stuff in my water

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  #1  
Old 12-20-04, 07:01 AM
ahfrank
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stuff in my water

I have an artesian well which feeds through both a particulate filter and an taste and odor filter (for a sulfur odor). I have to clean out the screens on the kitchen and shower hoses for a black granular substance. This also comes out of the other, unscreened faucets in the house if I run the water hard. The stuff is granular but irregular in size, not like salt. I had it analyzed and it contains substantial amounts of copper, manganese, magnesium and iron.

The house is about 30 years old with all copper plumbing.

Questions: Is my plumbing disintegrating? Is there anything I can do?
 
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Old 12-20-04, 07:10 AM
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ahfrank, Welcome to the DIY Forums.
You didn't say if it was the cold, hot or both water supplies. Part of the problem may be the water heater. There is an anode rod that is a self-sacrificing element that keeps minerals from attacking your heater. It may be deteriorating. Flushing the water heater may solve part of the problem. Below is a link detailing this procedure. Good luck and reply back with any other questions.

http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=134483
 
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Old 12-20-04, 07:16 AM
ahfrank
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Thanks for the quick reply. The stuff comes out of both hot and cold. I have gas hot water heat with a tankless coil. Between the two hose screens I clean I probably take out about a tablespoonful a month. I need to clean these two screens at least every 4-5 days or there is a serious drop in pressure at those outlets.
 
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Old 12-20-04, 07:25 AM
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WOW, thats quite a bit. Sounds like it is by-passing your filter or finding a way through it. I'll touch base with one of our filter experts and have him chime in.
 
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Old 12-23-04, 05:34 AM
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Do you have disposable cartridge filters or backwashed filters? In many cases of H2S it will coat the inside of the plumbing and usually breaks loose at the tub; little sharp and hard black specks or chips.

Gary
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Last edited by Doug Aleshire; 03-11-05 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 12-23-04, 08:29 AM
ahfrank
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stuff in my water

Thanks for the reply, Gary. The filters are large, disposables in clear holders. They are changed about every three months. The water first passes through a white, string-wound particulate filter and then through a black, charcoal odor and taste filter. These can both be purchased at any hardware store. I am sure you know the type.

The granules come out of both hot and cold faucets. I had a plumber in yesterday to repair a corroded sink drain pipe and he looked at the granules and suggested I take a water sample and the analysis reports I have on the water and the granules into their store for help and I plan to do this.

I just hope my copper pipes are not being eaten away from the inside the way that drain pipe was. The granules are largely copper, manganese and magnesium with other trace elements. The water analysis shows nothing unusual.

Again, thanks for the help and have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Bob
 
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Old 12-23-04, 08:42 PM
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Bob,

Get someone to check the pH of your water. If it is not below 4, probably not doing any damage to your piping.
 
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Old 12-24-04, 09:45 AM
ahfrank
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re:Stuff in my water

When the water was last tested, 2 years ago, the pH was 7.1. If my pipes are not being damaged where is the black stuff coming from?
 
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Old 12-24-04, 10:30 AM
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H2S is corrosive to metal, especially copper. It forms a fairly thick layer of black residue inside plumbing. Thick being maybe a 1/16th" and more. It flakes off from time to time and the pieces can roll around for some time before getting to a faucet etc.. Bacteria can live under and in the layer which also corrodes copper and can lead to pinhole leaks but there are many causes of pinhole leaks in copper tubing. I've heard of super chlorination cleaning pipes and I tried it many years ago without success but not on the same level as I've just herad of using. That was a house that had a large amount of H2S for 20+ years. The layer can cause an odor which I've smelled in pipe taken out and allowed to dry and had laying around for months. I, the husband, a 20 YO daughter and many guests couldn't smell any odor but the wife insisted she could.

Gary
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Last edited by Doug Aleshire; 03-11-05 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 12-25-04, 12:16 PM
ahfrank
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re: stuff in my water

Hope you're having a Merry Christmas!

I just took another look at the analysis of both my water and the black grit. Nether shows any sulfur, either in the water or the grit. The only abnormals on the grit were Silver, Boron, Calcium, (very high), Copper, Magnesium, Manganese and lead. lead is not very high. Water analysis is totally normal.

Bob
 
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Old 12-26-04, 09:05 AM
ahfrank
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re: stuff in my water

I just did a little test with my faucets that have screens on them and discovered that the stuff only comes out of the hot water. Does this have something to do with my tankless coil hot water system? Someone suggested the coil could be "acid flushed." What is involved with this and are there any risks to the system? At least it's only half my plumbing, or is it just the coil?

Bob
 
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Old 12-27-04, 08:25 PM
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"sulfur" won't be found in the water you took somewhere for analysis because it escapes as you collect the sample. When H2S oxidizes it converts to sulfide. You say the water is "normal". What and how much of it did they find in the water? Like hardness, iron, pH TDS, chlorides, sulfates etc..

If you can find someone to acid flush the coil, they have to add a few valves to be able to do it and then it's my understannding that it can only be done a few times until the coil has to be replaced. If your water is hard you're best choice is to buy a softener which stops more scale formatin and then dissolves the scale biuld up as acid does.

Gary
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Last edited by Doug Aleshire; 03-11-05 at 06:10 PM.
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