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Powdery substance on electric water heater


boo-booj
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I just noticed a white powdery substance around and on my water heater. It looks like someone took a can of baby powder and sprinkled it all over. The water heater is approx 6 months old. It does not appear to be coming from any of the fittings and is not on or around any of the other appliances in the area (freezer, washer, dryer). Any ideas, anyone?

Polly

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Originally posted by Les

Polly,

Have you had any remodeling work done lately? How old is the house?

No where near where the water heater is (outside shed) we did have a new roof put on the main house 2 months ago but not the shed, plus it just appeared in the last day or two. When I replaced it the plumber recommended we put on galvanized fittings for where the water comes in and out because my last one had rusted out in that area, that is the only thing different from my last water heater. Could that have someting to do with it?

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Originally posted by boo-booj

I just noticed a white powdery substance around and on my water heater. It looks like someone took a can of baby powder and sprinkled it all over. The water heater is approx 6 months old. It does not appear to be coming from any of the fittings and is not on or around any of the other appliances in the area (freezer, washer, dryer). Any ideas, anyone?

Polly

Where, precisely, in relation to the water heater is the powder? Is it on the floor or is it on top of the heater, near where the flue gases come out?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Yes it is electric. When I get home this evening I will take a picture and post it, sorry I didn't have one this morning. My husband had a contractor friend of ours to come look at it. He said he had never seen anything like this but took a sample to take a plumber for us.

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Originally posted by boo-booj

Yes it is electric. When I get home this evening I will take a picture and post it, sorry I didn't have one this morning. My husband had a contractor friend of ours to come look at it. He said he had never seen anything like this but took a sample to take a plumber for us.

Carpenter ants living in the foam shell?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Don't know about that, I will look for any signs of ants, although I didn't see any this morning. I did poke my finger down on the foam core that surrounds the area where the water comes in and out but it seemed very firm, had no give or any loose material with it.

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Hi,

Well, if it were a gas water heater I'd expect that it was mineral salts from acid reacting with the flue. Since it's an electric it's hard to say. South Carolina, hmmm, baby powder, hmmm, is there any exposed framing above it? Maybe you've got powder post beetle(lychtid) frass (excrement) there. Are you sure it's white? If the floor joists above are exposed, examine them very closely for miniscule emergence holes.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Thanks, Mike, I only had a few minutes to look this morning before coming to work however I did look overhead and the ceiling is exposed but seemed no different than the rest of the ceiling and the stuff is ONLY around and on the water heater. I don't think it's coming from above because the pipes that cross over the top of an inverter "L" did not have anything on them. Polly

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Richard,

No, no, and no. I use liquid landry products, the dryer is properly vented to go outside, my children are grown and don't live in this state. My husband don't do landry and only goes to the shed to get food out of the deep freezer if I'm not there to do it. Plus the powder is ONLY on and around the water heater nothing else. I will do a more thorough inspection of the shed when I get home.

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Well, the contractor friend wiped up most of the powder, he's coming back in a couple of days to see if there is any new. However, I did get a couple of pictures that shows a little. The spots that you see in picture 1 and 2 are what I'm talking about. Picture 3 shows there's no corrusion around the water lines. I went through the rest of the shed and saw nothing else.

Polly

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