Crud in the line from BWT filter

Water analysis, treatment, and mineral recipes for optimum taste and equipment health.
statsman
Supporter

#1: Post by statsman »

I wonder if anyone can help me figure out what's going on. I have a Synchronika plumbed in, connected to a BWT filter. I put in a new filter cartridge recently, and then immediately started having problems. (Before anyone mentions it, yes, I did flush the new cartridge the appropriate amount.)

The pump started making horrible noises, so I took apart the fitting where the water line connects to the machine, and saw that the little steel wool pre-filter was all gunked up. So I cleaned it out, but I also ran the water for a bit before I reconnected the line, and all this crud came out.

A few days later, same thing happened again. The pre-filter was all gunked up, and a bunch of the same crud came out of the line. I took a picture this time:

It almost looks like little bits of ribbons, but when I touch it, it just turns to slimy goop.

This water is coming directly from the BWT filter, so it should be clean. Is the filter disintegrating or something? Has anyone seen this kind of thing?

User avatar
Randy G.

#2: Post by Randy G. »

My first guess would be it was something that was created, deposited, or 'growing' in the water supply line between the output of the cartridge and the espresso machine.
www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
* 22nd Anniversary 2000-2022 *

User avatar
BaristaBoy E61

#3: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

I would suggest another deep flush, checking the expiry date of the cartridge and a phone call to your vendor.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

statsman (original poster)
Supporter

#4: Post by statsman (original poster) »

Randy G. wrote:My first guess would be it was something that was created, deposited, or 'growing' in the water supply line between the output of the cartridge and the espresso machine.
If it is a problem with nastiness in the supply line, do you have any ideas on what to do about it? I mean, I ran water through it until it ran clear. Then, maybe 2 hours later, I ran more water through it and it was filled with the same crud. Maybe buy a new hose and see what happens?

Nunas
Supporter ♡

#5: Post by Nunas »

It looks like a bad case of biofilm, aka bioslime. This often happens downstream from filters that remove the chlorine from the water supply. Bioslime can be anything from benign to dangerous, depending on its composition. The solution is to shock the system. I don't know what they recommend for the type of filter you are using, but for RO systems, here's a procedure. https://vcrma.org/docs/images/pdf/eh/di ... SYSTEM.pdf

statsman (original poster)
Supporter

#6: Post by statsman (original poster) replying to Nunas »

So I've somewhat convinced myself that the problem is nastiness in the supply hose itself (which actually consists of two hoses connected together), possibly a biofilm. Unfortunately for me, it seems to be isolated to the proprietary ECM supply hose, rather than the generic one that connects directly to the filter. Therefore, I can't easily replace the problem hose. So I have to find a way to clean it.

Can I soak it in bleach? Vinegar? I am worried about destroying the hard-to-replace proprietary hose.

User avatar
BaristaBoy E61

#7: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

We'll, if this is so, at least you haven't contaminated the BWT filter.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

User avatar
Randy G.

#8: Post by Randy G. »

Camelback sells a cleaning kit that includes a long cleaning brush made fo clean out the drinking hose of their backpack drinking water systems. I use it on my plumbed driptray hose. It geta around bends fairly easily.
www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
* 22nd Anniversary 2000-2022 *

DeuxInfuso

#9: Post by DeuxInfuso »

Small black particles after a filter change can be harmless carbon filter media, often coconut husk activated (roasted) carbon. Carbon filters also form habitat for slime forming bacteria, mostly harmless stuff that is everywhere. Some filters are available with bacteriostat additives such as trace silver.

I keep the slime away by using trace amounts of copper from copper sulphate. Copper is an effective antibacterial and anti algae element at 0.3 ppm (mg/L) and a critical element. Human blood averages about 1.2 ppm copper. The EPA MCL (max contaminant level for drinking water) is 1.3 ppm.

I add 0.3 ppm Cu as copper sulphate to a 10 gal Tamco 12x12x36" tank, the van der Westen Mirage reservoir. Your dosing must be accurate. Do not exceed the MCL; too much copper can be unhealthy or toxic, but the Nat'l Inst for Health supplemental copper upper limit threshold is 10 mg/day, and you'd have to drink over 2 gallons of 0.3 ppm copper water every day to approach this. Copper sulphate is 25% copper by weight; you need only 22.3 milligrams CuSO4*5H2O per 5 gallons water to provide 0.3 ppm dissolved copper. Keeps the tank clean and algae free so I only do chlorine sterilization once a year.

User avatar
homeburrero
Team HB

#10: Post by homeburrero »

Those pics and the description sure look like a white water mold that's well known in hot tubs and swimming pools. I haven't seen that here on HB but it seems possible. Not a bacteria and similar to a fungus, and supposedly can grow on plastic surfaces and come off in ribbons that look like shredded tissue paper that's slimy when touched.

Whether it's that or some sort of biofilm, I think I'd go with a chlorine bleach soak along the lines of Nunas' suggestion for sanitizing an RO system. Fill a sink with fresh water and 1/2 cup of hypochlorite bleach, and soak the entire hose in that for a couple hours, maybe drain and re-submerge the hose a few times. If you can drop the BWT cartridge head in there as well that might be a good idea. Then rinse everything really well before assembling with a new filter.

I don't think I'd want to mess around with copper sulfate.
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h