Green Particles

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Cass, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,979
    Location:
    Ohio
    I have a customer that is getting Green particles buildup in his water heater. This has been going on for 3.5 years. It is so bad he has to empty his shower heads and faucet aerators every 2-3 days because they plug up. His washer supply lines would clog up at the screen every 2 loads only on the hot side. If he flushes the water heater it will last a couple of weeks then returns. When flushing the heater the water will be greenish with a ton of the particles in a bucket if he uses one and the problem will be back in a week or 2. He was the original owner since the home was built and has always had the problem since the 2-3rd week he owned the home. The green particles are semi hard, they will break up if rubbed between the fingers. He is selling the home and has to disclose this but would rather fix the problem.

    Any ideas. I'm stumped. I guessing something to do with the copper pipe but beyond that no idea. This is a municiple water supply not a well.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2007
  2. got_nailed

    got_nailed DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    277
    I would send off for 2 water tests. One on the cold and one with the green stuff in it. that should tell you what it is.
  3. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,979
    Location:
    Ohio
    Ok, that is an option......any one else wana tak a shot at it?
  4. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    This might be a long shot, but what about the tank lining? Maybe that particular heating tank has some kind of coating that happens to be breaking down into green particles.
  5. type of green

    green like copper? Corroded, oxidized?
    or another green -- darker than that?

    What did the builder say? This is the first owner.
    What kind of HW water is this? What did the HW heater manufacturer say?

    david
  6. srdenny

    srdenny Plumbing Contractor

    Messages:
    361
    Location:
    SF Peninsula
    Cass
    I recently drained 3 75 gallon commercial water heaters and manually removed enough of those green particles to fill a 5 gallon bucket. Asked my water heater rep for a solution and he suggested the following be placed on the incoming cold water line to the heaters. http://www.zetarod.com/
    I haven't been given the go ahead to do it yet. But, anything is better then having to repeatedly stick my hand in a slimy water heater with a wet vac.

    I just took care of a customer who had black particles in their hot water. Had to change out the magnesium anode with an aluminum one and power flush the heater (no hand hole, unfortunately). And, the conclusion that it was the anode and not something else took a little time to arrive at.
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,353
    Location:
    New England
    I'd look for some test results on that thing. I doubt it would hurt anything, but I don't see it working, either. Anything passing by would quickly lose any charge it might have picked up.
  8. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,979
    Location:
    Ohio
    The rod your talking about is supposed to take the place of a softner, this water is already soft from a softner and the softner co. has been out 2 times and has no idea what the problem is.
  9. dubldare

    dubldare Plumber/Gasfitter

    Messages:
    286
    Location:
    MN/ND
    Cass, I’ve seen this a few times, and while I can’t give any definite answer, I can give you my take and a few links for you to make up your own guess.

    When I’ve seen the blue/green buildup, it has always been on municipal water. Sometimes it’s of almost a semi-solid gel in the bottom of a WH that’s getting replaced, other times its crud plugging aerators, other times it’s a customer asking “Why is my water blue/green in my white tub when I fill it?â€



    http://www.hotwater.com/bulletin/bulletin14.pdf
    http://www.water-research.net/corrosion.htm
    http://www.finishing.com/304/79.shtml
    http://www.pushback.com/Wattenburg/bio/BlueWater.html



    I don’t really buy into it being an electrical issue too often. What does make sense to me is high PH causing the pretty colored water. The city I live in runs an 8 to 8.5 ph, mostly because of old cast iron water mains and our acidic clay soil we have here. Blue/green water here is kind of a normal thing, plus it looks pretty.:D

    My guess is that in most cases that I’ve come across, it lines up with the TB from AOSmith: high PH reacting against an aluminum anode rod .*

    Best of luck, let us know what works.

    * Now, it may not be widely known, but due to cost cutting, magnesium is not used for anode rods unless by special order. Aluminum rods have been used for the past ~10 years. Per a conversation I had with an AOSMith engineer a few years ago, only wholesalers who specifically ask for (and some isolated areas of the country) get new heaters with magnesium rods, the rest are aluminum.
  10. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,979
    Location:
    Ohio
    Thanks, I go back tomorrow an will replace the rod with a mag rod and see what happens. Any one else want to take a shot?
  11. srdenny

    srdenny Plumbing Contractor

    Messages:
    361
    Location:
    SF Peninsula
    Cass
    I suggest you flush the heater to remove as much of the crud as possible. Otherwise your customer will be experiencing green slime indefinitely.
  12. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,979
    Location:
    Ohio
    He has flushed it several times.
  13. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Jelly slimey says bacteria. Has there been any odor to this water; cold or hot?

    Setting the temp to 140*f kills all bacteria.
  14. srdenny

    srdenny Plumbing Contractor

    Messages:
    361
    Location:
    SF Peninsula
    I mean flush it after you change the anode rod.
  15. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,979
    Location:
    Ohio
    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Similar Threads: Green Particles
Forum Title Date
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Green particles collecting in faucet aerator - not dip tube Feb 24, 2010
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Pumptec Unit has charred marks on the wall behind but shows green light. May 17, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice "Pex" is turning green inside Dec 4, 2013
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Copper and Green Stains Mar 31, 2013
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Found a green knob in closet? Jan 24, 2013

Share This Page