Source of Metal Deposits

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    • #273401

      I am trying to figure out possible sources of metal deposits in my hot water to figure out what is corroding.

      A lab analysis shows large amounts of (from most to least): magnesium (from hot water anodes), copper (copper plumbing), aluminum, zinc, manganese, iron, nickel, cobalt, lead, barium, silver (the last few are trace amounts).

      I have brass valves, a stainless steel recirculating pump, a brass recirculating pump, a nickel plated brass mixing valve, etc. I am especially puzzled about the ALUMINUM. What has aluminum in it? The house is 2 years old.

      Also, where would lead, barium, cobalt etc. come from? Are these just impurities in the other metals? The solder is supposed to be lead-free.

    • #287549
      Harold Kestenholz

      An enjoyable question. Part of the fun of answering here is the sleuthing that must be done from partial information.

      ____Like the fellow who complained about camel breath smells from his water. Didn’t give any more clues, just the problem – seems he was carrying open jars of water across the Gobi desert too close to the front of the Camel. He finally gave us the information needed.____

      In this case, we know that the metals are there. Part of the lab testing of water is to give the Ph or acid/base number to judge corrosion and the quantities of corrosive substances in the water. That information would help.

      We do know that rock is where minerals come from. The source of much of fresh tap water is from the earth through the rocks. We can guess that the water in question is from a well somewhere. The mineral content may be a natural phenomenon from passing through the earth.

      ____ Now, a possibility is that the water source has been drilled into ground where the original inhabitants of the area were in Atlantis, and the water is flowing through their technological mining dump ____

    • #287550

      Water is from a well. Hardness is around 22 grains (376 mg per litre as CaCO3). Alkalinity is also high (319 mg per litre as CaCo3). Ph is 6.96. Magnesium is 30 mg per litre. Manganese is less than 0.01 mg per litre (i.e. undetectable by the lab, and yet I have manganese deposits among others).

      I was told by the lab that the water is slightly corrosive (Langelier index of -0.37), but this cannot account for the large amount of corrosion I am seeing.

      I have a water softener (salt based). Testing shows that the soft water has no hardness.

      I am still puzzled about the aluminum deposits — I do not know what components in plumbing may have aluminum.

    • #287551
      Harold Kestenholz

      Sorry, jb, I sometimes get so carried away I pass by some helpful answers. Some of the electric water heater element covers have aluminum in them and the alkalines can eat at them.

      But what I forgot to suggest was to take a sample of the water fresh from the well before it passes through your plumbing system, just to see if it is picking up any more minerals on the way through. Or is it all coming from the ground?

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