Causes and Fixes of Rusty Hot Water

No one expects to see brown or discolored water when they turn on the hot water faucet of their tub, shower, or sink. But, when this happens, it’s easy to ask what could have caused it and how to prevent it from ever happening again. 

Rusty Water Heater

Rust-colored hot water can be caused by bacteria growth, pipe corrosion, tank water heater corrosion, or mineral deposits in the water supply. If the cause is due to aging plumbing, replacing those pipes or appliances could fix the issue.

Let’s explore a few reasons why you might see yucky, rusty water. 

  • Bacteria. Some bacteria are good. Others, not so much. When it comes to your home fixtures, iron-reducing bacteria is what gives your hot water its undesirable, rusty look. Iron-reducing bacteria is common in water distribution systems, like your pipes and water tank. Iron mechanisms connected to your home lacking in oxygen or consistent water movement speed up corrosion and make way for rusty water. 

    Now that we have a better understanding of how bacteria can cause that rusty appearance, let’s look at how bacteria can have effects inside and outside your home.
  • Main water line. The main pipeline is made of cast iron or metal. That means that it’s susceptible to rust or corrosion and may be the cause of your rusty water.
  • Tank water heater. If you have a traditional tank water heater, this one’s for you. It doesn’t matter if you have an electric or gas-powered heater. The inner surface of all water heater tanks is metal. More importantly, this metal undergoes various water conditions, all of which could result in corrosion.
  • Deposits in the water supply. If the plumbing in your home connects to a well system, any incoming water could bring clay, mud, and sand deposits. Newly built houses can also bring in the dirt, mud, and clay into the pipeline system and mix with water, resulting in a brown or rusty appearance.

Possible solutions for rusty hot water

One solution for the rusty hot water is to drain and flush your water heater tank thoroughly through the drain valve. 

If the heater tank and plumbing system have bacteria, shock therapy with the chlorine, followed by flushing, should be applied.

If you have a rusty tank or have a tank over ten years old, it’s time for a replacement. 

Professional plumbers in the Durham area

Rusty hot water isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it’s also not something you should put up with in your home. Call Acme Plumbing Co. to inspect your plumbing and discuss ways to improve the water quality. To schedule an appointment, send us a message or call us at (919) 688-1348.

Why Choose ACME Plumbing?

4th Generation Family Plumbers

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Trusted & Recommended Since 1947

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2 Year Warranty On All Parts & Labor*

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Won the Super Service Award In 2015 by Angie's List

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