White "chips" in Bath water!?!


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Old 08-20-06, 02:57 PM
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White "chips" in Bath water!?!

My hot water is full of what chips that look like little pieces of white ceramic chips or something. Does anyone know what this may be? I originally thought it was left over pieces from a body exfoliating product in my bath water.

However, it has not gone away - so I finally tested the water and realized it's actually coming straight out of the bath tub faucet. Not sure if I should be bathing in this daily?
 
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Old 08-20-06, 03:41 PM
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Copy & paste the following into a Google search box:

"water heater" AND diptube
 
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Old 08-20-06, 03:46 PM
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Bathtub, Welcome to the DIY Forums.
You have one of two problems. either your diptube has failed or it is calcium deposits. Both come from the water heater. If your hot water is noticeably less than before, it is probably the diptube. You can test this by putting some of the deposits in a spoon and heating it with a candle or lighter. If it melts, it's the diptube. Plastic. If not, you can drain and flush the water heater and get the deposits out of the tank. After testing, let us know by hitting the Reply button and telling us what you found. Good luck.
 
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Old 08-21-06, 02:31 PM
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Yes, it melted!

Collected the white chips and melted them...and, sure enough...they melted and it smelt of plastic!

I've called plumber (probably a few days before he can visit). In the meantime, is it safe to bath in this?
 
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Old 08-21-06, 03:12 PM
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Plastic chips in water pose no health hazard if bathing. They decrease water flow and decrease efficiency of water heater.
 
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Old 08-21-06, 03:21 PM
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The diptube is a plastic tube that is under the cold water supply pipe going into the water heater. In 1996, there was a problem with bad tubes disintegrating. The tube takes cold water to the bottom of the tank and thus "pushes" the hot water out. When a diptube goes bad, the cold water "short circuits" and goes out directly instead of pushing the hot water. This makes the hot water less in volume and water gets cold in your fixtures quicker. While there is no health hazard, they will clog up your shower head and areators on sink faucets. Also the screen on the hot water inlet of your washing machine.
 
 

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