I had a hot water heater replaced in my house. Shortly thereafter, I noticed that the water flow in one of my faucets near the heater was very low. I wasn't sure, what to make of it, so I had the plumber check it out.

He took off the screen and there was a lot of fine grained debris - roughly the consistency of very fine sand. It was varying between a dark brown and a red/orange brown. The plumber said it is the resin in my water softener and that I need to replace the softener. He didn't seem to understand why it happens - he said they just go bad. He told me it would eventually clog my pipes and they would have to be blown out to clear them.I thought it was odd that this happened starting when he replaced the water heater.

I would like to confirm his assessment and understand why this is happening. The water softener is a cabinet style. The previous owners were a couple that had been living alone in their house for years after their children moved out. I have 7 members in my family, so I'm wondering if the regeneration cycle has something to do with it.

On a side note, we have also noticed a strong salty taste in the water from time to time.

I would greatly appreciate any insight into this. I can post pictures of anything if necessary. Thanks!

1 Answer 1


No disrespect to you or your plumber, but I would be suspicious of any person who is able to predict the demise of an appliance by reading mineral andiron deposits in an aerator screen. It is common after replacing a water heating tank (or doing any work on the plumbing) for debris such as hard water minerals, silt and bits of metal and rust to break free and "go with the flow" (as it were). Their final resting place is the faucets aerator screen. Of course, my assessment is based on what information you posted. If you could include the model and how long it has been in use I could offer a more insightful answer.

  • Ironically, the reason that I posted this is because my gut feeling was that the plumber was wrong. It just seemed too coincidental that it started happening right after the hot water heater was replaced. He's sort of a family friend and as such gives us a pretty good deal. I certainly wouldn't trust him with a complicated job though. The water softener is a Water Boss 900. I think the hot water heater was an A.O. Smith, but it's gone, so I don't have the model #. I also don't know how old it was. The house was built in 89. Not certain if that was original.
    – kakridge
    Dec 24, 2015 at 22:51
  • Would pictures of the sediment help? One other thing to add- I did see the sediment in the tank of the toilets, so it was also coming through the cold lines. Could that still potentially point to the water softener? The softener may have gone a month or so without salt as well.
    – kakridge
    Dec 24, 2015 at 22:53
  • Ask your plumber what part of the water softener the particles are from. Or what section of the softener is deteriorating and sending debris into the water line. I don't believe the sediment is from the softener. I think you should get more input: (waterboss.com/supportcontact.shtml) before purchasing a new softener. BTW: your particular softener is warranted for 10 years. I would guess with the lack of few moving parts softeners can last awhile.
    – ojait
    Dec 25, 2015 at 3:01

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