Gunk on Dip Tube and Water Filter

omron22August 12, 2012

Hello, I am on town water, which the officials insist is clear. However I've been seeing tiny specks of white material in my water off and on, some periods are worse than others. Been going on 2 years. This past April it got bad enough for me to complain. The District water manager insisted it was the dip tube in the water heater deteriorating. I told him that problem was solved 10 years ago and I'm living in a 2 1/2 year old house. Still, he insisted I have the Natural Gas tech come over and check out the dip tube. This is what he found. He said he's never seen anything like it before and no, it is not normal.

Has anyone seen anything like this? This stuff is also getting into the cold water line. This stuff can be seen atop my 4 week old GE refrigerator water filter.

The water was tested. No bacteria found. In a separate test they found a spike in a certain chemical (titanium something?) which can indicate plastic. So since the dip tube is perfectly intact, they are focusing on the Pex tubing as the cause of the problem. This doesn't make sense to me. Their main goal seems to be to prove it's not their fault.I believe it is coming into the house this way.

Anyone have any suggestions? Or had anyone seen this before?

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This is the paper towel I used to wipe of part of the dip tube. Kind of scary to think I've been drinking this for 2 years...

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 8:52PM
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How hard is the water?

Clean does not mean the water is chemically pure H2O (and that would be eating at anything it touches except some plastics).

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 4:26PM
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It could be any number of things:

calcium compounds
silica compounds
iron compounds

Frankly, there is more reason to believe it is one of those listed above than to believe it is bacterial in nature. It does not look like a biological problem - if it were it would be more likely to look slimy, snotty, yucky instead of grainy and dry.

The only way to know for certain is to have the material tested by a laboratory. First, ask for a few of the city's water quality reports - that will provide a good start. Second, find a local water lab, call the lab and ask them how to properly sample your water for testing and take them a sample for analysis. At a minimum ask for:


    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 6:18PM
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The water came from the Champlain Water District in VT. The water is supposed to be very good from the start, not hard, no excessive minerals. They publish their water reports but I'm having a hard time reading them.They do brag about having award winning quality, however.

This picture is of the top of my GE cartridge refrigerator filter. This is after 3-4 weeks.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 10:33PM
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