Ugly green stuff in our water heater

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    • #284423
      Avatar photokraftyplumbing

        I ran the drain valve on our electric water heater and filled 2 buckets from it with a odorless green gel-like liquid. At the bottom was a lot of grey sandy grit, and somewhat larger green flecks (copper?). We have well water, which according to the tests is OK. Its a AO Smith tank and it doesnt look very old. Could this be due to a hydrogen/anode reaction of some kind? Or something real serious? Needless to say, five different water professionals had 5 different opinions. Thanks for any info on this.

      • #304327
        Avatar photoRay

          Ray:— The ugly stuff that you see is copper stained Magnesium Oxide. As the anode disintegrates in the process of protecting the inside of your water heater, it gives off hydrogen gas and the remaining magnesium oxide turns into a clear jelly substance. In the presence of copper salts (Copper Sulphate or Copper Chloride) it takes on a green or blue coloration. The large green flakes are copper carbonate and other copper compounds that flake off the walls of the piping. Nothing seriously wrong or life threatening in this situation. The copper piping could stand a little help to withstand the corrosion that is taking place within your plumbing loop. Check the info. on the copper Knight below, it should solve the problem…Bud.

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