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  1. #1
    Robert Wittenberg's Avatar
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    Default Square Crystals in Crawl Space Puddles

    Found a couple of small puddles in a crawl space yesterday. No apparent source of moisture, but there were a number of white square crystals of various sizes in the puddles. Can't tell if they were formed in the liquid (they were not found in the dry areas) or if they are some form of rodent control.

    Has anyone seen anything like this or might have some help with identification?

    I wish the pictures were a little clearer, it was near the end of a long day.

    Thanks

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  2. #2
    Ted Williams's Avatar
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    Default Re: Square Crystals in Crawl Space Puddles

    As Paul Sr. would say; I have no ideer. Did you taste them?


  3. #3
    C.Johnson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Square Crystals in Crawl Space Puddles

    Was this close to the crawl space access? and do they have a water softener? I've seen people around here store there excess water softer tablets in the crawl spaces around here, Just a thought...


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Square Crystals in Crawl Space Puddles

    Strange place for a meth lab, but not surprising.
    Not telling what the rats have been up to. A chemical analysis is the only way to solve this one, IMO.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  5. #5
    Robert Wittenberg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Square Crystals in Crawl Space Puddles

    There was some distance between the crawl space access and the puddles. The crystals were hard and not brittle. And there were refrigerant lines running above (for the air conditioner).

    And no water softener in the house.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Square Crystals in Crawl Space Puddles

    Might be those moisture (and musty smell) absorbing crystals, supposed to use them in a bucket, like a large dessicate, perhaps a bucket spilled. They swell up quite large as they absorb water. Perhaps the lines aren't well insulated and these puddles are condensation, or there is a condensation drain/pan "issue", or no drip loop for where they enter the crawlspace wall and rain, etc. is running along the insulation or between the refrigerant line and the insulation and this is the point or seam where same leaks/drains out.


    The reverse of the dessicate crystals is used in some potting soils and in soil-less growing media (moisture holding crystals) these release moisture rather than bind it more permanently. "Water crystals" is one such name, a dry ounce of these things can absorb up to a gallon of water.

    Might also be algacide or corrosion inhibitor crystals broke free from the sachet/packet (sometimes used in safe pans).

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 11-17-2010 at 04:19 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Square Crystals in Crawl Space Puddles

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Might be those moisture (and musty smell) absorbing crystals, supposed to use them in a bucket, like a large dessicate, perhaps a bucket spilled. They swell up quite large as they absorb water.
    I found a pic of silica gel, but silica crystals lack the square edges. No, HG, I'm not saying you said it was silica gel, just hunting for clues.

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  8. #8
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Square Crystals in Crawl Space Puddles

    It sure looks like some kind of formed material. The second picture even more


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Square Crystals in Crawl Space Puddles

    Quote Originally Posted by James Risley View Post
    Could have been spread by owner/plumber/anyone after a water leak/sewer leak or even to help dry soil during initial construction if rain wet soil was a problem. Big question is where is the current puddle coming from? etc.... If you need some just drop by your local Lumber yard.
    JR
    Yeah, they got puddles in the lumber yard, but why would anybody want them?

    Thanks, James. We are getting somewhere now. I relooked the OP's pic and see white specks, possibly lime, alright, but we needed the chemical name to find the crystal. That's a crawlspace chemistry lab. Check this pic.

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    Last edited by John Kogel; 11-17-2010 at 09:13 PM.
    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Square Crystals in Crawl Space Puddles

    I was referring to Polyacrylamides, Sodium polyacrylates, and flocking agents (such as crystals or granuals used for private water treatment systems other than regular "salt" based); and how prepared for first application, including those pellets and sachets prepared for safe pans, etc., some with corrosion inhibitors, some with biocides, some with both.

    If you'll note the perimeter of the area above the main "water line" contains clear media in a characteristic presentation.

    As far as the rodent activity, etc. by keeping collections of liquid water bound molecularly it would eliminate it as a source of drinking water to the rodents (and WDI's as well).

    I am curious as to the background - are we looking at a recycled pool liner?



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    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 11-18-2010 at 08:14 AM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Square Crystals in Crawl Space Puddles

    Maybe those are sugar crystals, and maybe someone using the toilet upstairs is a diabetic. :O

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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  12. #12
    RANDY NICHOLAS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Square Crystals in Crawl Space Puddles

    DYLITHIUM CRYSTALS.

    FUEL FOR THE USS ENTERPRISE.

    THAT'S WHAT CAPTAIN KIRK WAS ALWAYS LOOKING FOR.

    FOR MAX WARP SPEED.


  13. #13

    Default Re: Square Crystals in Crawl Space Puddles

    Quote Originally Posted by RANDY NICHOLAS View Post
    DYLITHIUM CRYSTALS.

    FUEL FOR THE USS ENTERPRISE.

    THAT'S WHAT CAPTAIN KIRK WAS ALWAYS LOOKING FOR.

    FOR MAX WARP SPEED.
    My vote is for "Unobtunuim"...


  14. #14
    Ralph Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Square Crystals in Crawl Space Puddles

    Aiiee captain! I'm givin er all she's got but that's all there is on impulse power! We gotta harvest them crystals from the crawl or were done fer!


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