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Old 07-30-2019, 03:39 PM   #1
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Foamy water

Aloha from paradise. Have a question concerning my water coming out of the faucets foamy. I thought it might be my water heater, but not too sure. I flushed the water heater four times to get rid of the stink, it worked for the most part, but water is still coming out foamy. I changed my water filter element at the beginning of the month. Could it be a bad water filter element, or could it be the water heater? I've asked several other folks here at the docks, they said their water doesn't come out foamy. Any and all assistance would be greatly appreciated. Mahalos, LUVYAPOP.
P.S. I've attached a photo of the filter I have installed. Tried to upload a short video of the water, but it's telling me to upload in video field.????
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Old 07-30-2019, 04:23 PM   #2
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Have you tried letting the foamy water settle out and see what happens, what it looks like? If it settles to plain water it may as simple as excessive amounts of air entering the system. If it separates into 2, or more, distinct entities have it tested. Your town, city, or municipality may provide that service. Best to test it and see what's in it, then you can look for the source depending on what's in it. I doubt your filter is doing it as they are mainly activated carbon.
Does your water heater heat by electric only? Does it heat through a heat exchanger from the engine? That could be your culprit!
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Old 07-30-2019, 04:43 PM   #3
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Madaqaurist is on to something. Check your engine's antifreeze level. If it is down then it is likely that engine antifreeze leaking from the coil into the water heater. That is very bad because engine antifreeze is highly toxic.


Usually the water side is pressurized to 30-40 lbs which means the water will leak into the engine coolant side, not the other way around. But if you leave your fresh water pump off when you run the engine it may have gone the other way and leaked into the fresh water side of the water heater.

If you are loosing antifreeze, then remove the coolant hoses from your water heater with the engine shut down. Then turn on the fresh water pump and pressurize the water side. Then look for drips coming out of the open nozzles where you removed the hoses from the water heater.

If it is leaking then you have to replace the water heater.

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Old 07-30-2019, 04:54 PM   #4
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+1 on the two posts suggesting to check the water heater.

It's a 'hotly contested issue' (pun intended) but I prefer to NOT use the engine coolant loop through the water heater.

Why? Because I've had those lines fail on two boats now, leading to dramatic loss of coolant to the engine feeding the heater. In both cases the engine systems caught the sudden temp increase and I immediately shut them down before any damage occurred. Well, besides having to pay $20/gallon for whatever unobtainium CAT uses to make their coolant.

That and engine heat causes the tank to heat to MUCH higher temp than you'd get from electric. This is a serious scalding risk to anyone onboard (like kids or guests). Most boats aren't going to have modern anti-scald valve mixers, making the risk that much greater.
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Old 07-30-2019, 05:01 PM   #5
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David wrote....
"If it is leaking then you have to replace the water heater"

Not always necessary.
On our last boat water pump ran with all faucets closed. I turned the pump off and ran on dockside water. I could hear water running but could find no leaks.
After many on/off cycles of pump & dockside finally figured it was back flowing from water heater to engine cooling.
Pulled the water heater and was able to simply replace the coil in the WH for engine heating. 15 min job and the yard that winterized the engine took care of it at no cost.
Some WH have a screw in coil that is easily repairable/ replaceable. The yard actually had a rebuilt on on the shelf and was going to simply braze the broken unit to put back on the shelf.
Worth checking if WH is otherwise OK.
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Old 07-30-2019, 05:09 PM   #6
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To the OP.... are you on dockside water or boat pump?


It could just be aerated water...if so look for any place a vacuum could be created.


If your ump is on, and tank is empty....but you are also on city water....if the pressures are similar, maybe the pump is partially sucking air into the system. Wild guess but possible.
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Old 07-30-2019, 07:18 PM   #7
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Thank you all for your input. I don't run a hose from the heat exchanger, the WH is heated strictly by electricity, 120V. Didn't think about air getting into the system. I just replaced some t-fittings that had a couple of drips while water was on, could be the problem. Yes, the bubbles do dissipate, but takes roughly 5 secs. I'll check to see if somewhere in the city I can get the water tested. All great suggestions and I really appreciate you all. Being new to owning a boat, this forum has come through many times for me already. Much mahalos. LUVYAPOP
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Old 07-30-2019, 08:56 PM   #8
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If you hot water is smelly, I'd suggest replacing your anode in the hot water tank.
That should get rid of the smell and the foam.
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Old 07-31-2019, 08:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LUVYAPOP View Post
... this forum has come through many times for me already.
Me too, it's fantastic how helpful everyone's been here.
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Old 08-01-2019, 12:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AusCan View Post
If you hot water is smelly, I'd suggest replacing your anode in the hot water tank.
That should get rid of the smell and the foam.
No anode. That was suggested to me though. Anodes are after market for this unit.
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Old 08-01-2019, 12:15 AM   #11
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I did find the hose right after a shutoff valve going into the WH, not full. I see air in it. I'm going to change out that valve. I think it's not opening fully. Thanks again peeps.
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