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Old 08-10-2010, 06:08 PM
 
5 posts, read 115,882 times
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Default I have brown water coming out of the faucets in the bathroom only when the hot water is turned on.

There is brown water coming from the bathtub spout and the sink spout when the hot water is turned on.
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Old 08-10-2010, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Back in COLORADO!!!
829 posts, read 1,025,142 times
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I'm a licensed plumber out here in Colorado. See this all the time in older houses.

There are two possible reasons for this. Could be one or both.

1. Your water heater is full of rust or sediment.

2. Your house has galvanized water pipes and they are starting to deteriorate.

Since it seems to be only the hot water that is affected, I'm leaning toward rust/sediment in the water heater. If the heater is less than 10 years old you might try draining it and flushing it out, but if it is older than that, you'll need to replace it.

Sorry, I wish I had better news for you!
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Old 08-10-2010, 06:36 PM
 
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Thanks for your reply. I think your right. We tried flushing out the pipes, but tons of rusty water kept coming out, bathtubs full of water. Is there something that we should add to the water heater to prevent this from happening after we flush it out?
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Old 08-10-2010, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
3,778 posts, read 2,901,580 times
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As far as I know, there's no additive for a water heater.

When you go to flush it, make sure you shut the water supply to the water heater off. I forgot once, it doesn't work well. And of course, shut off the breaker that the heater is on.
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Old 08-10-2010, 06:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimRom View Post
As far as I know, there's no additive for a water heater.

When you go to flush it, make sure you shut the water supply to the water heater off. I forgot once, it doesn't work well. And of course, shut off the breaker that the heater is on.
If it is not the water heater, but the pipes would the cold water also be producing rust? The pipes in the house appear to be all copper.
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Back in COLORADO!!!
829 posts, read 1,025,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moneypit2 View Post
If it is not the water heater, but the pipes would the cold water also be producing rust? The pipes in the house appear to be all copper.
Yes, you are correct. If the problem was with the pipes, both the hot and cold would be affected. The hot side is typically more pronounced due to the heat accelerating the corrosive effect. If your pipes are copper they are not the problem. Rust coming from the pipes only happens with deteriorating galvanized pipes.

As far as an additive to add after flushing the water heater, unfortunately no. What you might consider doing is when it comes time to replace the water heater, ask your plumber to install a sacrificial anode rod in the new heater. This consists of a magnesium rod which is a more reactive metal than the steel the tank is made of and will, in effect, draw away corrosive minerals in the water. Some water heaters have this rod installed at the factory. Your local plumber will know what is best for your application. Finally, if you are on a well, sometimes rust and sediment can come from the well pipe itself. If this is the case at your house, you might consider installing an in line water filter with a rust/sediment cartridge to help keep it out of the water heater.

Hope this helps!
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:06 PM
 
5 posts, read 115,882 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenScoutII View Post
Yes, you are correct. If the problem was with the pipes, both the hot and cold would be affected. The hot side is typically more pronounced due to the heat accelerating the corrosive effect. If your pipes are copper they are not the problem. Rust coming from the pipes only happens with deteriorating galvanized pipes.

As far as an additive to add after flushing the water heater, unfortunately no. What you might consider doing is when it comes time to replace the water heater, ask your plumber to install a sacrificial anode rod in the new heater. This consists of a magnesium rod which is a more reactive metal than the steel the tank is made of and will, in effect, draw away corrosive minerals in the water. Some water heaters have this rod installed at the factory. Your local plumber will know what is best for your application. Finally, if you are on a well, sometimes rust and sediment can come from the well pipe itself. If this is the case at your house, you might consider installing an in line water filter with a rust/sediment cartridge to help keep it out of the water heater.

Hope this helps!
Thanks again for the reply, that's a great idea. I will do that if the heater has to be replaced.
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:08 PM
 
5 posts, read 115,882 times
Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimRom View Post
As far as I know, there's no additive for a water heater.

When you go to flush it, make sure you shut the water supply to the water heater off. I forgot once, it doesn't work well. And of course, shut off the breaker that the heater is on.
Thanks, we will do that, the heater is gas powered though.
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Old 08-11-2010, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan and Sometimes Orange County CA
15,820 posts, read 28,597,550 times
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Cool! Leave it alone. It makes your house unique. Who else has brown water? It will be a selling point when you decide to move. Tell them it is chocolate flavored.
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Old 08-12-2010, 12:25 AM
 
40,222 posts, read 43,061,503 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moneypit2 View Post
I will do that if the heater has to be replaced.
I've got news for you: Your hot water heater DOES need to be replaced.
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