Water Softener Problem - salt like sediment in water


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Old 09-24-07, 07:56 PM
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Water Softener Problem - salt like sediment in water

I'm in serious need of help here. I purchased a GE water softener (Model GNSF35Z) one year ago and installed it myself. Since installation we have noticed sediment in our water (white - almost salt like in appearance). We hired somebody to come out and inspect it and they said it was working great and blamed the sediment in the water on the new water heater. We subsequently drained the water heater twice and we were left with still persistent sediment. I bypassed the water softener and the sediment amazingly disappeared. We called the repair company once again and they don't have any idea why the sediment is in our water. It is not orange color/resin appearing, it is white crumbles in your hand. We have already had to have somebody come and repair the dishwasher as a result of this. I've searched extensively and am unable to find the solution. Does anybody have any idea what may be the problem? I would greatly appreciate it!
 
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Old 09-24-07, 09:58 PM
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Particulate

Is this on hot and cold, or just on hot ?
 
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Old 09-24-07, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by greg-cws View Post
Is this on hot and cold, or just on hot ?
Great question. I had never tried that before and after clearing the lines to my bathtub tonight, it does appear that it is only associated with hot water. We do not get this problem when we bypass the water softener though. Is there some combination of soft water and water heater that may be causing this?
 
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Old 09-25-07, 12:05 AM
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hot water sediment

That can sometimes be symptomatic of a sacrificial anode decomposing in the water heater.

Some questions:-

Does your water ever taste salty ?
How old is the water heater ?
Do you have any odors in the hot water ?
Is the hot water cloudy/milky if your pour it into a glass ?
Have you ever replaced the anode ?
Have you noticed blue or green color tint in the sediment ?
Is the sediment more like a paste, or more like a powder ?
 
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Old 09-25-07, 11:23 AM
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Is your water well or city? I have seen this problem before, but get back and tell me if you are on municipal water or not.

Andy Christensen, CWS-II
 
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Old 09-25-07, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by AndyC View Post
Is your water well or city? I have seen this problem before, but get back and tell me if you are on municipal water or not.

Andy Christensen, CWS-II
Thanks for the replies. Here is what I can tell you:
-Water is city water
-We haven't noticed a salt water taste to the water and no odor
-No cloudy/milky in glass
-Hot water heater is one year old - no replacement of anode
-The sediment has two different appearances to it. First, there are white particles that come out that when you pick them up they become powder and second, there are some dark gray particles that are solid.

Thanks for the inquiries/questions. Your help is greatly appreciated!
 
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Old 09-26-07, 08:15 AM
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I thought you may be on city water.

Here is one possibility.

See if your municipal water is treated with phosphates or poly-phosphates. These are crystalline granuals that the water is passed through to sequester iron and other dissolved solids so that they greatly reduce staining caused by those elements.

Often, especially in water heaters--due to high temperatures, these break down and re-cystallize leaving are the phosphates and the darker colors are those of the elements it is trying to treat.

This is just a supposition and I can't be sure. Call the water department and ask if they use this method.

Does that make sense?

Andy Christensen, CWS-II
 
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Old 09-29-07, 11:27 PM
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Yes, it does. I'll look into it. Thanks for all the help and info.

Austin
 
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Old 12-03-07, 09:29 AM
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Wow, I have the exact same problem tex_chile, been going crazy trying to solve the issue with sediment in my hot water heater tank. I will have to check with my city water regarding what AndyC has stated, if it is treated with phosphates, is it the water softener causing them to sediment out in hot water heater? Any luck tex_chile with the issue? Wow, I am happy to find my exact problem.
 
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Old 12-03-07, 10:19 AM
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I have the exact same problem... and it's driving me nuts

I have to clean out the aerators on all my faucets, and the inlet screens on the dishwasher and washing machine about every 2 months. I'm on city water, have a softener (it's new), water heater is 2yo (and gas, no sacrificial anode).

Called the city water engineer and they are looking into it, but off the top of their head, they had no idea.

Anyone find an answer?
 
