Porcelain is eroding

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by anectine, Nov 11, 2004.

  1. anectine

    anectine New Member

    Messages:
    2
    I have a unique water quality problem. I have very aggressive water, which is eroding, and etching my porcelain, chrome, tile, granite and any other surface that is in contact with the air. After six months it has consumed many new fixtures eating completely through the enamel. I use well water with a PH of 6, hardness of 16, TDS of 450. It then runs into acid neutralizer using calcinate, and followed by a water softener using potassium instead of sodium. Through trial and error and others who are using the same water, I have come to the conclusion that the water turns aggressive only after being softened. Any ideas of how to have soft water without the aggressive tendency would be appreciated.
  2. Bob's HandyGuy

    Bob's HandyGuy Senior Member

    Messages:
    131
    If all water softening systems corroded fixtures after only 6 months no one would buy them. I have to assume there is something unique about your system that is causing the problem. You have a Ph of 6 pre-treatment. What is the Ph after treatment. I would have a lab analysis pre and post treatment to determine how the softener is affecting the water chemistry. I can't imagine how a softener, which simply removes Ca and Mg ions and perhaps raises the K/Na content of the water, would make a substance that etches disparate surfaces like porcelain and chrome. (Unless it were some complex chemical being formed, Lewis acid etc.) Are you sure you're not abrading the surfaces with a cleaner ?
  3. LonnythePlumber

    LonnythePlumber Plumber, Contractor, Attorney

    Messages:
    319
    Location:
    Wichita, Kansas
    Drink It?

    Gees. Sounds terrible. Do you drink that stuff?
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    I hope I do not offend here. I suggest you visit the site www.plbg.com and post your question. There are a couple of water quality experts who respond to questions over there, and this sounds like a serious problem.
  5. anectine

    anectine New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Update on porcelain erosion

    Post treatment Ph is 7 No hardness or iron detected, TDS rises from 450 to 750 after treatment. As a temporary solution I have bypassed the water softener, which I believe has solved the corrosion problem but also has given me very hard water with the calcite treatments for PH. Absolutely positive there is no surface abrasion from cleaners ect. If I had to guess I would say the water becoming more aggressive with a type of oxygenation reaction because of the extent of damage at the air/water line in the toilet bowls in contrast with the porcelain not exposed to the air.
    Any thoughts on replacing the water softener with a reverse osmosis unit to correct the problem?
  6. Bob's HandyGuy

    Bob's HandyGuy Senior Member

    Messages:
    131
    I have to agree that this is a serious problem, a job for a water chemist. Who knows what may be leaching into your well water? (or from your softener). I wouldn't consider potable anything that damaged granite. I would run not walk to the nearest laboratory for an analysis.
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