Calcium deposits in faucets

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    • #274527
      adam mark

      I called the water company when I found calcium deposits(small white chips) in the screens of the faucets throughout the house. The company said that the hot water tank needed to be flushed out twice a year. I had not had this problem until I moved into this house (7 years old) and location. My question- is the water company correct and would I just drain the tank fully and run water through it? Thanks

    • #289906
      Richard
      Participant

      Don’t be quick to assume it is calcium deposits causing your problems. Once, I found coming from an A&O Smith HW heater a white deposit. It turned out to be a new polymer they were using as a protection rod.
      Without doing a cheleometric titration (using EDTA and either Erichrome Black T or Calmagite), you cannot be certain it is indeed calcium/magnesium deposits.

      I am not a plumber, I am an analytical chemist, and have seen some weird things in water supplies. Good luck. If it is indeed calcium, then a water filter should do the trick. Just ask a LICENSED plumber which one is best for your application.

      The Friendly Chemist

    • #289907
      GaryPurolite1
      Participant

      First, to determine is they are in fact Calcium particles put some into an acid such as Vinegar or even Muriatic. If they bubble they are Calcium and Magnesium (Hardness) precipitates. If no bubbling, they are likely particles of the plastic Dip Tube in the Water Heater and the Dip Tube has failed. If it is the Dip Tube, it needs to be replaced and your hot water system flushed

    • #289908
      Richard
      Participant

      That may not be true. Using HCl (hydrochloric or muriatic acid) would cause bubbling in a lot of materials besides calcium, and that acid is less pleasant to work with than a solution of EDTA (which is cheap). Some dip tubes, as I stated earlier, are composed of polymers stabalized with cationic species to help stabalize the resin. This is of particular interest to me since I am an analytical chemist, and my girlfriend works designing resins (although we do not work at the same place). The EDTA titration is very straight forward, inexpensive, and more sensitive than a qualitative Ca/Mg scheme. The EDTA method is also the method approved by the EPA, since it is precise down to the parts per million range.

      The Friendly Chemist

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