What causes air in water pipes?

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I've already posted this, but I screwed up the Subject line. My husband passed away recently and my brain is only on half power. Also, he used to take care of these kind of issues. Sorry about the multiple postings
Question:
I noticed that within the past month or so I have a lot of air when I turn on the hot water. As the water gets warmer the air gets worse.
Since it's only the hot water I assume it's a problem in my house, but just to be sure I checked with my neighbors and the do not have any problems. We have town water.
What could be causing this? The air comes out in strong bursts sometimes and it makes the pipes vibrate.
thanks.
Jane
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On Jul 14, 9:03 am, " snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com"

My first though is a defect in the water heater. Air in pipes is common after work is done, but I've never seen it last more than a couple of days & only a couple of minutes if you go around and run everything.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

And we are sorry for your recent loss.
Wild guess: You have a defective thermostat on the water heater (or it's set way too high) causing the water to boil. It is extremely unlikely that the pressure would build sufficiently to rupture the tank, but it's not impossible. You'd have to have TWO things wrong: the bad thermostat AND a defective pressure relief valve. Still...
Another clue supporting this theory is the temperature of the water. If it is REALLY hot - like steaming - the symptom lies with the water heater's thermostat (probably). It IS possible the thermostat's temperature setting got bumped when someone tried to store something next to it. Try turning it down.
Alternatively, if you're on a well, it could be pumping air into the system - Nah, never mind, if that were the case you'd be getting air in the cold water line also.
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HeyBub wrote:

If the hot water pipe comes out of the top of the coldwater pipe, it could be taking all the air in the water, leaving the cold un-aerated.
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HeyBub wrote: ...

Indeed...
That's what the safety relief is for, and if it were boiling any significant amount it would lift.
But, it could still be either maladjusted or malfunctioning and hotter water will cause more air out of solution plus perhaps more nucleate (localized) boiling on the heater (assuming electric) element(s)...
So agree first question is "is it hotter than normal?"
--
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No, the water is not hotter than usual. In fact I was thinking of asking them to set the temp higher when they come.
Also, it is not well water. I use Town water.
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Air in water lines that are on city water can be a common occurence, especially if you are at the end of the main line. When the pumps loose power due to an electrical outage, or other reason, air is produced thru what is called "cavitation" in the pumps volute. If this is the case, there is not much you can due about it, other than contacting your water company and see if they can (or are willing) to either reduce the pressure slightly or take other measures. They way want to know about your problem in order to maximize their delivery and avoid other problems. Anyway, check with them before you call a plumber.
Hank <~~~~ Sorry about your loss.
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Hustlin' Hank wrote:

Not too many, if any, municipal systems use pumps to supply the water mains. They use pumps to fill gravity-fed tanks. This has several advantages:
* They can use a smaller pump and have it run when demand is low to get ahead of the curve * The water distribution system still works - for several days - if the electricity goes off or the pump fails * A gravity system maintains a constant and predictable pressure
I've got a relatively new water reservoir right down the street. It's 60' in the air of course but the sucker is HUGE. The pole on which it stands is round, concrete, and about 30' in diameter. The tank itself is also concrete, about 60' in diameter and twenty feet high and must contain about 4.5 million gallons!
Every time I pass it, I think it would make a really swell dwelling with just a few additions: Elevator, windows, gun ports, etc.
Here's what it looks like: http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://contribute.chron.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/1/14/a1c2337c-68a0-46c6-ae2c-64b0331998a1.Large.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.chron.com/channel/houstongardening/commons/persona.html%3FnewspaperUserId%3Dnancyfrance%26plckController%3DPersonaBlog%26plckScript%3DpersonaScript%26plckElementId%3DpersonaDest%26plckPersonaPage%3DBlogViewPost%26plckPostId%3DBlog%253AnancyfrancePost%253A1c3908a7-286b-44a5-b63d-5b16592e4fd7&usg=__7GRptN5qMxlfBYRiVzjSDFwF86U=&h30&wD0&sz &hl=en&start`&um=1&tbnid=vFH_8fmk_OxH6M:&tbnh•&tbnw7&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dwater%2Btowers%2Bhouston%26ndsp%3D20%26hl%3Den%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox%26rlz%3D1I7GGLJ_en%26sa%3DN%26start%3D40%26um%3D1
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You are correct in most cases. However, there are relay stations and booster pumps. In the district I am in, they use towers and booster pumps. The air can be caused by the cavitaion of the booster pump.
I am at the end of a water main and I get air everytime the electric goes out and sometimes when it don't. I was just adding my $.02.
The tower would make a great house if you didnt' mind all the damn stairs. Hank <~~~too old for that many stairs
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Hustlin' Hank wrote: ...

What a bunch of mostly hooey...
And, even if it were, air in supply lines would show up in both hot _AND_COLD_, not hot only...
--
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dpb wrote:

The OP said there are bubbles in the cold, but not as many. Suppose the incoming water is saturated with dissolved air. If it stands in cold-water pipes in the house that are warmer than the source, bubbles will form. Even more will form in the water heater. Households using more water might not notice it.
I imagine water wouldn't have that much air unless it was dissolved under pressure. Could a municipal water system dissolve air in water under pressure? Another possibility is that the dissolved gas was generated in the pipes as a product of water purification. Could that be?
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Anything is possible. The bottom line is that air is in the lines, both hot and cold. If it were me, I'd call the water department and see what they have to say about it before I call a plumber. If they have a tower, I would think the air (if any) that may have been produced in the purifying process would escape in the tower, but maybe not all.
Water lines are pressurized and don't need to be layed in a sloped fashion like sewer/waste lines. Her tap could be at a point a little higher than her neighbors where the air could settle. Therefore she would get air and her neighbors wouldn't. But again, anything is possible. Hank
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Yes there is air in both hot and cold BUT, there is only a little burst of air when I first turn on the cold water, before the water comes out and only in the kitchen. This has been happening for more than a year, and for some reason doesn't happen at all in the winter. There is lots of air in the hot water, the worst being once the water has run a while. No matter how long the water runs there are still bursts of air and it happens everywhere the hot water is used.
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I live in a condo. There are four other units in my building. None of them are having problems. This isn't just a little air, it's enough to make the pipes rattle.
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YvonneD wrote:

It you get it at hot and cold taps, it sounds as if air is getting into municipal pipe. It can happen when hydrants are flushed or pipes are repaired. I don't know how it would get in every day.
Perhaps bubbles smaller than peas travel along the municipal pipe, and the slope guides them to your condo and not others. When your cold tap in the kitchen is off, just enough air collects to make a small pop when you turn it on. When the water is flowing, the bubbles are too small to pop.
In the water heater, the little bubbles would rise to the top and enter the outlet as a larger bubble. That would explain why you hear big pops while the hot water flows.
If the problem starts with little bubbles in the municipal main, I don't know what would cause those bubbles.
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E Z Peaces wrote:
(...)

One thing's for sure. It cannot possibly be cavitation.
--Winston
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Winston wrote:

Are you mad? Of course it could be cavitation! Water running quickly enough past an edge causes cavitation all the time. Get real buddy.
--Winston
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On Jul 14, 7:03 am, " snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com"

http://www.myinfoviews.com /
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I am sorry for your loss and I see that you have received some good advice. I will only add one thing. You have been trouble shooting this thing very well and you provided all the information that most people would not have included allowing someone to give you some answer.
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On Jul 14, 3:37 pm, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Thank you.
I do plan to have the plumber here within the next week or so. I just would like to have some idea of what might be wrong. I hate dealing with these things in complete ignorance. Sort of like taking the car in for service and not even knowing how to check the oil.
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