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Hall
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-28
Germantown, OH
kudos:2

Cloudy/milky hot water

I'm mainly asking out of curiosity as this involves the water where I work - I may or may not bring it up with the landlord.

Anyway, we moved into this location on Nov 1. It was unused for almost a year, other than for storage. It has a 6-gallon AO Smith electric water heater that looks reasonably new.

Problem is, the (hot) water comes out of the faucet milky white. I've let it run for a few minutes and no change.






The milky foam on top eventually goes away and it clears up real well (looks clear enough to drink -- but I don't !!).

What causes this ? How can it be fixed ?


Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
Since it looks like foam and clears up my guess would be that the water somehow is becoming aerated. This would be especially true if you get to see any residual at the bottom of the cup after the water cleared up. I'm assuming you only have one water faucet that you can get hot water from since the water heater is so small. Is it possible to open the drain valve on the water heater to take a sample? That would prove that the problem is that inside the heater.


Raphion

join:2000-10-14
Samsara
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Hall
It does that here too when it's cold enough outdoors. I'm not sure what causes it, but I am sure that it's air and/or chlorine gas that is quickly coalescing and bubbling out of the water as it comes out of the tap.

The fact that it's does it when it's cold outdoors should be a hint as to what's going on. Looks like something for me to google tonight. My guess would be that the colder water gets more air or chlorine in it for some odd reason, and the heat helps it coalesce faster, but not untill it gets out from under pressure.


PSWired

join:2006-03-26
Annapolis, MD
reply to Hall
»antoine.frostburg.edu/chem/senes···ty.shtml

Gases such as oxygen are more soluble in cold water than hot water. The gases in the cold water entering a water heater (especially from a colder outside reservoir or water tower) can reach saturation as the water is heated. When the pressure of the water (and dissolved gases) is quickly reduced at the faucet, the gases come out of solution and form tiny bubbles, making the water look milky.


Raphion

join:2000-10-14
Samsara
Well I was pretty close.


Hall
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-28
Germantown, OH
kudos:2
reply to Msradell
I didn't notice any residue on the bottom and yes, there's just one faucet (restroom) in our office. I could probably get some water out of the water heater itself.... We'll see.


tp0d
yabbazooie
Premium
join:2001-02-13
Carnegie, PA
kudos:6
If the heater sits full of water for more than 2mo, no usage, it can develop bacteria/etc that can do this to the water. This is why mfg's recommend to drain any tanks for long term storage. Anode erosion can do this as well.

Turning the heater up to max for 24hrs or chlorinating the system will usually take care of the issue. A fast flow purge after either option cleans the system out.

-j
--
if it aint broke, tweak it!!
currently on FiOS (kick aZZ!)


Hall
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-28
Germantown, OH
kudos:2
I can certainly try the option of max temperature, but I presume that opening the bathroom faucet isn't sufficient for a "fast flow purge". No ?

How do you add chlorine ? Just asking - I'm not going to attempt this, mind you. There is an odd fitting type that I've never seen before in the cold water supply line. It's about 3" tall with a very thin hex-shaped piece at the top (as if it unthreads).

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
Disconnect the inlet (outlet may be better) and pour in bleach.


tp0d
yabbazooie
Premium
join:2001-02-13
Carnegie, PA
kudos:6
Dont need to disconnect any fittings. just partially drain heater, remove relief valve, use funnel. 1 cup bleach per 10 gallons, leave in system for 12+hrs

-j
--
if it aint broke, tweak it!!
currently on FiOS (kick aZZ!)