Particles coming through hot side of faucets....

Old 10-21-08, 10:24 AM
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Particles coming through hot side of faucets....

appears to be insulation particles.

Brief history. Hot water heater failed several weeks ago requiring that I replace the elements. Of course the process required that I first completely drain the tank. Upon replacing the elements, refilling the tank, and engaging the electricity, the family noticed right away that the water pressure from the hot side decreased as if some was in the line. We have a second water heater on other end of house (different hot circuit) and the pressure both there and on the cold side throughout is fine. It appears that sediment had loosen when I drained the tank (8 years old). The next thing we realized that the pressure at a couple of sinks decreased even further in time though the pressure in all the others faucets on the same circuit remained the same, though overall less than before I replaced the elements. Well, I removed the screw in the spout strainer to discover little white particles had clogged the strainer and restricted the flow. I blew out the strainer and the flow increased dramitically though I have to clean out the strainers every other week or so.

Do you think the particles are bits of insulation or sediment from within the old water heater! Obviously, the water heater needs to be changed, but how do I flush out the copper hot-side pipes? One last thing (same hot water circuit)- we have a tub spout/shower head in our tub with a diverter between the hot/cold knobs. When filling the tub, pressure seems fine, when diverting to the shower head, it is a mere drissle. However, unlike the other two spout strainers, I see no particles in the shower head to clean out; therefore, whatever the blockage, it must be at the diverter. How do I solve my problems? Thanks in advance! ReBell in MS
Old 10-21-08, 11:35 AM
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Depending on the actual (manufacture date) age of the WH, it could be a dip tube that has disintegrated (though probably not, I think most of those are gone by now) or just mineral build up that was knocked loose by the repairs.

Pretty hard to clean out shower heads with all the internal passages they have now. You could try soaking it in a pan of hot (well, very warm at least) vinegar. No screens or anything in the tub spout, so no blockage. Whats the water flow like with just the pipe, no shower head installed?

I think I'd turn the WH off and flush flush flush all the faucets for quite a while, see if that helps. You could put an old stocking over the spouts til you get no more particles.

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