Water precipitate question

This summer, I noticed a white "snow globe" effect in my water. I'd take soda pop bottles, fill them 1/3 and lay them in the freeezer. In the morning, fill them with water, and take in the van while I was working.
But, the next day I'd see white fleecks, floating in the water. After the water warmed up. I called the water department, and they said they didn't have any idea what caused it.
I tried using a different faucet, which doesn't seem to do the snow globe effect.
Technical details. The water pipe from the ground is soft copper. Far as I know, all the water pipe in my trailer home is copper. The sink faucet that provides the snow effect was replaced maybe five years ago. Kitchen sink faucet with sprayer. The old one, the sprayer stopped working. The new one, the sink spout stopped working. The sprayer works, so I've got the sprayer taped on full time.
Any ideas what's causing the snow globe effect?
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Christopher A. Young
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On 10/1/2010 10:47 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Could be calcium or magnesium carbonate such as you see from hard water. Copper compounds are colored.
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Makes sense, to me. Incidentally, it's insensetive to call compounds "colored". They are Cupro-Americans, now.
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On Fri, 1 Oct 2010 10:47:08 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"

That is the classic hard water effect.
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Someday maybe I'll get a hardness test kit.
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It's at the end of your arm.
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Calcium carbonate. It is dissolved in the water but when you put the pop bottles in the freezer it came out of suspension due to the lower temperature.
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On 10/1/2010 10:47 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

The 3 replies so far are all ignoring a key line in the OP's text, "I tried using a different faucet, which doesn't seem to do the snow globe effect." If it were the water, it should be common to all taps. To my thinking, the only difference between the tap the OP is using that is providing the precipitate and the other taps is the hose connecting his sprayer to his kitchen fixture. Perhaps the texture of the inside of the hose provides a much greater surface area that facilitates crystallization of the hard water compounds in his water and now some of that crud is being mechanically washed off the inside surface of the hose into the water stream.
The OP should add a few tablespoons of household white vinegar to a pop bottle with the precipitate. If it is a carbonate salt, the increased acidity from the vinegar should dissolve at least some of the precipitate. However, part of the OP's text is puzzling. He says that the precipitate becomes evident when the water warms up. He should be observing the opposite. Calcium and magnesium salts are more soluble in warm water and less soluble in colder water. The precipitate should be most evident when the ice first melts, and less evident as the water warms up and some or all of the precipitate dissolves.
This makes me wonder if perhaps the stuff is not a chemical precipitate, but rather microbial crud. Another test would be to let a different pop bottle with the precipitate (one that has not had vinegar added) sit for a few days at room temperature. If the precipitate substantially increases in quantity, I'd question whether or not he is looking at bacterial or mold colonies that are multiplying. If so, once again, the seed crud is probably living on the inside surface of the hose.
The solution to the problem might be to figure out if the crud is chemical or microbial. Then disconnect the hose and give it a good soaking and cleaning (or buy a replacement). If the crud is chemical, use undiluted vinegar. If it is microbial, use some clorox, 1/2 cup to a gallon of water.
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The 3 replies so far are all ignoring a key line in the OP's text, "I tried using a different faucet, which doesn't seem to do the snow globe effect." If it were the water, it should be common to all taps. To my thinking, the only difference between the tap the OP is using that is providing the precipitate and the other taps is the hose connecting his sprayer to his kitchen fixture. Perhaps the texture of the inside of the hose provides a much greater surface area that facilitates crystallization of the hard water compounds in his water and now some of that crud is being mechanically washed off the inside surface of the hose into the water stream.
CY: The hose is only a couple years old -- as I wrote. The soft copper in the floor is gosh knows how old.
The OP should add a few tablespoons of household white vinegar to a pop bottle with the precipitate. If it is a carbonate salt, the increased acidity from the vinegar should dissolve at least some of the precipitate.
CY: Good test for carbonates.
However, part of the OP's text is puzzling. He says that the precipitate becomes evident when the water warms up. He should be observing the opposite. Calcium and magnesium salts are more soluble in warm water and less soluble in colder water. The precipitate should be most evident when the ice first melts, and less evident as the water warms up and some or all of the precipitate dissolves.
CY: The way the OP figures, the solids ppt out when frozen, and are visible when the frozen ppt thaws, and becomes clear.
This makes me wonder if perhaps the stuff is not a chemical precipitate, but rather microbial crud. Another test would be to let a different pop bottle with the precipitate (one that has not had vinegar added) sit for a few days at room temperature. If the precipitate substantially increases in quantity, I'd question whether or not he is looking at bacterial or mold colonies that are multiplying. If so, once again, the seed crud is probably living on the inside surface of the hose.
CY: Worth checking. I'll have the OP check that question, and let you know what he finds.
The solution to the problem might be to figure out if the crud is chemical or microbial. Then disconnect the hose and give it a good soaking and cleaning (or buy a replacement). If the crud is chemical, use undiluted vinegar. If it is microbial, use some clorox, 1/2 cup to a gallon of water.
CY: I've been wondering if I ought rig some way to pump some clorox or vinegar or both into the cold water line. Not sure how I'd do that, but something will come to mind. I mean, uh, if the OP should do that.
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Thanks. I put a bottle of water in the freezer yesterday. Today, it is thawing. I'll check for the vinegar effect later today, and also will pour some of the precipitate water into a clear glass. Leave it at room temp, check for microbial effect.
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Given the inexpensiveness of the average hose, why not just buy a new one and try that first? Switch it out and see if it changes.
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Five or so years ago, I changed the faucet. In order to change the faucet, I need to get under the trailer, and turn off the water. It's seriously cold and wet here, so that's not going to happen till it warms and dries. I don't remember what I paid for the faucet, but it wasn't much. Might do that in the spring. At the moment, the diverter doesn't work, and I've got the sprayer hose taped "open". Been using it that way for some months. I'll report back, when I get the faucet changed out.
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On 10/5/2010 8:59 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

If the gunk is decomposing liner from the supply hose, it should show properties of plastic ... try filtering a couple of gallons through a fine-weave dark fabric. Scrape up a little of the "snow" and see if it burns or melts.
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Good thought. I don't think I've got enough material to accurately test. And the properties changed. Used to be flakes, and now it's short fibers.
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On 10/7/2010 10:06 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Look at them closely under a magnifying glass and try to determine if the fibers have very straight edges or if they look more like threads, with all sorts of curves and twists. If straight, they are more likely to be chemical crystals (precipitate). If they are curly, they are more likely to be mold or colonies of bacteria.
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I thawed out the half gal bottle, that had about a quart of water / ice in it. There was less preciptate than I was used to seeing. And it was more "stringy" instead of flakes. The 20 ounce soda bottles earlier this year, it was more like flakes.
This time, it was as if someone had put fiberglas in a blender, and cut it up really short. No change with vinegar added.
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On 10/5/2010 7:33 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Let things sit in that bottle for a few days and see what happens.
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Yes, doing that. I'll let you know what happens.
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On 10/1/2010 9:47 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Oh No! Your water has dandruff. Add a little Head & Shoulders to the water.
TDD
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