I am getting a white deposit from my gas hot water heater, which is stopping up the aerators on my faucets. What is it and how do I stop it?
ZC from Fairfax, VA.
If the "deposit" is crusty and is literally fused to the aerator screen rather than just loose bits and pieces, it sounds suspiciously like a mineral deposit. These are not caused by the hot water heater but rather by minerals in the water itself. Water carries minerals that can accumulate over time as crusty sediment on faucet aerators, showerheads and other plumbing fixtures. The pipes in a home can become blocked solid under the right (or wrong) conditions! The solution to the problem varies from house to house, depending on the nature of the minerals. Professional water treatment, as opposed to simple filtering, is about the only way I know to solve this problem. Normal filters you would purchase in a hardware store do not effectively remove minerals "in solution".
If the material in your aerators are instead loose pieces of varying sizes, there are two possibilities. First, you might just have sucked "normal" sediment into the aerators. Such sediment can be stirred up during the flushing of water mains in city water systems. Installing a whole house particulate filter just inside of the main water shutoff to your home can solve this problem. These are available at hardware stores and can be user-installed if you have basic plumbing skills such as cutting pipe and soldering.
Then again, you may have an accumulation of sediment within the hot water heater tank. If this gets stirred up, it is possible the sediment could travel from the tank to your aerators where it would become trapped in the screens. In that case, drain down the water filter to clean out the sediment followed by flushing out your hot water pipes through a spigot that does not have an aerator, such as in your tub.
copyright 2001 G.G. Alonzy
Have a small home repair question for THE NATURAL HANDYMAN? Just click here www.naturalhandyman.com/aitikia
For more home repair information, visit NH's growing list of original home repair articles and quality links www.naturalhandyman.com
If this information has been valuable to you, please consider making a small donation to support NH's free service to the home repair community! For more information, please visit our "Friends" page www.naturalhandyman.com/friends
The Natural Handyman Site Directory
- Home Repair Articles www.naturalhandyman.com/iip
- Home Repair Links Library www.naturalhandyman.com/linkslibrary
- NH's Bookshop www.naturalhandyman.com/bookshop
- Find a handyman at www.naturalhandyman.com/network
- Win unique home repair gifts and prizes at www.naturalhandyman.com/contest
Please read the important copyright and disclaimer information is located at www.naturalhandyman.com/copyright
More Tips & Tools to Help You
Live Better...For Less
- Is your family normal? See how other households spend their money
- 5 big bills you can cut fast
- 5 frugal ways to expand your living space
- What's on sale in November
- 4 steps to a simpler (and more frugal) life
- Kids' activities for Thanksgiving gatherings
- 5 ways to reduce the cost of kids' clothing
- What's the best way to bring a puppy into your family?
- 13 things to teach your children that will make their financial lives easier
- How a single mom can create multiple income streams
- Instead of toys for Christmas
- What is the cost of raising a child?
- Spouse income calculator
- Should my spouse work, too?
- College savings calculator
- Home budget calculator