Continually clogging kitchen faucet

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by raeiken, Jun 12, 2006.

  1. raeiken

    raeiken New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Chicago
    My kitchen sink faucet keeps getting clogged with some sort of small white chunks. When I clean them out, I can smash them between my fingers. It only takes a day or two until the water flow is greatly diminished again.

    Any ideas of where I should start looking, or what this may be?

    My shower upstairs does seem to be losing a little flow, but nothing as dramatic as the kitchen.

    Thanks,
    Ron
  2. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,716
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Sounds like water heater crud. Try draining the WH a little and see if a) it drains at all, and if it does, b) if there are little balls of crud in there.
  3. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Place some in vinegar, let it sit for an hour, and tell us if they dissolve.
  4. raeiken

    raeiken New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Chicago
    Water Heater Crud

    Looks like that was a good call on the water heater crud. I opened up the valve on the bottom into a five gallon bucket. It took a second to get going, and then a lot of the same crud that I have seen in the faucet came out.

    I drained about 10 buckets and was still getting some of the crud. Should I just keep doing this until it clears, or should I think about a new water heater?

    We've been in the house for 9 years and I'm not sure how old the water heater is. It is a 75 gallon A.O Smith model
  5. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,716
    Location:
    Central Florida
    It's time for a pro to respond, but I'd drain it all (be sure the power is off) and flush out the crud. Then pull the anode rod and have a look. Very likely it's pretty-well eaten up.
  6. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    Again, give Cass's thread a look. It might be helpful.

    There can be more than just one answer........
  7. raeiken

    raeiken New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Chicago
    Vinegar

    I am going to be out of town the next few days, but when I get back there should be some more crud in the faucet, and I will put in vinegar and see what happens.
  8. raeiken

    raeiken New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Chicago
    No Dissolve

    I put the crud in Vinegar but it didn't dissolve. What does that tell me?
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,129
    Location:
    New England
    Dip tube maybe. This is a plastic tube that directs the incoming cold water to the bottom of the hot water heater so you don't mix it and end up with a tank of tepid water right away.
  10. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Sounds like the dip tube is bad. You can keep flushing and cleaning till it goes away. You may want to replace the heater. How many gallons is the heater? How much hot water(showers,laundry,ect.) do you get B4 it starts to get cool?
  11. raeiken

    raeiken New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Chicago
    Deciding

    I haven't noticed any problems with running out of hot water. This is a 75 gallon hot water heater. It is at least 10 years old, because that is how long we have been in the house. I may look into a dip tube, or I might just replace it given that it is at least 10 years old. I think it is probably more like 14 years old. Should I just replace given the age?

    Thanks,
    Ron
  12. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,129
    Location:
    New England
    From what I read, it would be a rare HW tank that lasted as long as yours; happens, though. Hard to say what to expect. IF you can get the fitting off without compromising the tank, a dip tube probably isn't very expensive. It might last awhile longer. If the white crud doesn't disolve in acid (vinegar), then it is likely th edip tube.
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