I admire your diligence.
The air has to be coming from somewhere! If the water's not too hot, it's
not steam. If you don't see the same thing on the cold side, air is not
being pumped into your system from the supply lines.
The only other thing if COULD be is a miracle - or the opposite: a demon. In
either case, I'd call the Church.
Just on the wild side, ask your neighbors if they have any funny business
with their water supply. Can't hurt to ask.
Actually I've had some air in the cold water pipes too. That's been
going on for over a year and doesn't seem to happen in the winter.
Maybe it is from the main inlet, although my neighbor across the
street doesn't have this problem.
The plumber is coming next week.
Could be cavitation.
Any valves connecting water to your heater should be
'full on'. That is to say, the handle(s) should be
turned counterclockwise till it stops.
Here, a homeowner has turned off the 'inlet' and
'outlet' valves before disconnecting the water
Beware that the top of the heater will be HOT so
use caution and think about the consequences of
an involuntary flinch. Test first with the back
of your hand and please stay clear of the exhaust
stack poking up from the middle of the heater.
Let me correct myself.
The photo shows control valves for a parallel
water heater, not the valves I was indicating.
Still, the principal is the same. A restriction
in the inlet side of your water heater could
cause creation of air bubbles, so any valve(s)
providing water to or from the heater must
be fully open, to minimize this cavitation.
Steam bubbles wouldn't reach your faucet unless your tap water was
Water tanks have anodes to keep them from rusting. Anodes produce
bubbles of hydrogen and oxygen. It happens faster with soft water.
Some anodes are designed to slow the bubbling.
I'll bet you aren't using as much hot water lately. That gives the gas
more time to accumulate.
Maybe it's related to a strange experience I had a couple of years ago.
Does your hot water look milky?
My hot water supplies four sinks, a washer, and a shower. One day when
I drew some hot water in a glass at the sink in the main bathroom, tiny
gas bubbles made it look white. The water slowly cleared as it sat in
the glass. I tried it again. Still white. I removed the aerator.
Still white. After I drew more than a quart, it still wasn't clear. It
was clear the next day and ever since.
I wonder if the white appearance came from tiny bubbles of hydrogen and
oxygen that had been dissolved in the water until I reduced pressure by
opening the tap. I don't know why the water with the dissolved gases
would have collected in the pipe to that tap.
If more gas had accumulated in the water, perhaps it would have
sputtered from the tap. I wonder why the water was cloudy that day but
not before or since. Could something unusual in the town water that day
have increased gassing in my water heater anode?
The bubbles were so tiny that the only sign was a milky white color that
cleared up as the water sat. I don't know why it happened only once
that I noticed or why I didn't notice milky water in the kitchen.
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