White debris particles found in water supply (C) Daniel Friedman FAQs on Particulate Debris in the Water Supply

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Debris in the water supply coming from the water heater: questions & answers about white plastic debris particles or other debris coming from water heater tank.

This is not the same in cause nor cure as black crud, sand, rust, or other particulate debris in the water building supply.

This article series explains how white and gray debris particles in the building water supply and clogging faucet strainers were traced to a bad water heater plastic dip tube.

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FAQs on Particulate Debris in the Building Water Supply & Piping

Water heater drain and flush procedure(C) Daniel Friedman

Recent questions & answers about debris in the building water supply: flush out water heater, pipes, etc.

On 2017-02-09 17:22:00.087681 by (mod) - plastic dip tube deterioriation leaves particles that clog building pipes & faucets


Thank you for your comments. I agree the disintegrating plastic or rubber Parts LS problems with both water heaters and Plumbing Systems, including clogging.

However you might want to have your water chemistry tested.

For example if the water is particularly aggressive or corrosive or acidic you may want to treat it in order to protect the rest of your plumbing system.

On 2017-02-09 12:57:32.378884 by LM

About 20 or more years ago there was a massive recall of the fill tube in hot water heaters. This was a plastic pipe inside that the fill water goes into and is taken to the bottom of the heater so the cold water is not sucked out the top of the tank.

Got ours replace thru the recall, a plumber takes the intake tube loose and the fill tube inside can be replaced.

There was nothing left of the old one, it totally dis-intrigrated as shown by pictures in this article. I just yesterday replaced the hoses that go into and our of the top of water heater.

The old one were braided outside but with a black rubber tube inside. The black tube disintergrated and first stopped up a shower valve, then more small black pieces were come out of the hot water lines around the house.

I had them replaced with stainless steel flexible hoses, no liners, just a flexible steel hose. House is about 22 years old and the old line failed and disintergrated.

Builders put cheep junk into all parts of a house, saving a few dollars, and don't care about future problems of homeowners.

On 2017-01-26 18:23:19.753467 by kkd

I figured all this out myself and cleared the faucets, my problem is, I suspect, a piece of dip tube wedged in the mixer for the shower.

My question: is there anything that I can do to dissolve this piece? This faucet was installed as part of a total redo and can't be reached thru the access panel and is also sweated in. I have replaced the cartridge and tried everything from the front.

On 2017-01-11 05:38:54.980630 by (mod)

You can use the page top or bottom contact link to send photos.

I suspect you may be seeing a bacterial contamination. Have you tried having a sample from your water or water heater or this gooey slime tested by a water test lab?

On 2017-01-10 21:49:49.750528 by totsin74

Clear slime like substance found in the tap and shower filters in he hot water aspect only of an internal house. Water board found no contamination but this build up keeps occurring. Cylinder replaced 4/5 years ago. New bathroom installed 6 weeks ago.

This problem has only happened from the installation. What is this. I have pictures but unsure how to upload them onto this site.

On 2016-12-18 14:13:58.269766 by Darryl

A plumber found this plastic chips in our hot water supply when he let the water run into a bucket from under one of our sinks.

He speculated that this was the cause of the lack of hot water in another shower. He didn't want to change the filter/cartridge under the source of the plastic was found.

He speculated it was from the hot water tank as you said. However, when our natural gas provider checked the drop tube, it was totally fine. (I have photos.)

Here's my question: the hot water tank was replaced about three years ago.

Could the plastic chips have still been in the house pipes over that time? What's my next step?

On 2016-07-29 16:21:58.705911 by (mod)

Could be rust, dirt and debris in the water supply, resin from a water softener. The white particulate debris in the article above was a bit unusual: fragments of a plastic water heater dip tube.

On 2016-07-29 16:14:27.310689 by Joni

What is black or brown crud,(rock-like)in the kitchen aerator -- definitely not white.

On 2016-01-09 16:21:21.626811 by (mod)


Sometimes the soldering during plumbing causes debris that shows up at faucet strainers etc. Remove and clean them, flush the line with the strainer off, and the problem shoudl be solved unless there is a persistent source - we can tackle that next if needed.

On 2016-01-09 16:09:37.883268 by Stan Christman

I installed a brand new hot water heater and now there are fine tan particles clogging the kitchen sink aerator and the hot water strainer on the washing machine. I filled a clear glass with the hot water going to the washing machine and it had a yellow tint. How can this be with a brand new hot water heater? Thanks for any insight you may have!

On 2015-12-31 22:34:39.837238 by (mod)

Yes, Pat, depending on plastic type there are several causes of and types of leaks that occur. I'd start at PLASTIC PIPE LEAK CAUSES - at

On 2015-12-13 23:02:18.698626 by Pat

Our Cold water PVC pipe started leaking today and when we exposed the 20" of pipe (from garage wall to joint right before entering hot water heater), we found two lateral cracks along the pipe. Any idea how such cracks can form? Again, this was the PVC pipe carrying cold water to the heater to be heated) thank you!!!

On 2015-08-28 20:21:45.891674 by Nancy Herman

We just installed a new electric water heater yesterday. All of the faucets and shower heads work except for one--the hot water spiget only trickles a small stream of water. Does anyone know why this is the case? The shut off valves underneath the sink are on.

On 2015-05-10 14:12:59.400130 by (mod)


Fill a large clear tumbler or pitcher with hot water and observe the cloudiness you describe.

Let the water stand a few minutes. If the cloudiness disappears I suspect it's fine air bubbles entrained in the water, not debris.

On 2015-05-09 22:52:55.545560 by Jim Pilling

I have a two week old A.O. Smith 40 gallon electric water heater. When I turn on the hot water, I get a white film that is in the water for about a minute and then it goes away. It also happened to a Bradford-White water heater that was in for a week.

Local plumbers can't solve the problem.

My neighbors had new water heaters installed without the problem and we all use the same water lines. I need help. Thank you.


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