something forming in pipes in less than 3 weeks

robin11034August 29, 2012


We are in the middle of a bathroom remodel and something has arisen that may or may not need to be addressed.

The part of the shower on/off thing that goes in the wall was installed, but nothing else. The trim kit along with the mixer/valve/cartridge part arrived. The fella removed whatever he needed to install the mixer valve thing and discovered that in less than three weeks hard deposits have started to form.

We do have a whole house water circulator because it took up to 3.5 minutes to get hot water to the farthest point of the house.

We are also on city water. After reading their report about our water, I learned "Our water has a hardness measure of 30 parts per million, or 1.8 grains per gallon, which is considered soft."

Something else I read (not the municipal water site, but somewhere else) that a little bit of coating on the pipes was beneficial.

But does it seem reasonable that after less than 3 weeks, stuff should already be forming on the inside of the pipes and if it was forming after 3 weeks, what do the rest of the pipes look like after 22 years?

I have not really noticed any hard to remove deposits on the sinks or dishes or anything.

What do you think might be up and should I get a plumber in here pronto or is this normal?

Thanks for any advice you can give me and in the meantime I shall start combing your archives.


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More info after reading the archives ...

I took the screen thingie off the faucet in the kitchen and it had flat chunks of white things along with some finer black coffee grainish looking things.

I put it all in a dish and poured vinegar over them and ... nothing. No foaming or anything. As soon as the tile guy gets to a point where I can test the pipe I will use some paper towel moistened with vinegar to test what is building up in the pipes.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 12:58PM
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What kind of pipes?

Copper supply lines form a stable coating that limits leaching of copper into the water supply.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 3:56PM
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Hi brickeyee!

Thanks for answering! This is not really a pipe ... per se. But then again, I "know nossink" (say it with your best Sgt. Schultz accent). It is the thing that sits in the wall that connects the water line to the handle so you can turn on the shower. The tile guy just told me that it is brass.

We did a vinegar test on the stuff that was in there and there was no foaming at all.

Thanks again for any info or shedding of light you can send my way!


    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 5:05PM
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You can get buildup quickly in a short dead end. The scale you are seeing could be hardness, silica, any number of things, really. The only way to know for certain is to have it analyzed. If the scale is firmly attached to the walls of the brass, it formed in place. If it is loose pieces, it was probably carried there from elsewhere in the system by your recirc loop. How thick are the pieces?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 7:04PM
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