Sediment in your pipes?

By July 3, 2016 Plumbing, Problem Solving

Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 52 seconds

Bob HinkleStump the plumber

Another in the series called Stump the Plumber. Although not a plumber myself, I have plenty of handy man experience but, (My father-in-law Bob is my retired plumber that verifies that everything I say is true.)

Sediment can come from a number of sources, I describe it as anything that does not belong in your water pipes. Anything other than water. Typically we see:

  1. Sand (from a well) usually
  2. Metal flecks (from galvanized pipe systems) the buildup occasionally flakes off just like in a heart attack, stroke ,or Pulmonary embolism.
  3. Occasionally other stuff gets into the pipes, like when the city flushes the water lines or when a house fire near by disrupts the normal flow of things. Brown water could come out.
  4. Of course Flint Michigan is probably the worst case scenario when an invisible threat enters the system.

The situation

I bought a house and turned it into a rental. During the renovation I noticed that among other stupid things the water heater was plumbed in backwards.

Yes one would thing that H=Hot and C=Cold but or for those who are reading impaired, they are color coded (Like for Firemen) but NOOOO, it was plumbed in (BASS Ackwards) as I like to say.

Odds are no one has ever done this before or will again. This is what I discovered. A constant barrage of white sediment. Was it the dip tube coming apart of was the calcification from the minerals at the bottom of the tank getting blown out?

I always say, if you have to replace the dip tube it is a sure sign that the water heater needs replacing. The energy savings alone from a new unit will make the investment worth while.

Sediment came out of that thing for years. I was regularly cleaning aerators and the sink sprayer was constantly getting obstructed.

The solution

The water heater wasn’t that old and I figured that flushing it out would cure my problem but NOOOO. The solution was to replace it.

Any time you disrupt your pipes especially if they are galvanized be sure to flush the system with the aerators off, better yet we say use the tub valve (even they have screens in them occasionally)

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