Sputtering water from kitchen sink faucet

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Old 04-11-13, 11:34 AM
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Question Sputtering water from kitchen sink faucet

We are on a city water system.

Yesterday morning I turned on the faucet in the kitchen to run some warm water. It immediately began to sputter and make that sound you get when air is in the line. I tried running the cold water, and it didn't make that sound.

So, I went to the bathroom, turned on the faucet there - both taps - no problems. It works, the shower works - everything seems to be fine by the hot water in the kitchen.

It's still doing it today, it you can really hear the rumbling in the pipes behind the cabinetry in the wall.

If the city had been doing anything with the water, I am assuming that it would affect everything in the house.

So, what could be the trouble? Are we talking about a damaged line? I believe part of the plumbing is pex and some galvanized but I'd have to go digging into the crawl space and I can't do it at the moment.

Any feedback would be great!
 
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Old 04-11-13, 04:32 PM
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How much have you used the kitchen hot water since this started? Just a quick test for let it run for a minute or two? It's possible a slug of air got into your water heater. Since you first turned on the kitchen faucet the air got caught in it's lines but should not last too long.
 
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Old 04-11-13, 05:15 PM
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I've used it a decent amount. I've actually let it run. It stops, but if I leave it for a while, it comes back.

How could air get into the hwh?
 
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Old 04-11-13, 05:49 PM
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Deja vu..... I talked to my mom today and she told me the sink was sputtering. I told her the town was out flushing the water lines and hydrants. They do it the same time every year.
 
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Old 04-11-13, 06:57 PM
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From water heater rescue.com Its called outgassing.



Most water heaters have an anode rod inside of them to help protect the tank from rust damage. The anode itself corrodes away to give this protection. As this is going on, small amounts of gas are formed both at the anode and at the tank walls. That is if you have normal water. If you have very conductive water, (softened water is very conductive) the process speeds up and much more gas is formed. This is likely what is happening.

There are various ways to work on the problem. First would be to soften the water as little as you can get along with. Some units can be set for how often they regenerate and how much regenerating they do. If your unit is turned down, it may take care of the problem altogether.

If that doesn't do it, the next thing to do is replace the anode with one that is used up more slowly. Rheem water heaters have a magnesium anode that has a resistor in the top of the rod. This is there to slow down the action of the rod. Rheem is sold at Home Depot as G.E. I'd get one of their anodes and replace the one currently in the tank.

Now, if those two steps fail to completely fix the problem, one more thing can be done that will help. That is to install an air vent at the top of the heater. This is done by putting a brass "T" fitting on the hot outlet pipe on top of the heater. Plumb the hot water line to the center of the "T" so that it leaves horizontally. This will leave a vertical port at the high point of the hot outlet. A brass bushing and air vent (rated for 150 psi and 240 degrees) would mount in this port.

Any gas generated in the heater will float up to the vent and be expelled there. The problem with air vents is they are mechanical devices that tend to plug up or go wrong some other way. The first two suggestions will involve less upkeep over time. The anode in your heater should be replaced from time to time to keep the heater from failing.

Normally in softened water the anode needs replacement every two years. Turning down the softener will extend the life of the anode. Some plumbers like to remove the anode to eliminate air problems. This will void the warranty on the tank and condemn the heater to an early demise. Don't let anyone do that.
 

Last edited by lawrosa; 04-11-13 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 04-11-13, 07:36 PM
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Well, whatever was happening, it was happening with the hwh. It leaked then shorted out the thermostat (at least). So, goodbye hwh. Guess it's time to get a new one.
 
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Old 04-11-13, 07:39 PM
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Sorry to here that. I use and install AO smith heaters only and recommend them. You can get at your local Ferguson. They sell to the public. Best heaters out there IMO.

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Old 04-12-13, 04:02 AM
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Yeah, not entirely happy about it, but the guy we have coming out to replace has given us a decent deal, and will be replacing with a Bradford White heater - we're in Michigan and it's a Michigan-made product, so I'm good with that.
 
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