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Thread: Whirlpool

  1. #1
    David Banks's Avatar
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    Default Whirlpool

    Whirlpool drained very slowly and left rust colored residue. Pump was also very loud. Any ideas?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Whirlpool

    May be just a very dirty system.

    Some pumps are LOUD anyway, others are REAL LOUD when not mounted properly.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Whirlpool

    Call the plumber.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Whirlpool

    Quote Originally Posted by David Banks View Post
    Whirlpool drained very slowly and left rust colored residue. Pump was also very loud. Any ideas?
    Well, I think Nick's right and a plumber would be advisable for this one case because you can't go back and do it again. However, for future instances, a number of things could have happened, but you didn't give very much information.

    When did you notice the discoloration? Did you watch the tub fill?
    How old was the house? Copper lines? Galvanized?
    Vacant or occupied? Used a lot or expensive decoration?
    What kind of noisy? Bad impeller noisy? Vibration noisy? 200 HP with a turbo noisy?
    How did the features of the tub perform over time?
    Was there a separate shower or a shower over the tub? Was this the master bedroom?

    I used to start filling the tub and then go do something else. Eventually, I learned that it was important for me to stand and watch it, at least for a few minutes. I run the hot water first for about a minute, then shut it off and run cold. Sometimes that residue is in the supply and has nothing to do with the circulation system.

    The slow drain rate could also be a red herring regarding the features of the whirlpool. Although the drain rate may be significant, I think it's more likely to be related to the drain rather than the tub.

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  5. #5
    David Banks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whirlpool

    Thom. When did you notice the discoloration? When I first turned on the water I did notice some discoloration.
    Did you watch the tub fill? Yes. But discoloration not as noticeable until drained.
    How old was the house? 1990
    Copper lines? Galvanized? Copper
    Vacant or occupied? Used a lot or expensive decoration? Occupied.
    What kind of noisy? Bad impeller noisy? Vibration noisy? 200 HP with a turbo noisy? Not sure.
    How did the features of the tub perform over time? Ha?
    Was there a separate shower or a shower over the tub? Was this the master bedroom? Master Bath. Separate shower.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Whirlpool

    Quote Originally Posted by David Banks View Post
    Thom. When did you notice the discoloration? When I first turned on the water I did notice some discoloration.
    Did you watch the tub fill? Yes. But discoloration not as noticeable until drained.
    How old was the house? 1990
    Copper lines? Galvanized? Copper
    Vacant or occupied? Used a lot or expensive decoration? Occupied.
    What kind of noisy? Bad impeller noisy? Vibration noisy? 200 HP with a turbo noisy? Not sure.
    How did the features of the tub perform over time? Ha? What I meant was, did the jets, booster (if present), all function as intended?
    Was there a separate shower or a shower over the tub? Was this the master bedroom? Master Bath. Separate shower.
    Okay. I think there are a couple of possibilities to help you next time.
    If possible, always ask the owners if the whirlpool is used regularly, seldom, or never. You may be surprised by the number of times you get "never". Just like a pool pump or dishwasher, the more it's run, the better the pump assembly will perform. Look at the pump. Where and how is it installed? If the noise is the result of vibration, it's usually pretty easy to diagnose by touching the motor and or various components that it makes contact with. For example, the motor isn't properly installed and is vibrating on the slab or against the tub.

    Likewise, if it is impeller noise or noise generated by the motor, it's a matter of hearing the distinctive high pitched whine a few times and you'll know. If you don't own a mechanic's stethescope, buy one. They're cheap and handy.

    Before you run any water, close the drain. Start with the hot water. If there is any discoloration, stop the water, but don't drain right away. Go out and check the age and general condition of the water heater. What kind of shape is it in? Does it look like it has been maintained, i.e., does it seem logical that it has been flushed on a regular basis or is there stuff stored all around it? Does the drain valve operate? Is it even functional?

    If you use the same process on other lavatories and tubs, do you get the same discoloration? Start suspecting the water heater.

    Now go back and drain the tub. You'll know what the sediment looks like with no evaluation of the whirlpool itself. Go ahead and run the hot water with the drain open until all discoloration is absent. Shut it off and do the same thing with cold water. When everything is running clear, fill the tub, but don't turn on the jets. Go do something else for a while and let the water settle. When you come back either the water will be clear and the tub clean or you will see the sediment on the bottom of the tub. If any sediment is present, you will know it is from the supply because you haven't run the tub.

