Water Lines Clogging


  #1  
Old 06-12-06, 10:07 PM
~
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 14
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Water Lines Clogging

Greetings all. First time homeowner here, so forgive me if this is an infantile question (the FAQ didn't seem to address it - so I think I'm in the clear!)

The issue's pretty basic actually... It seems that water deposites which have broken apart into fairly small pieces are persistantly blocking every cold water outlet in my home. I get nothing more than a trickle no matter what I do. I have attempted to "bleed" them out on several occasions by turning off the valve beneath each sink, disconnecting the line, and then turning the valve back on - thereby blasting little white chunks of "stuff" (and quite a bit of water!) all over the bottom of the cabinets and making an admirable mess! This procedure seems to help for all of a second or two before things go right back to where they were.

I thought that it all might work its way through eventually, but it's been three weeks now and my fiance and I are getting a bit frustrated. I'm also worried that this stuff might end up causing problems with the water heater. Any advise as to how we might clear things up?

I should probably mention that this is a mobile home which was moved from a farm plot outside of a neighboring town (which I can only assume was on well water). If more info is needed let me know.

Thanx in advance...

~Maxx
 
  #2  
Old 06-12-06, 10:51 PM
steve_gro's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 967
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
There should be a sticky for this one. Check the results of this google.
It may be minerals, but if your water heater is from the mid-90s, I'll guess it a bad diptube.
 
  #3  
Old 06-13-06, 09:48 AM
~
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 14
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the info Steve. Interesting stuff - especially since I haven't the first clue about water heaters. However, I don't seem to be having trouble with the hot water lines, but rather the cold. I can only assume that the mineral deposites which have broken up and are clogging the cold water lines are also collecting inside the water heater. And that doesn't sound like such a good thing to me.

The lines running from the valve to the faucet beneath each sink are of a very small diameter, and this is where the clog is taking place - but only in the cold water lines. Preasure from the bath tub faucets seem to be okayfor both hot and cold, but the shower heads are perpetually blocked.
 
  #4  
Old 06-13-06, 10:42 AM
steve_gro's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 967
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
If it is only the cold lines, then it's not a diptube problem; but your post sound so much like it that I thought it was worth a shot. It wouldn't hurt to check the age of the water heater.

First step is to determine what the particles are. Are you still on a well, or city water? If city water, call the supplier and ask about it. Here's another google for you.
 
  #5  
Old 06-13-06, 12:23 PM
~
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 14
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Thanks so much for your quick replies Steve. I have not checked the age of my water heater, but I know that the home was manufactured in `98. The water heater seems to be working well, and I would be suprised if it had ever been replaced. So I think it's safe to assume that it is only about 8 years old.

As far as our water supply goes... We are still on well water, but not the same well water that the home was on previously. The prior owner was a farmer who had a well on his property outside a neighboring town. We had the home moved from his land to a residential area just a few miles outside Manhattan (Kansas - go Wildcats!) which has its own well water supply for the residents of this particular park. Neither of our neighbors have ever experienced these issues, and both of their homes have been here for more than ten years. I could probably get whatever info I need concerning the water from the area caretakers, but I don't see that it would be relevant to my problem as the home has only been here for about a month (part of which the utilities were not hooked up).

I'm assuming that when the home was moved the water deposites inside the main lines beneath the floor were broken up in the process, and now have nowhere else to go but out toward the faucets. But since the line narrows so much after the valve beneath each sink (and toilet) they can't get through.

Would it be a plausible solution to find some sort of large diameter hose with a fitting that would attatch to the line beneath each sink? That way I could run a hose directly off of each valve and out into the yard where I could possibly (by turning on all the valves at once) flush everything out. Or is this something that a local Roto Router establishment would need to handle?

Again - thank you for your help and invaluable information...
 
