What's this white plastic debris in aerators? Bad dip tube.

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by JerryR, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. JerryR

    JerryR Member

    Messages:
    254
    Location:
    Florida
    So far last 30 days I found some white plastic debris in 2 sink aerators, one shower cartridge and hot water supply to washing machine.

    A little background. This new to me house was built in 1997. It has original tall 50 gallon electric water heater. My plan is to replace the water heater after the holidays just because of age.

    Does this stuff look like dip tube from water heater coming apart?

    [​IMG]
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,157
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Is this town water? It looks like the cuttings that a "hot tap" would produce.

    A hot tap is where they cut into a city main that is not taken out of service before tapping into it.
  3. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,671
    Location:
    IL
    Do you have a well pump? If so, how deep is your well, and where is the pump?
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
  4. JerryR

    JerryR Member

    Messages:
    254
    Location:
    Florida
    Its municipality supplied water.

    The picture is deceiving. The pieces are pretty small. Largest piece is 1/4" wide. These came out of a clogged bathroom sink aerator this morning.

    The washing machine supply hoses have a screened washer on them. There was debris only on the hot water side hose screen.

    The pieces that came out of the shower cartridge looked about 1/8" wide x 1" long and accordion folded. All pieces are paper thin.

    JR
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,157
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    That without a doubt, describes cuttings as I mentioned. It is not a disintegrating dip tube.

    A plausible explanation of why it is only found on the hot side, is that the way the HWT is plumbed, it is most likely the path of least resistance.
  6. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,671
    Location:
    IL
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
  7. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,157
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Here is a YouTube video of a hot tapping. I have worked on jobs tapping into 42" natural gas pipelines.

    [video=youtube;jiLPwK__1pE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiLPwK__1pE[/video]
  8. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,298
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    You may need to replace the water heater if you can't get all the bits out from the dip tube.
    At the least, pick up a new dip tube. Though if your water heater is over ten years old, you may want to just replace it.

    Bad Dip tube.
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