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Nov 24, 2012 06:21 PM

Particles in tap water

Hi all, wanted to get your thoughts. I took a close look at a glass of water from the refrigerator dispenser (new filter just installed), and it had some particles floating around in the water. Not a *lot*, but enough for me to clearly see them floating around. They mostly looked like little white dots, but a few were longer strands, maybe 2-3 mm. They're not just tiny air bubbles. Does anyone know what these particles might be? Should the water filter be catching them? I live in LA, if that can give any clues.

Thanks for your help!

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  1. My Mom's water in Minnesota has something similar. They eventually collect in the bottom 1/2-inch of the water. She is buying bottled.

    1. The most likely culprit is that LA has hard water. If your floates are mineral related, than it is just a visual issue and not a health concern.

      If your fridge dispensing ice / ice water / cold water, the temperature change is causing the minerals to precipitate out of solution. If this is the case, you should have had the floaties all the time and just noticed it now. To remedy this, you would need to either put in a reverse osmosis filter or a water softener. This is, in my opinion, the most likely explanation. If you run through the system until the water is the same temperature as tap, the floaties should disappear, but reappear if you let the water sit in the fridge and cool off.

      If the water is not that cold, than it may be mineral deposits building up in the supply line/dispenser that flake off, possibly aggravated due to jostling when you changed the filter. To remedy this, you would need to de-scale your supply lines/dispenser, possibly using a diluted vinegar solution.

      Another unlikely possibility if you have an old fridge - the older style hard molded plastic water reservoir that some manufacturers used is starting to break down and should be replaced with a newer reservoir made of coiled plastic tubing.

      1. Sorry for the delayed response, but I wanted to thank you both for your feedback. I'm not sure what the exact issue was, but the particles seem to have stopped showing up in the water over time, so I feel much more comfortable drinking the water now -- even if there wasn't any safety issue to begin with, I just feel better when the water is clear!

        Thanks again!

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