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  1. #1
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    Default FOAMING HOT WATER

    The water from this 20 year old gas fired water heater was foaming like mad. It was so heavy, I could actually pick up the foam with my hand. (town water supply)

    It was obvious that the heater was old and needed to be replaced, but I have never seen foam like this. Does anyone know what might cause this?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: FOAMING HOT WATER

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    what might cause this?
    Was the property recently winterized? ( chemical residue causing the foaming.)

    Air in the line / tank.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: FOAMING HOT WATER

    Hi Ken,

    I see some foaming in homes that have been vacant for an extended period of time. Usually clears up in a couple of seconds. Don't recall having seen it to the degree that you mentioned. Also don't know what causes it, but have only recall having seen it in unoccupied homes.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: FOAMING HOT WATER

    May be,the sacrificial annode was gone.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: FOAMING HOT WATER

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    Was the property recently winterized? ( chemical residue causing the foaming.)

    Air in the line / tank.
    The property was winterized, But I've never heard of any chemical used in potable water supply??
    The lines and tanks are just drained.

    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

  6. #6
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    Dayton,Tn
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    Default Re: FOAMING HOT WATER

    Air in water lines causes this. The source of the air - break in line anywhere - from water supply to your house, could also be malfunctioning city tower or home expansion tank, or gasses seperating from the water itself. Air gets into the water heater - people turn on their water during outages - and due to gravity, expansion, automatic mixing valves, siphoning and so on - this allows some water out of the hot water tank which then fills with air. One of the reasons the top anode (water heater) wears out first - I believe.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: FOAMING HOT WATER

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    The property was winterized, But I've never heard of any chemical used in potable water supply??
    The lines and tanks are just drained.
    S*** Happens.
    How to winterize household waterlines in severe environments - YouTube

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: FOAMING HOT WATER

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    Billy,

    Thanks for the link. Very interesting, but that looks like compressed air not chemicals.

    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: FOAMING HOT WATER

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    Billy,

    Thanks for the link. Very interesting, but that looks like compressed air not chemicals.
    Yeah I know.

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  10. #10
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    Sep 2010
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    NY Finger Lakes Area
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    Default Re: FOAMING HOT WATER

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    The property was winterized, But I've never heard of any chemical used in potable water supply??
    The lines and tanks are just drained.
    ...........potable anti-freeze pretty common. Usually pink in color. It will foam when flushed with fresh water. Was the water heater by-passed?............Greg


  11. #11
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    Default Re: FOAMING HOT WATER

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Booth View Post
    ...........potable anti-freeze pretty common. Usually pink in color. It will foam when flushed with fresh water. Was the water heater by-passed?............Greg
    This is my guess, (I see this in my camper each spring) normally they will just blow out the lines and put this anti-freeze in the traps. But could be they put it in the lines. My understanding is that Anti-Freeze (including food grade) is not to be used in a water heater. My guess, it was and what you are seeing is a reaction with the lime deposits in the WH.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Corinth MS
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    Default Re: FOAMING HOT WATER

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post

    Somewhat off the original topic but I wanted to weigh in as it seems that several of you guys do winterizations on your own property- home, RV, boat.


    As a professional plumber ,I utilize the same type of set up when I winterize home plumbing systems that the You-tube video presented . The only thing that I would add is the use of a specialty vegetable-based lubricant in the 30+ year old compressor. All lubricated air compressors will leak small amounts of its lubricants while in use and therefore a small amounts of petroleum based lubricant would be entering into your plumbing water supply system.


    Of course an oil-less compressor could mitigate the problem of insuring the integrity of your water supply system.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: FOAMING HOT WATER

    Joe,

    All lubricated air compressors will leak small amounts of its lubricants while in use and therefore a small amounts of petroleum based lubricant would be entering into your plumbing water supply system.

    Thanks, I did not know that. Fortunately I use an oil less compressor.


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