  #6  
Old 06-13-06, 03:17 PM
majakdragon's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: N.E. Arkansas
Posts: 7,475
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
One suggestion. Turn off the water supply at the well. Open an outside faucet and use a compressor to blow out each line. start from the furthest line from the supply and work your way to it. You can disconnect one line at a time to do this. Good luck.
 
  #7  
Old 06-13-06, 09:57 PM
steve_gro's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 967
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
I would be very curious about the composition of the particles. There are some simple tests you can do (see the previous google), like soaking in vinegar to see if they disolve (calcium) or try to melt some (to see if they're plastic).

Bad diptubes (sorry to bring that up again - it sound so much like it) were installed in water heaters from '93 ~ '97. There is a chance that you got one.

As for draining, I would first want to know the source. Why drain, other than to relieve the clogging, if they're going to keep coming back?
 
  #8  
Old 06-13-06, 11:34 PM
~
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 14
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
It seems to me that If the problem were in fact the diptube I would be having issues with the hot water, rather than the cold - along with other possible problems concerning the water heater (as described in the previous articles). This is not the case. As a hobby I keep aquarium fish, and (while that hardly makes me a water expert) I'm all too familiar with mineral/water deposites. The particles in my cold water lines are, without question, mineral deposites from hard water. And since no one around me seems to be having any similar problems there would be no evidence to support that those deposites are coming from anywhere other than my own water lines. That in mind - the stuff is going to have to come out either through the valves at each water outlet, or backwards through the water main where the water comes into the home.

Your suggestion is on the right page I think Majak. But I don't have a compressor or preasure washer yet (nowhere to put them - the storage building won't be insatlled fro another three weeks!) I wonder though... If I were to turn on the cold water faucets that don't seem to be effected by the clogging - might that clear out whatever may be left in the main line? Perhapse that would make it possible to blast the rest out from beneath the sinks. The washing machine hookups are furthest from the main intake, so running that alone for a while could help a bit. I'm going to give that a shot in the morning.

Good thing I'm on vacation this week! Thank you for the replies. I'll post my progress (or lack thereof!)
 
  #9  
Old 06-14-06, 03:40 PM
~
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 14
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
I officially fold. What can I say? I'm all out of ambition...

I ran every cold water line in the house from the valve starting with the one closest to the main inlet for 30 minutes each today. I did get a fair amount of the stuff out, but evidently it wasn't enough. I've called the company that sold us the home and politely informed them that when thier guy finally gets around to putting in our new sinks and front porch, fixing the dishwasher and furnace, and figuring out why the water heater trips the breaker every day at lunch time he can plan on doing something about the plumbing as well.

Anyone think I should hold my breath untill he arrives?

Thanks again for all your advise. I'm off to the A/V forum now to try and figure out how to get my VCR to record my fiance's TV shows through my new digital cable box.

All the best!

~Maxx
 
  #10  
Old 06-14-06, 08:11 PM
steve_gro's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 967
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Some problems are difficult, if not impossible, to diagnose online. If you're getting small white particles in the cold water, and others that are using the same water source are not, then clearly it's something in your plumbing system. I would have to look at the plumbing (rather than text on a monitor) to have any chance of offering useful advice.

You'll have to have a competent plumber on-site to figure out what the problem is. I hope that the issue gets resolved to your satisfaction, and in a timely manner.
 
  #11  
Old 06-14-06, 09:20 PM
~
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 14
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Thanks Steve. I know what you mean about diagnosing things via a message forum. While I'm pretty sure I had thought things through fairly well on my own I basically just wanted to make sure that there wasn't some "miracle cure" that I wasn't familiar with. I think I'm pretty handy all in all when it comes to simple home repair projects (my father is a carpenter of 30+ years) - but I'm certainly not an experienced plumber. And I know (as I'm sure we all do) that waiting around for a seller to get things fixed can be a real pain. If I can do it myself without spending a significant amount of cash I think I'm better off than waiting for them to get around to it.

I apreciate your taking time to help.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: