Large amount of sediment

The Tank Large amount of sediment

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  • #21079
    jaxcarlson
    Participant

    Hello, I searched the threads and didn’t exactly see my issue, if there is already one please let me know. Here is the situation:
    My old water heater, I think state select or something like that, rusted out and I replaced it. I bought a whirlpool ES50R123-45D in March, not really having a lot of time to research since the family had no hot water, and liking the idea if a 12 year warranty. Anyway, I installed the new heater without issue, and everything seemed fine….until. A few weeks ago I noticed the flow in the kitchen was low when using hot water. Then the shower. Then not only hot but cold as well. I finally figured out it was a sediment issue. I flushed out the heater for 40 minutes, and even then saw a few pieces of it swirling in the bucket I was running the hose into (just to see the sediment). It was pure white, like a fine sand or something, but you can crush it into a powder almost with your fingers. I cleaned out the screen filters on the shower head and kitchen sink. Everything was back to normal…for three days. Now the shower head is clogged with sediment again. I flushed it just a little while ago, but don’t want to do this every three days obviously. I should tell you that I have a water softener also. Any ideas on why the fast sediment buildup is occurring? What are my options? I have had the softener for 9 years, as long as I have had the newly built house. This was never an issue with the old heater. Really the only thing that has changed in the past 9 years was a new water heater. Sorry for to be verbose, but I want you to have as much info as possible. Thanks in advance!!

    #21081
    Larry Weingarten
    Participant

    Hello: A question: Do you have a recirculation line (instant hot water) to the heater?

    Yours, Larry

    #21083
    jaxcarlson
    Participant

    No, I do not have a recirculation line. Nothing special about my lines, other than the softener that I mentioned.

    #21084
    Larry Weingarten
    Participant

    Hello: I was trying to figure out how sediment from the heater could make it’s way into the plumbing. Normal sediment is heavier than water and lives in the bottom of the tank. Usually it can build up there without ever getting into the pipes. Your heater isn’t old enough to have a bad dip tube, which used to cause similar problems to what you have.

    Perhaps some photos would help. I’d like to see a photo of the sediment and also top and bottom of the heater if possible. Another thought is to run some cold water, say from a hose bibb, to see if you get any of the white sediment from that source. if so, it tells us the sediment comes from the water supply… which is unlikely, but good to confirm. 😉

    Yours, Larry

    #21085
    jaxcarlson
    Participant

    Thanks Larry, I will do that asap, but it may not be until the weekend. I will post pictures sooner than that hopefully. I appreciate your responses!

    #21087
    Randy Schuyler
    Keymaster

    There is another possibility here that you should keep in the back of your mind. That heater has one or two aluminum anodes, and sometimes aluminum corrosion byproduct can flow out and clog aerators. It’s much more likely with a recirc line, but I’ve seen it happen without one. Changing to magnesium and flushing the tank will solve it, if that IS the issue.

    Randy Schuyler

    #21088
    jaxcarlson
    Participant

    I have the requested photos. I looked in the seams of the driveway and there was still sediment in some areas. The first photo shows the sediment in the seam, the second shows some in my hand, and the third is when I rubbed the sediment between two fingers and turned it into a powder. The last pic is the water heater. If more are needed of the sediment they may have to wait. also, the sediment was exceptionally white when it came out, I think being in the driveway for a few days has caused it to lose some brightness.

    It appears only one can be attached at a time, so I will post in the next three posts after this as well, same order as stated for the pics.

    Attached files

    #21089
    jaxcarlson
    Participant

    sediment in hand

    Attached files

    #21090
    jaxcarlson
    Participant

    powder

    Attached files

    #21091
    jaxcarlson
    Participant

    water heater

    Attached files

    #21094
    Randy Schuyler
    Keymaster

    I’ll be interested in Larry’s take, but this doesn’t look, to me, like aluminum gunk, so we’re back to some other kind of sediment. As to your heater, the T&P drain line violates code. It goes down, up, over and back down and through the wall. It should go down and out. It’s possible the previous heater had a top-mounted T&P that could have used the piping through the wall.

    Randy Schuyler

    #21095
    jaxcarlson
    Participant

    I was hoping that would be the answer – the aluminimum anode dissolving at a faster rate because of the water softener. It seems to make sense, more than likely I had a magnesium one in the previous tank. I can tell you the sediment is very light, when I flush the tank into a bucket to capture it, it’s doesn’t settle very much at all, most floats out of the bucket. Also, when I picked that older sediment up off the driveway, I tried to blow the sand with it out, but the sediment went flying before the sand budged. Maybe I should take it somewhere to get analyzed to see what exactly it is.

    #21096
    jaxcarlson
    Participant

    I am still experiencing this issue. If anyone wants to chime in, please do so. I am going to collect some of the sediment and take it to be analyzed to see what it is. I do like Randy’s suggestion that it could be the aluminum anode decay byproduct.

    #21106
    jaxcarlson
    Participant

    Hello, I am still having the same issue. I have a new picture of the sediment taken today – since I had to flush the water heater again. I am at wit’s end looking for solutions.

    Attached files

    #21107
    Larry Weingarten
    Participant

    Hello. I’d like to see the anode from the new heater. If you see it covered with the same stuff, it’s aluminum and is best replaced with magnesium.

    Yours, Larry

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