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 Posted: Sun Nov 16th, 2008 05:58 pm
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neverdunlookin
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We replaced our hot water heater about a month ago with an Indirect heater from Vaughn.  I immediately noticed a distinct smell from the hot water which, at first, I thought smelled like chlorine.  The straw that broke the camel's back, though, was that after I washed my hair, it felt like STEEL WOOL!  It was brittle, dull and coarse, and stuck straight out.    

The plumber who installed the heater said he had never heard of anything like that, and promptly took another call.  Undeterred, I had my water district come to test the water.  He called me right away to say I wasn't crazy and that the Ph was 10.5!  A woman I spoke with at the supplier contacted Vaughn who said to run my hot water out (2x if necessary) and maybe this would purge anything at the bottom of my tank.  I did that, but nothing changed. 

Not sure where to turn now.  Does anyone know what would cause such a high Ph and any ideas how I can remedy this?  Thanks so much.

Neverdunlookin  

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 Posted: Sun Nov 16th, 2008 06:59 pm
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eleent
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Hello:  If you know the ph of the water coming in is close to neutral (7), than another call to Vaughn, tech department might be good.  Assuming it is a "stone lined" (concrete) tank I don't see anything else that could affect ph in what you've described.

Please do keep us in the loop.

Yours,  Larry

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 Posted: Sun Nov 16th, 2008 09:11 pm
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neverdunlookin
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Larry,

Thanks for your quick response.  Yes, I know that the cold water ph is 7.5.  The latest suggestion from Vaughn was to drain the tank if running the hot water out did not resolve the ph problem.  

I would like to know what is causing all this before I call the plumber to drain it.  I'm pretty sure the tank is "stone-lined" but I'm having trouble finding it in the literature or on the Vaughn website. 

BTW, the water test also revealed that the conductivity is 480us for the hot water vs. 186us for the cold water.  Not sure what that means. 

Still on the trail, Leslie 

 

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 Posted: Mon Nov 17th, 2008 02:16 am
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eleent
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Hello:  It's only a guess, but I suspect salts from the cured/curing concrete are being dissolved into the hot water, increasing its conductivity and raising the ph.  Filling-heating-flushing a few rounds will likely help fix the trouble.  That is work that should not require a plumber.  Once the tank is hot, turn off power to the pump; close cold inlet; open hot tap and open drain.  To refill, close drain; turn cold water on; close hot tap once solid water runs out and turn pump back on. 

I'd still want to talk with Vaughn to make sure the tank is OK, has a full warranty and will be replaced if the problem doesn't go away quickly.  I'd also ask what they do to cure the stone lining.  I'd like to know :cool:

Yours,  Larry

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 Posted: Mon Nov 17th, 2008 10:57 am
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neverdunlookin
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Larry,  

I was happy to see your reply - it sounds like you may have something there, and I hope the cure is that simple.  I know very little about these heaters and wonder where the salts from the cured/curing concrete are coming from.  Your advice is pretty much as Vaughn advised, but your instructions more specific. 

I'll talk to Vaughn again, try your fix (if they agree) and get back to you on this.  I appreciate your help - this site is invaluable!

Thanks again, Leslie :cool:  

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 Posted: Sun Nov 30th, 2008 12:46 pm
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neverdunlookin
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Well, without draining the tank, it seems that we may have used enough hot water to bring the ph down... (?)  The odor has subsided somewhat and my hair seems to be softer (the main goal here - joke!).  But in all seriousness, I think time has been an asset.  If the hot water still has an odor I will consider draining the tank. 

Thanks for your invaluable advice.  So much easier than dealing with Vaughn.   

Leslie B

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 Posted: Sun Nov 30th, 2008 11:58 pm
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eleent
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Hello:  I dealt with the folks at Vaughn some years ago and they were nice to me.  Consider sending a letter to the president (Jim Vaughn the third), suggesting ways they might improve their service/performance. 

Vaughn Corporation
P.O.Box 5431 • 26 Old Elm Street
Salisbury, Massachusetts 01952
tel: 800-282-8446 • fax: 978-462-4683/6497


I'm hopeful they will be appreciative :cool:

Yours,  Larry

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 Posted: Mon Dec 1st, 2008 11:05 am
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neverdunlookin
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Larry,

Such a great idea really.  Thank you so much for suggesting I communicate with Vaughn, I'm sure I will learn something.  As I said, the problem is not completely resolved but enough so I can live with it.  It would be interesting, however, to see what Vaughn has to say about the increased ph; I should have the hot water tested again if the water company would do it again. 

This website has been soooo helpful.  I never thought the Internet would come in so handy. 

Again, thanks for your wise advice and attention.

Leslie B

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