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Cloudy hot water

Tim_5 Member Posts: 37
I have a customer that is getting milky white water( as white as the background on this page) from the kitchen sink faucet, only the hot and only this fixture. the rest of the house is crystal clear. We replaced the faucet thinking it may be pulling in air through a small leak in the cartridge caising a venturi effect, no luck. we then disconnected the supply tube and we got the same milky water. I have drained and flushed the water heater, it also has a point of use charcoal filter on the spout but with the filter on or off we get the same. We are located North of Chicago with Lake Michgan water that is as they say the one of best treatment plants in the country. I've been in this industry for 33 years and have never seen anything like this, can anyone lend a suggestion.



  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    supply lines

    Copper or plastic?  Dishwasher tee'd in? 
  • Tim_5
    Tim_5 Member Posts: 37
    sent from my home computer

    Copper lines, yes, the dishwasher is teeded in with a 1/2" tee and angle stop. It may be possible that this connection may be causing some sort of venturi effect, never even considered that a possoble cause. Maybe a leak at the air gap fitting on the dishwasher is pulling air in but not leaking water out ?.  
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,188
    does it clear up....

    after a minute or so? Is there a precipitate in the water? Hate to say it... you may have to re-pipe that entire section to assure that there is nothing odd in the piping.
  • Tim_5
    Tim_5 Member Posts: 37
    cloudy water response

    You got me with precipitate, i am concerened that there may be something in the piping that is causing excesive turbulence. I have emailled the Copper Dev. Assoc. to ask if they have ever had a circunmstance like this before but i don't really expect a response from them. I am going to shut off the dishwasher stop to see if that will make a diffence.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,991
    Might be

    something caught in the pipe. Do you get the same milky water in the dishwasher? 
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
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  • Tim_5
    Tim_5 Member Posts: 37
    milky water

    I hope this pcture will open, It is a JPEG file, this a what i consider a clear glass compared to what it usually looks like.

  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,965

    Hello:  It looks like air.  Does the water clear after sitting a bit?  Tiny air bubbles will float out causing a bit of fizzle on top of the water.  If so, there is air/gas in the water and possibly the plumbing is such that it collects in the line to the kitchen.  After running water for a while, does the next glass you fill still have the cloudy water? 

    A possible source of this could be an overactive anode.  Is the water treated in any way?

    Yours,  Larry
  • Tim_5
    Tim_5 Member Posts: 37

    This is a typical condo. What is wierd is the amount of cloudiness and the fact that it only happens in one fixture. The water service comes in the basement and runs across the ceiling to the water heater with the exception of one 3/4"line which feeds the kitchen, (the other fixtures are on the other side of the house above the heater) from the heater it has a 3/4" hot water pipe that runs along the ceiling to the kitchen. The kitchen has milky white hot and cold water. The anod erod is magnesium which is standard for this area. No other neighbors have the problem even though they have the same condo layout and most likely the same plumber did the install. One thing that i did not mention is that the service had Magnetic Fluid Conditioning system attached to it which has been removed.     
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,965
    edited March 2012
    Trying to narrow it down.

    Hello:  I don't understand the cloudiness being in both hot and cold.  Apart from that, a few thoughts/questions.  Does the cloudiness clear from a glass after a minute or so?  This tells us if it really is a gas in the water.  Does it only happen on first draw in the morning, or is it still cloudy even on the second and third draws?  This indicates the gas is or isn't finding a high spot in the piping to hang out.  It also, is a clue about the gas being generated slowly overnight, or not.

    A hypothesis to check is whether the anode is involved.  Removing the rod for only a few days and putting a plug in it's place will show whether or not the amount of gas at the tap is reduced or stopped.  If it is, you know the anode is involved.  There's some homework  :~)

    Yours,  Larry
  • Tim_5
    Tim_5 Member Posts: 37
    cloudy water

    Removing the anode is about the only thing i have not done yet, that will be my next move. The water is cloudy all times of the day, even running continuously it still remains cloudy. However at some moment it will clear up considerably but not completely and we can't seem to figure out what causes it to clear up.

    Thanks for your input.

  • KH
    KH Member Posts: 4
    Any solution?

