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Plumbing Experts / Calcium build up blocking valve

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by TX69, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. TX69

    TX69 TGT Addict

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    Are guest bath does not get used much and the valve in the shower/tub is now almost completely blocked by calcium. Our water heater has been rattling calcium deposits around for quite some time but will not die for the home warranty to replace it. A year or so ago the guest bath valve was "crunchy" and with a few twists of the handle the calcium came undone and it worked just fine. Now we almost have complete blockage and no hot water comes out.

    Without calling a plumber is there a way to tap n the pipes/valve to get this stuff moving or how can I fix this? Is there a way to introduce CLR to the inside f the system?
     


    Last edited: Oct 6, 2013
  2. winchster

    winchster Right Wing Extremist TGT Supporter

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    Let the water in the heater cool, add CLR, circulate it through the heater first, then circulate it through the system. Let it sit, then thoroughly flush prior to allowing water to heat.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk 2
     
  3. TX69

    TX69 TGT Addict

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    Problem is HOW to add the CLR into the water heater? I did a little more investigation and I might be able to unscrew the cold side since it has a funky looking flexible pipe, installed by the builder, that I have never seen before.

    The water heater may have a busted dip tube? If it does it may explain the rattling noise the water heater makes when the cold side is filling it? Would this explain the very slow hot water feed at the ther side of the home? The washing machine is at eh furthest distance from the water heater and has always delivered very slow hot water. athe guest bath is a few feet closer but now the tub/shower has next to zero hot water and the two sinks have low flow.

    ETA: The WH is in the garage and from where it is located the dip tube cannot be replaced without removing the WH.
     
  4. TexasRedneck

    TexasRedneck 1911 Nut Lifetime Member

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    More likely is that the scale is building in the bottom of the heater, and starting to block the dip tube. When's the last time you blew the water heater down via that drain valve.

    Will tell you this much - get a softener on that house or the problems are gonna get even worse.....
     
  5. winchster

    winchster Right Wing Extremist TGT Supporter

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    Oh, sorry, yes. Unscrew the cold feed and add there. The rattle is the calcium in the heater. You desperately need to clean the heater sounds like.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk 2
     
  6. Dawico

    Dawico TGT Addict

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    If the dip tube is busted the water heater is trash. You will have very little hot water coming out, as in high water volume just not hot.

    Be sure to shut the power/ gas off to the WH. Allowing it to run dry will kill it.

    Vinegar works well for clearing hard water deposits also. Given the volume needed to do what you plan it may be a cheaper option.
     
  7. TX69

    TX69 TGT Addict

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    It's a standard 40 gallon WH so how much vinegar should it take? How would the vinegar make it to the affected valve down stream?
     
  8. TX69

    TX69 TGT Addict

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    I found a Youtube vid where a guy took the drain spigot and turned it a half a turn to then pour vinegar into the bottom of the tank. Looked at ours again and the spigot valve cap can be removed. I am going to drain the tank, remove the valve cap, cap off the bottom of the spigot and pour as much vinegar as I can into the bottom of the tank. Costco carries big jugs of white vinegar for $4 so I'll grab a few. Let it it over night and then drain it. I did go back to the guest bath/shower valve and took the plastic knob and related hardware off. Used a small tack hammer and tapped the valve four or five times. Placed the knob back in and turned the water on cold then hot. The valve turned about 3/4 of the way and started to make a crunching sound just like before. Several turns back and forth the valve loosened up and the water flowed fine.

    I know this is a temporary fix so I need to find a way to get a solution to the valve(s) to clean the pipes out from the inside.
     
  9. Dawico

    Dawico TGT Addict

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    I would cut the power and close the inlet valve (from the wall to the cold side of the WH). Disconnect the cold inlet and turn on a hot water faucet to drain the tank some. I would pour in three gallons of vinegar and hook the system back up and turn the water back on. Turn all the faucets off except a tiny drip out of your hot side shower, and I mean tiny. Let it drip for about 24 hours. After 12 hours or so turn it up and see if it is getting any better but then turn it back down again. Vinegar takes time to dissolve calcium and lime (as does CLR or any other chemicals).

    Honestly this may not do much but should be cheap enough to try. I have never done this and you may be just screwed. If it does work a little you can repeat the process.

    You may also be able to take apart the valve as much as you can and soak the parts in vinegar if they have build up on them. Again I am not sure if you will find anything going that route. You will want to shut off all the water before trying that.

    Just be sure that you leave the WH off until you are done messing with it and run the hot water to get all the air out of the tank.
     
  10. TexasRedneck

    TexasRedneck 1911 Nut Lifetime Member

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    You can do whatever you want - but until you address the root cause, you're gonna be doing this more and more frequently. Call around and get a water softener - get them to give you a written quote, then email 'em to me and I'll take a look and make a recommendation.

    Only been doing commercial/industrial water treatment and purification for 37 years on my "day job", and residential as my side business. If you were closer, I'd hook ya up, but at least I can make sure you get a good system for the money. All things being equal, you should be looking at $1200 - $2k.
     


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