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Old 09-01-2010, 06:50 PM   #1
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White chips in the water line

We occasionally have to clean the screens in the faucets because of small white chips that accumulate. I originally assumed they were from the water heater. Recently, we were experiencing low water pressure at the toilet and all the faucets.
Using the water pump made no difference. When we took the RV in for repair, the service guy showed us about a 1/4" of white chips in a coffee cup he extracted at the toilet connection and the sink connections. And, the toilet only has cold water going into it.

It's been a month, and the pressure in the faucets is low again. And, again, the water pump makes no difference, so I assume there is clogging again. Do you have any idea what might be happening? We have water filters coming in, and screens at the spigot and at the entrance to the coach. The chips are way too big to fit thru the screen. So, they either are building inside the coach, or, there is stuff already in the pipes that is being eroded away.

Any thoughts?
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:07 PM   #2
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Do the chips dissolve in vinegar or lemon juice? If so, it's probably lime scale that comes from hard water. I know a good flushing will help purge the stuff, but I don't know what to do to keep it from building up. I hope another member will know, because I'd like to keep it at bay myself. Virtually all the CG's we stay at have hard water of some degree.

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Old 09-01-2010, 07:10 PM   #3
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It sounds like hard water deposits. The calcuim is coming off of the water lines and floating to the screen and getting caught. You might try to flush out the lines with CLR or Vinegar then flush with alot of fresh water. Read the CLR I am not sure if they recommend in drinking water, they do for a coffee maker.
Just a thought
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:58 PM   #4
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I use a water softner that helps. You can get information at Camping World or just Google "RV warer softner" They make a huge difference with very hard water and are easy to use and maintain.
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Old 09-02-2010, 04:41 AM   #5
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Are you sure it isn't little pieces of plastic from the water lines where they were cut or from the tank where drilling, etc. was done during installation/construction?

A lot of these guys don't clean up after themselves very well.
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldChief7155 View Post
Are you sure it isn't little pieces of plastic from the water lines where they were cut or from the tank where drilling, etc. was done during installation/construction?
Do the vinegar or lemon juice test. If they dissolve, they aren't plastic.

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Old 09-02-2010, 01:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gator67 View Post
When we took the RV in for repair, the service guy showed us about a 1/4" of white chips in a coffee cup he extracted at the toilet connection.
Any thoughts?
Don't drink out of that coffee cup

Sounds like some kind of mineral deposits to me too. We use a house filter adapted to garden hose fitting on our water supply. You never know what the water will be like so a half way decent carbon filter removes chlorine and most junk.
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Old 09-02-2010, 04:24 PM   #8
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Hmmm, I am thinking it is residue from the manufacturing process.
I would disconnect the main water line from the tank, add an extension to the outside of the coach, and flush the tank real good.
I would not use the pump.
Then I would put maybe a couple of gallons of white vinegar in the fresh water tank, and run it throughout the system, let it sit for 6 hours of so then flush the system with city water a couple of times.
If you put a external water filter on the incoming line to the coach, anything in the water won't get inside.
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Old 09-02-2010, 06:52 PM   #9
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Sounds like the anoid rod, if you have one, it breaks down and will leave little white flakes in the water...Happy Trails..
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:03 PM   #10
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I have never heard of that one. However, until only recently did Attwood put anode rods in their water heaters? So you need to determine what brand you have and if it's suburban you have an anode rod, I think its 15/16'th sized socket, with a 6" extension and very little pressure to remove. Put teflon tape on the threads of the new one and put back into the tank, and again, only get it snug good, so it does not leak. It should be checked about every 6 months and changed when 40% of it is gone.

If Attwood, you won't have one unless you have put it in yourself, or the unit is within the last couple of years, and maybe not even then.

Suburban - Steel tank porcelain lined
Attwood - Aluminum Tank polymer lined.
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:04 PM   #11
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Minerals in water naturally stick to the piping. Even here at home, where we use a Culligan water softener, when I modify the copper plumbing the pipe inside is coated with a white crust/powder.It will flake easily when disturbed, and get caught by the faucet screens.
Our new 5er fresh water tank had (I discovered later) a lot of shavings inside from the installation. The water pump slowed to a trickle, would not self-prime, and I had a headache. Finally I removed the pump filter, and saw nothing. Did you know these pumps have an inlet filter? Anyway_ I disassembled the filter and the screen was coated with something clear. Washing didn't help, so next was compressed air. NOW WE'RE TALKING! Got the screen clean, replaced it, and my headache was gone.
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:30 AM   #12
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We have been fighting this problem for years. it is the high mineral content of some water supplies. since we spend a lot of time in las Vegas or parts of Arizona we expose ourselves to water with a mineral content higher than 400 parts per million. The first thing to suffer is the hotwater tank and hot water lines. The build up in the hot water tank led to pin hole leaks and finally replacement. When we pulled out the old tank and looked inside it was caked with white mineral build up every where. I think I will try the vinegar idea, but how can I introduce several gallons of vinegar into my fresh water tank?
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Old 09-06-2010, 02:35 AM   #13
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Would not an external filter assembly take the minerals and chlorine out of the water prior to it entering the coach, thus stopping this issue at that point?

I am going to engage my external filters (built in) once I head south. It seems to keep things working better if I do that.
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Old 09-06-2010, 06:36 AM   #14
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Hard water is really tough to deal with. Your typical whole-house carbon filters are not a solution. The carbon filters can only catch what is already a particle, except for the chorine part and then that is a chemical reaction with the carbon. The minerals in the hard water are in solution and precipitate out as they come in contact with plumbing. If simple filters would work, then no one would ever need a water softener.

A reverse osmosis (RO) filter will do the trick but they are pricey and typically need a lot of maintenance (frequent filter changes). A water softener (which is sort of a filter in it's own right) is next. It is less expensive but is needs a lot of attention.
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