White flakes coming from refrigerator water hose only

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slavrenz

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Hey everyone,

First time poster and visitor to the site - about the most plumbing experience I've had is replacing my toilet fill valve. I have a weird issue going on with my refrigerator water supply, and I would like your opinions before I call in the cavalry.

We moved into a new (to us - the house was built in 1890) house about 2 months ago. Some extensive renovations were done to the house in 2002, including the installation of a supply line (braided flexible stainless steel) for a refrigerator/icemaker. Ever since we moved in, I have noticed white flakes in our water once our ice cubes melt. I'm not even sure what it is - gross as it sounds, it looks like dandruff floating around in our water.

I can't seem to pin down the problem. This is only happening at the refrigerator supply line, which rules out an issue with the main water supply. But it also happens if I disconnect the supply line from the refrigerator and discharge it directly into a container, which rules out the icemaker. The weird thing is that if I set the container on the floor and discharge into it, I get the white flakes, but if the container is up on the counter, the water comes out clear.

I tried installing a Dupont-brand activated charcoal & sediment filter in line with the supply line, but this has had no effect after a month. I'm not sure if it matters, but it looks like the house used to have a water softener at some point - the hookups and piping are still present next to the water heater, and I don't know what else it could be for.

My wife wants to just buy ice cube trays, but I am determined to solve this problem. Any help you can give me would be appreciated.
 

LiQuId

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Calcium carbonate in the water, not harmfull ( actually your body needs calcium ) but astetically un pleasable. a softener would solve the problem.
 

slavrenz

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Why would it only be coming from the refrigerator line, though?
 

LiQuId

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3/8ths line would be the smallest line in the house and would act like a jet ?? i dunno really, could be also that its the lowest line. this happens often ( appearance of calcium ) in water supplys, try a tray of cubes from the kitchen tap and ill wager you get the same flakes present.
 

slavrenz

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3/8ths line would be the smallest line in the house and would act like a jet ?? i dunno really, could be also that its the lowest line. this happens often ( appearance of calcium ) in water supplys, try a tray of cubes from the kitchen tap and ill wager you get the same flakes present.
It's not just when the water freezes though. If I spray water directly from the supply line into a container, the flakes will be there (although not if the container is higher up, like at sink level).

Is the calcium carbonate just that dense? And if it's suspended as a solid in the water, shouldn't a sediment filter (this is the one I got: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000Z9I5KI/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20) remove it?

Thanks for all of your help - this is all very new to me!
 
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havasu

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How old is the filter? Were there white chunks coming from the refrigeration line before or after the filter?
 

LiQuId

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could be as simple at the Size of the particles and what your filter is capablle of filtering.
 

slavrenz

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How old is the filter? Were there white chunks coming from the refrigeration line before or after the filter?
The filter is brand new - I bought it because of this issue. As for the size of the particles, the ones that are getting through are quite visible to the naked eye. Unless the Dupont filter has a limit of 1mm particles and larger (which seems kind of ridiculous), something is at work here that I don't understand.

The white pieces are coming before the filter - I went back to the wall as far as I could to rule everything out. The only other thing I haven't tried is to replace the stainless steel flexible braided line that is connected to the wall junction - maybe there could be some sort of buildup in the line itself from the calcium carbonate. :confused:

Here is my setup:

Wall || Supply junction ->braided hose-> water filter ->braided hose-> Refrigerator

It's pretty much as straightforward as you can get.
 

LiQuId

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it is possiblle that the supply line has a buildup of calcium, mineral deposits will often coat the inside of pipes.
have you tried flushing the line with the filter on ?? if this issue was present before you got this filter then it is possiblle there is buildup on the refrigerator lines and the ones that are actually in the appliance.

most refrigerators with ice makers have a built in resovoir also, like a mini tank that could potentially scale up.

the important thing here is that calcium carbonate is not bad for you in any way, actually it has many benafits.... though it is asthetically un pleasing, it appears in ice more easilly because of the way the ice freezes, concentrating the minerals during the process.
 
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