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Old 12-03-07, 10:41 AM
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threadhead, did you have the issue before the water softener? I called my local water dept, actually talked to someone quick and she told me that she would check back with people in the lab regarding my issue. I really think it is some reaction with some chemical in the water (probably phosphate as mention earlier) with the water softener and then gets deposited in the water heater from the heat. I have a Culligan twin tank; I am ready to do the bypass until I find out what is going on. I got a sample and a few pictures of the sediment if anyone wants to see what this stuff look like, just send me a Primate Message.

Out of curiosity, what is you hot water heater set at, I never checked before but I did raise the temp to 140 degrees (moved up a letter of the switch for both elements) after my flush of the tank.
 
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Old 12-03-07, 01:23 PM
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@pezman:
I have always had a water softener, so I don't know. But before my current softener, I did not have the problem as bad. I installed a new softener about a year ago, and right around that time it got worse (more deposits, faster).

I would do the bypass, but our water is so hard here (18-20), I don't want to deal with the consequences.

I will be taking a sample of these primordial pellets of ooze, to the city water lab. They are quite curious and want to have a look.

BTW, I have a good friend that is a plumber and he tells me that he sees this all the time when he empties water heaters for replacement. And he knows the difference between mineral build-up, rust, and resin. He has no idea what it is.

I keep our hot water at 120 (small kids in the house).

Could you PM me those pix? I would love to see them.

I have to disassemble the dishwasher today or tomorrow to clean out the inlet screens and will grab some pix as well.
 
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Old 12-05-07, 03:52 PM
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anode rod

Aluminum anode rods in water heaters seem to deteriorate and cause this white/grey with black specs,sometime a little aqua green blue specs. Take it out of your heater. 1 1/16" socket and a buddy to hold the pipes as you remove it. They are usually tightened pretty tight. Usually located under a plastic cap on the top of the heater. TJ
 
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Old 01-24-08, 04:05 PM
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Kenmore softener sediment problems and more

I also have had this same problem. My situation is:

1. On well water.
2. Sediment did not show up at first but gradually got worse. Also had to clean out shower heads and such every so often.
3. The sediment does have a little bit of salty taste to it.

The reason I believe the softener is the problem is that about three weeks ago I noticed the water was getting harder (deposits showing up) and the salt level did not change. AND THE SEDIMENT ALSO DISAPPEARED. Amazing coincidence. I have done the usual things (clean venturi, etc.) to try to resolve the problem but that hasn't worked. My Kenmore softener is around 10 years old and had quite a bit of salt built up in the bottom of it. I cleaned that out but nothing changed. Ran the suggested diagnostics and everything appears normal. I obviously wasn't very good about cleaning the thing as I should have been. I am not sure whether the thing is worth spending any money on. Probably best to toss it and get another one. I could try a venturi kit and if that doesn't work I could keep the kit and use it later when the problem occurs again.

Any ideas or suggestions?
 
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Old 01-25-08, 06:45 AM
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I suggest it is time for the old Kenmore to go. Buy a quality softener and use a prefilter.

Andy Christensen, CWS-II
 
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Old 01-25-08, 09:35 AM
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Andy,

Thanks for the reply. But that would the easy and expensive way out. I am a poor man and can't afford a $1000+ softening system. Do you know of any decent systems that go for around $500? I am not crazy about getting another Kenmore but I did get 10+ years out of the $400 unit so I may just go that same route. After all I can just loosen and tighten a couple of fittings and I am in business. I do have a whole house filter before the softener so that is why it is strange about where the sediment is coming from.
 
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Old 02-24-08, 01:07 PM
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About a year ago our water started tasting salty from time to time, sometimes smelling in the washing machine and worst of all cloud up our ice tea (which we drink a lot of) and make a terrible setiment in the bottom. This white setiment is also found in the water. Also, the white setiment has begun to build up around the faucets.
Our water softner is 8 years old. The water heater would be older, it was here when we moved in. It works well. Do I understand that the anode is some kind of rod that you replace?
Please let me know if this sounds like something we can fix.
 
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Old 02-27-08, 06:06 AM
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I finally just turned off my water softener a few months ago and when I drain my hot water heater I will post if I still have the sediment. I live on a cul-de-sac and I know that someone else did as well, just trying to through variables out in the post to see if anyone else has the same. I am in Tampa FL and I think it is the phosphates as posted earlier. I tried to call the city water if phosphates are used but got no answers.
 
 

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