove from your water.
     

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