Looks like Cascade in the kitchen faucet

hosenemesisNovember 27, 2011

Hi all,

My father-in-law's faucet screens keep filling up with little teeny white grains that look sort of like Cascade dishwashing granules. I have not tasted them yet. Is it possible the dishwasher was installed incorrectly and the stuff is migrating into the faucet? Seems unlikely, since the same granules are accumulating in the bathroom faucet too. Any ideas?

Renee

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asolo

Definitely NOT Cascade granules "migrating" from the dishwasher.

Could be incoming granular contaminants in the supply, but I doubt it. More likely would be pipe-scale build-up breaking free and flowing with the water until captured by the faucet screens. Very common. More common the harder the water.

If that's what it is, the solution is to clean the screens as frequently as required or soften the water.

I can tell you, though, that what you're seeing in/on your faucet screens is also happening everywhere else in your system......on/in supply solenoids of your washer and DW and on/in their screens if they have them. Depending on the concentration, may or may not represent a problem for the future.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 7:16AM
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justalurker

Hi Renee,

Take those granules and put a few drops of vinegar on them. If they dissolve then it is hardness and scale. If not, then you have a different problem.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 10:26AM
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brickeyee

"Take those granules and put a few drops of vinegar on them. If they dissolve then it is hardness and scale."

They should actually bubble and foam if they are scale (calcium carbonate mostly).

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 1:14PM
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hosenemesis

Thank you, thank you to each of you. This is sounding a bit ominous. I was so hoping I could just tell him to stop using the dishwasher! Ah well.

This explains the mysterious activities of his sprinkler system too. After I perform the science experiment (thank you for absolving me of the taste test) I shall report back.

Renee

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 1:55PM
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justalurker

Do you have a water softener?

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 2:20PM
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nod702

May or may not be the same, but i had to replace my water heater about 4 months ago. I was getting the white granules at all outlets. Took awhile to flush out all the lines after replacing the water heater. I have Pex lines. I flushed the lines by removing the aeriators and just running cold water through the system. Also had to remove the lines going to the washer and clean the screens.After everything was cleared out i then applied power to the water heater.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 7:50PM
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asolo

I have little doubt that is was exactly the same. Failing heaters are pretty famous for kicking the stuff out in increasing amounts before they croak entirely.

Not there. Don't know. But it surely does sound like it. If so, you're going around again.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 9:06PM
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asolo

"...sprinkler system..."

FWIW....I have three sprinkler systems controlled by automatic solenoid/timer valves. Although my household supply is softened, the sprinkler supply is not. I have zero trouble in the house with soft water. With my 7-11 grains hard sprinkler supply, even with fine-mesh filters upstream of each, the sprinkler solenoid valves foul up and need replacement about every 2-3 years due to scaling. I've disassembled and cleaned them on several occasions attempting to get more life out of them but it only gets me a few more months of service so I've given up with that.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 11:59AM
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hosenemesis

No water softener. Pops is too frail to handle the salt bags. We'll start with the hot water heater, which is very, very old now. Flush the lines out, and hope for the best.

Thank you for the information about the sprinkler lines. We have problems here too- they only last about a year. We had no idea that was the issue. Same experience, asolo, clean them out, they work for a few weeks, then they go out again. I have been replacing them with those big copper whirly-gig sprinklers and battery timers out of frustration.

Renee

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 12:10PM
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brickeyee

"We'll start with the hot water heater, which is very, very old now."

A likely cause.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 1:19PM
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dadoes

A disintegrating dip-tube in the water heater can cause (plastic) particles to get into the household lines and clog screens. The dip-tube is part of the incoming water connection on the heater, running the cold incoming flow down to the bottom of the tank. They're not supposed to disintegrate but I've heard of it happening, although that may have been related to a specific brand/model of water heater that had a known problem.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 11:30AM
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brickeyee

"They're not supposed to disintegrate but I've heard of it happening"

There was a recall a few years ago for disintegrating dip tubes.

Appears to be the wrong type of plastic for hot chlorinated water.

If you test with vinegar plastic does nothing, while calcium scale will foam and dissolve.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 2:39PM
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a2gemini

We had an old Smith water heater that almost all of the fill tubes disintegrated. We had lots of little "cascade" pieces and had to clean the faucet heads frequently. When they replaced the tube, we had the pipes backflushed. Even with the backflush, we had some problems. I think all of the plastic is finally out of the system. Plastic won't crumble with vinegar - so good suggestions

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 10:15PM
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