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Old 04-26-2012, 10:34 PM   #1
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Blue sediment in my water system?

When I dewinterized I had no water coming out of the kitchen sink, so I unscrewed the aerator screen on the end of the faucet, and it was completely clogged with blue sediment which looks to me like copper. I have copper pipes except for a short stretch I replaced last year. Is this typical of copper pipes over time, or did the RV antifreeze do something to them?
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:08 PM   #2
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When I dewinterized I had no water coming out of the kitchen sink, so I unscrewed the aerator screen on the end of the faucet, and it was completely clogged with blue sediment which looks to me like copper. I have copper pipes except for a short stretch I replaced last year. Is this typical of copper pipes over time, or did the RV antifreeze do something to them?
Steph.

Sounds like the water purifier cartridge has ruptured.

Andy
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:16 PM   #3
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Sounds like sediment build up from the hot water heater. Try flushing it and see what comes out.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:16 PM   #4
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There isn't a water purifier in the system.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:20 PM   #5
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I worry about what's going on inside the old water heater. I have been flushing the whole system out thoroughly because I didn't do the bypass thing right and got antifreeze in the water heater too.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:11 AM   #6
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It is probably the normal lime/calcuim buildup from the water heater that you have disturbed while flushing.....but blue?????

Maybe there is a reaction between the AF and the deposits which turned it blue.

I do try and periodically remove the WH plug and flush out the deposits. It is normal to get them.....how much....depends on the cumulative water quality/composition over time.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:30 AM   #7
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Sounds kind of familiar. Some years back -- still the old copper system -- ours had low flow at the kitchen sink. I traced it to one end of the riser between the sink and the copper. The stuff was some kind of mineral, rock hard and dark. (I used an electric drill to break it up and clear the clog.)


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Old 04-27-2012, 09:50 AM   #8
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When I dewinterized I had no water coming out of the kitchen sink, so I unscrewed the aerator screen on the end of the faucet, and it was completely clogged with blue sediment which looks to me like copper.
Stephanie, that sounds like our experience with our old water heater in our home.
It turned out that our sacrificial anode had been consumed (sacrificed). Replacing the anode and extensive flushing fixed our problem.
If your '68 Caravel had an anode (and I think they did back then) you might replace and flush.
Try to verify if the original was originally aluminum or magnesium. Good luck.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:27 AM   #9
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Blue color

Copper oxides are blue in color. So I would be sure it involves the copper. It may be just a harmless build up caught in the screen over a long time. If not, it may be an indication that you have had something acidic in the plumbing. It may or may not involve the antifreeze.
At this point the short term answer is to throughly flush the system with clear water. Then check all the other filter screens in the plumbing fixtures.

It is possible that you may have highly acidic water where you live, being that the area has seen a good deal of volcanic activity in the past. When we lived in Enumclaw, we had to have all the copper plumbing in our new house replaced, because our well, which was located in old mud flow from Mt Rainer, was so acidic. It had eaten small holes in the plumbing and was staining our fixtures blue. We added a water purifying system that made the water more neutral.

After reading the ingredients label on a jug of RV antifreeze, I decided that it was never going in my fresh water plumbing. I use a little in the waste water plumbing traps and in the holding tanks. I winterize as Airstream recommends. That is very throughly with an air compressor. I have been doing that with RV systems for nearly 20 years, without any freezing damage. In my opinion is is quicker, less messy, less trouble and more effective if done properly.

Ken
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:33 AM   #10
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I beg to differ on the earlier made statment about there not being a water filter in the system. In 2007 there are some models (I believe it may have been a mid year change of equipment) that do have a water filter cartridge at the faucet head.....

So Andy may know of what he wrote.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:38 AM   #11
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I beg to differ on the earlier made statment about there not being a water filter in the system. In 2007 there are some models (I believe it may have been a mid year change of equipment) that do have a water filter cartridge at the faucet head.....

So Andy may know of what he wrote.
I thought we were talking about a 1968 Airstream here.

My guess is that the blue is corrosion from the copper that has accumulated over the years. If you clear it out, you should be fine.

Science Project: You could take some of the blue stuff and burn it in a flame. It should burn green if its copper.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:51 PM   #12
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Yes, it's a 68, and if there was a filter anywhere in the system I would know by now

This is the first year I've used AF, and it's a pain. Next year I'll just blow it out like previous years!

When I get home I'll see if I can figure out if there's an anode in the WH.
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:57 PM   #13
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Here's a picture of the aerators with the blue sediment in them and a picture of the water heater. I labelled the waterheater picture. There is not much there but a spigot to drain the heater from, and what looks like a pressure relief valve. Where would the anode be if there was one? There's nothing on the backside of the heater except the water pipes.


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Old 04-28-2012, 05:10 PM   #14
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gas fired versus electric

Stephanie, I believe only electric powered water heaters would have an anode. The Gas units just heat a chamber with a gas flame and the water surrounds the chamber (heat exchanging chamber). Your photo shows that clearly. I do not know about the blue granules, most RV anti-freeze I have seen is pink, but as has been previously mentioned, copper, when it "blooms" usually has a bluish tint to it. Perhaps the anti-freeze you used has caused some accumulations of copper bloom to release and flow with the water to the spigots.
bill
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