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Question DetailsAsked on 11/15/2017

I have sediment from my hot water faucets but not from the cold water. Could the water softener be the problem?

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1 Answer


Sometimes if the water softener is brought back into service (or provided with salt or resin after a long period without it), or if a new water softener is put in a house which did not have one before, or a new salt-type or ion-exhange type replaces a filtration- opnly or reverse osmosis unit, the change in water chemistry can loosen up buildup in the water heater so it breaks loose and travels through the hot pipes - but that is rare.

Generally, if only the hot pipes are seeing color or sediment, it is a corroding water tank - in which cases there would be a lot of it in the bottom of the tank which should show up if you run the bottom drain full-faucet open into a bucket (beware - hot water). If your water tank is around or beyond its design life (almost always on the side of the tank in big letters like Kenmore 8 or such, otherwise on manufacturer's label) then that would be my first suspicion.

If running 3-4 gallons full flow from the bottom comes out basically clean with only a touch of grit or color, then the problem is corroding pipes or iron algae or such forming in the pipes, assuming this is appearing at multiple faucets - not just one (which could be just local corrosion in that faucet because of different metal used in manufacture).

Water softener - almost always if it is causing sediment or grit in the lines (either resin or salt passing through intact or rusting in the water softener tanks if steel, or causing loosening of materials in the pipes, it will show up roughly equally in hot and cold - or if an incoming sediment or grit or something from the water softenrer itself the hot water will actually usually be much cleaner because it settles out in the water heater tank.

Here is another previous similar question about grit, with links to a couple of more, FYI:

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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