    Did you ever figure out what it is?  I have the same problem in my bathroom sink after our renovation.  It is only in that bathroom sink and not in the bath (in the same room.)  Is it harmful?
  • Tim_5
    Tim_5 Member Posts: 37
    cloudy water


    No i did not, we believe it is caused by a combination of things, temperature, pressure and the anode rod. Ours cleared up pretty well and we don't really know why. Our next step would be to remove the Anode rod from the water heater but because it was happening on both the hot and cold we have not done that yet. I really think she may be on the end of a water main that may have something to do with it.

    It ( well our circumstances) is not harmful, it is trapped gas(air), and if you let it set a while it will clear up. 

    Good luck
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Air in water:

    I've seen this on and off for years. Unless it smells or does anything like that, it always seemed to go away on its own.

    When I add more Calcite to my neutralizer filter, I get it for a while and it goes away.

    Unless you decide otherwise, or with symptoms of nefarious things, I'd take "a wait and see" attitude.

  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,253
    Did you check the stop?

    If the valve under the faucet is junk inside it may be causing turbulence or a piece of washer broke loose and is in the outlet of the stop.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • Tim_5
    Tim_5 Member Posts: 37
    cloudy water

    Removed stops, removed compression rings and cut pipe back to eliminate depression where ring was, new faucet. same results.


  • goats
    goats Member Posts: 1
    foam in dishwasher & cloudy hot water

    Hot water from only my kitchen tap is very cloudy . When the dishwasher is on with no soap the water forms a thick white foam.  Can you tell me what to do.  The water pump went on my dishwasher , bought a new machine and am afraid to use it now.
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,965
    Might be fun...

    ... to see if you get the cloudy water at the hose bibb on the incoming main line.  If so, installing an air separator could be useful.  It would need to take the line pressure and not be able to rust of course!

    Yours,  Larry
  • JoanneR
    JoanneR Member Posts: 1
    cloudy/milky water


    Once in a while, you get a glass of water and it looks cloudy; maybe milky is a better term. After a few seconds it miraculously clears up! The cloudiness might be caused by the water in the pipes being under a bit more pressure than the water in the glass, but is more likely due to tiny air bubbles in the water. Like any bubble, the air rises to the top of the water and goes into the air above, clearing up the water. Cloudy water, also known as white water, is caused by air bubbles in the water. It is completely harmless.Glasses of tap water, going from cloudy due to air bubbles, to clear, after the water has sat for a few minutes.

    It usually happens when it is very cold outside because the solubility of air in water increases as water pressure increases and/or water temperature decreases. Cold water holds more air than warm water. In the winter, water travels from the reservoir which is very cold and warms up during its travel to your tap. Some of the air that is present is no longer soluble, and comes out of solution.

    Also, water pressure has something to do with it. The water in the pipes is pressurized to a degree (which helps to get the water all the way from the water tower to your home). Water under pressure holds more air than water that is not pressurized. Once the water comes out of your tap, the water is no longer under pressure and the air comes out of solution as bubbles (similar to a carbonated soft drink). The best thing to do is let it sit in an open container until the bubbles naturally disappear.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Milk Shakes:

    Reading through this thread, I see that I commented on this thread in 2012. Nothing has changed.

    My observation was that it went away. Just like in the photo's. It never looked like it hurt anything. Nothing has changed. But the description and cause is spot on. Especially the part about pressurized water will hold more air than unpressurized air. Like heating systems that don't have enough pressure in them and the upper levels run under negative pressure. Raise the pressure and the air is all absorbed and goes away.

    Makes sense to me.
  • curioustom
    curioustom Member Posts: 1
    KH I saw your post and we have same problem going on with master bath shower remodel. Replaced the old shower valve with a new product model, and now we are getting that cloudy white water out of hot water faucet in the guest bath faucets that adjoin backside of shower wall. These faucets share same water lines. We did not have any problems with old moen, but now we do with new pfister. We have even changed out the new valve stem with another new one, and no difference in guest bath. What's the reason, what changed.....could a piece of welding solder be culprit? Installer is scratching his head...who's got the answer.....what happened? Where is air coming from, it is very curious occurrence......looking for similar fix.

  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    edited November 2015
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF