White polos getting scuff marks on warm and hot cycles

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Trevor in Austin

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Thanks in advance for any and all help diagnosing what the problem might be in the investment property I own.

This is a long story that I will make as short as possible.

I own the middle of three townhouses in our building that was completed in 2010. The original developer couldn't sell the units for what he had into the building so he rented them until he sold them to me and my fellow owners in February 2013. Within 5 months my unit's front door was binding. Long story short, the site prep was not done properly and we had foundation issues that resulted in a 4" drop across roughly the 40' diagonal of the main living space one story up. After a 3 year lawsuit we secured limited settlement funds. After two foundation repair contractors (the first one walked off the job 6 months after starting the job they stated would take 22 business days) the building has been leveled.

The leveling did snap a main drain line in my unit which was eventually repaired. And the feeds to our building snapped at least once and had to be repaired. Together with all the bumping plenty of soil/sediment was kicked up and multiple valve cartridges had to be cleaned out or replaced.

My current problem is that on multiple occasions since the lift my tenant has washed nice white golf shirts and they have come out with scuff marks all over them. He has shared it only happens on warm or hot wash cycles and he is convinced the 10 year old gas hot water heater is to blame.

In the middle of October I installed this Amazon purchased 10 micron filter just before the hot water connection on the back of his new washer (he thought his old one might have been causing the stains). For 10 weeks there were no complaints. And then the staining started up again (see attached pic).

I have bids in hand to replace the old water heater which definitely had plenty of sediment and hard water (we have abundant limestone here in Central Texas) scaling in the tank when I took off the expansion valve and put an endoscope in there this past weekend. I got plenty of the sediment out flushing it into the bathtub (see second pic). And please note that the 10 micron filter showed little to no trapped sediment with any color (see third pic). And the hot water appears perfectly clear.

Here's the rub -> two different plumbers (including a master plumber/company owner) don't think that replacing the current water heater will resolve the laundry staining issue. I cringe at the idea of spending $1,735 on a new gas water heater and installation just to find out the staining still happens.

Does anyone have experience with resolving a similar problem? My only current idea is to spend $35 more adding another 10 micron filter to the laundry machine's cold water tap to see if that resolves the issue.

This investment property has been an overwhelming money losing challenge for the past 3+ years. And lucky me, I own it with my ex wife because we haven't been able to sell it while in the original lawsuit and the remediation is ongoing. With any luck we will be able to sell it in 6 months after the failing stucco is removed and replaced with Hardi siding.

Thanks in advance for reading this far and sharing any thoughts on a possible fix.

-Trevor
 

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Reach4

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I am suspecting washer or dryer, not water.
 

Reach4

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If you say it is only on warm or hot, I would replace the hot hose to the washer. Might as well replace both while you are at it.
 

Storm rider

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I would check all around the dryer drum. There is a felt packing that eventually fails and comes loose into the dryer. If a piece of that packing is extending into the dryer drum it will leave marks like that on the clothes. Eventually it will break off and the problem will stop until the next piece comes loose.
 

Trevor in Austin

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I would check all around the dryer drum. There is a felt packing that eventually fails and comes loose into the dryer. If a piece of that packing is extending into the dryer drum it will leave marks like that on the clothes. Eventually it will break off and the problem will stop until the next piece comes loose.

Great thinking. Thanks for the reply. The tenant confirmed this morning that the dryer wasn't replaced 3 months ago with the washer, but unfortunately he also shared his clothes come out of the washer with the scuff marks, so it happens in the washer (and again the scuffing only appears after warm and hot cycles).

Following up another reply about replacing the hoses, I haven't tried running water from the hot water supply line to check for sediment/dirt. Presumably, any remaining sediment would have to be in the one hot water hose that goes from the 10 micron filter to the washing machine inlet or as other sediment would have been caught in the filter media. Detaching the supply lines from the actual washer and running water into the bathtub to check for discoloration is a good next diagnostic step even as it feels unlikely that any sediment hasn't already been flushed through the hoses during the past months of use. But, it would be thrilling if the fix were that simple and inexpensive!

It could be the weekend before I get over to check. And I promise to report back.

This is a big challenge and I absolutely appreciate additional thoughts on how these scuff marks are happening.

Thanks one and all.
 
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