    Now turn it on. When you are finished inspecting the system, again let the water settle. Don't drain it right away. If it started out clear and the tub clean, but now there is crap present, you know it is originating with the circulation system because you haven't introduced any more supply.

    The job you did today was a 17 years old house with probably a 17 years old pump and motor assembly and maybe a 17 years old water heater. You probably have those answers. In a case like that, even with the best expected performance, I tell my Clients how they performed during the inspection AND that they should be prepared to replace both in the short term. Consider the average warranties on those two items. If I get exceptional noise from a whirlpool motor that old, I suggest that they get a plumber's estimate for repair or replacement.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Whirlpool

    Quote Originally Posted by David Banks View Post
    Whirlpool drained very slowly and left rust colored residue. Pump was also very loud. Any ideas?
    Looks like rust in the water. Could be from an old water heater or dirt in the water lines. Could they have been working on the lines in the area? When the flush the water lines, you can get water that leaves crud like that behind.

    If the pump was just loud, and did not make any strange sounds (grinding, metal against metal, clicking, buzzing) I would not worry about it.

    Based on what I'm seeing in the picture and the information, I would not have called this out. What I would have done is washed the tub out and filled the tub back up and see if it happens again. Before I fill a tub, I always let the water run for a few minutes. This cleans out the lines and it also lets you see if the tub has any leaks before you add in 100 to 300 gallons of water.

    How slow did it drain? Big tubs take a little time to drain. If you think that it was slow then report it as being slow to drain and that they need correct as needed. 99.9% chance that the rust has noting to do with the slow drain

    Also Whirlpool is a brand name, if it is not a Whirlpool you should call it a hydro-massage tub. I know this is picky, but it ranks up with Sheetrock and drywall!

    Last edited by Scott Patterson; 06-22-2007 at 07:43 AM.
    Scott Patterson, ACI
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    Default Re: Whirlpool

    "Whirlpool drained very slowly and left rust colored residue. Pump was also very loud. Any ideas?"

    I "assumed" the water had been clear before the pump was operated and this was from 'the whirlpool system'.

    Bad assumption on my part. Thom gave a good explanation on why it was a bad assumption - could have been from the other sources.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
    David Banks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whirlpool

    Thanks all. I filled the tub above the jets and discoloration was not noticable before I started pump. I did notice some discoloration when I first started running water but it then seemed very slight. Next time I will run the water longer before filling tub. I ran water in kitchen and baths tubs and did not notice any of this same discoloration.
    As to the pump I guess I need more experiance in noise detection.
    Drain was really slow. Seemed to stay at jet level for ever. Went and did Master Bedroom came back and still only half drained.


  10. #10
    Chad Fabry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whirlpool

    I don't turn on hydro massage tubs. Their operation is excluded from my report.

    They're infrequently used, almost never properly sanitized after use and are bacterial havens for every nefarious bio film bacteria known to man.

    Take a fat guy's sweat, body dirt, bodily fluids, and sloughed skin. Mix it with nice warm water, stir well, ferment for weeks at a time in moist dark environments. Then, aerosolize the resulting petri dish of bad things and breathe it all in. For desert, reach into the discolored water and pull the drain stopper.

    I"ll die happy having had a minimum of rashes, no instances of Legionnaire's and zero respiratory infections that lead to pneumonia or emphysema.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Whirlpool

    Chad, you make a good point. I do inspect, but always note the biological dangers. I also make it a point to at least rinse my hand and arm after pulling the stopper. We have a pretty high chlorine content in the city water around here, so I figure it will kill at least some of the nasties, but you make me want to sterilize myself or use some of those shoulder length gloves to reach into the water!

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Whirlpool

    Wimps. If you don't give your immune system a challenge every once in while, it gets complacent and weak! Reach in there with both arms! Hug those toilets!

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Whirlpool

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    Wimps. If you don't give your immune system a challenge every once in while, it gets complacent and weak! Reach in there with both arms! Hug those toilets!
    John,

    Is this a photo of you in early training for this career path?

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Whirlpool

    No, this is.

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Whirlpool

    Here's a tub for good soaking in. Just don't grab the electrical panel to the side.

    Those mosquito larvae swimming against the skin is like a little massage.

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Whirlpool

    Sorry wrong pics. Here they are.

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  17. #17
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whirlpool

    I can hear ole Bubba now...
    "Honey, can you come over here and suck on this here wadder hose... I need to siphon that thur wadder outta da tub."


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