Plumbing in the Home/sediment



I live in Maryland and we use the county water supply.  We have a 4 bedroom colonial.  

Recently, I have had a problem with sediment buildup restricting water flow in my master bath shower head, kitchen faucet, and another faucet in the master bath.  I've had to clean the shower head 4 times in the last 3 weeks.  The kitchen faucet twice, and the other one just once.  

This is very unusual for us....I normally need to do this only once every couple years in the shower head, and the others less often.  I replaced the shower head and it happened again after a few days.  The other faucets in the house do not appear clogged, but I have not taken them apart.

The sediment is white and can easily be crumbled to fine with my fingers.

Any idea what might be going on?  Thanks!

Hello Scott,
There can be a number of reasons for this. Given the rough weather you guys back there have been experiencing, something could have happened to the counties piping system or infrastructure. You might contact them and inquire about this.

Regardless, this probably won't change the situation much for you, at least not in the near future.  I would consider being proactive about this and just installing a whole house filter system on your water main where it enters the house. I always installed such a system any time I re-pipe a house and all of the systems have been working fine for many years.

Ultimately, you're looking at an investment of $200-$300 most likely in an ongoing maintenance cost of maybe $50-$100 a year to replace filters.

I don't think this sediment is likely to be generated locally within your house although it is possible that it is an issue with a failing water heater. This is something you should have your local plumber check out as well before proceeding to the filter option.

You might also look into getting your water sample tested to determine what is causing this sediment. It seems odd that it would suddenly change and this is what sort of points me towards the source of the water being from the county. So… Start with a supplier first and ask them what is going on and maybe they can test your water. Doing a bit of due diligence detective work at the beginning will help you narrow down the potential issue and its solution.

Good Luck,

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Dana Bostick


Pretty much any residential plumbing questions. For "item specific" details such as a specific model of fixture, I will need to research and there may not be any useful information available. Note: I live and work in Southern California. We do not, as a rule, use hot water or steam heating systems, oil fired boilers or private water wells so my knowledge in those areas is pretty limited. There are others here on AllExerts that can probably answer those questions better.


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