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AzJazz

Brown / Black water from the hot water tap

10 posts in this topic

Hi - I just tried filling my tub a few days ago, and noticed that I was getting a lot of brown water from the hot water tap. Since then, I don't get as much dark brown water, but the water still comes out brown for a little bit.

 

Just a few minutes ago, I turned on the hot water to the tub, and saw some black stuff come out before the water cleared.

 

So, I have a few questions:
 

  1. Is the water safe?
  2. Is our gas water heater the culprit?
  3. If our gas water heater is the culprit, is this a sign that it is just about to seriously fail?
  4. If our gas water heater is not the culprit, what else could cause this?

 

Thanks,

 

AzJazz

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Need appliance parts? Call 877-803-7957 now!

Do you have Iron in your water ?   is it only your hot water that is effected, or does cold water produce the same ?

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Do you use that certain "tap" only occasionally ?

Do you have iron OR copper water pipes ?

Have you drained some water out of the water heater lower ""tap" every 6 months ?

A 6yr or 8 yr water heater used to last 20 years ...

Now, with the help of computers, the manufactures have found a way to make them last only the 6yrs or 8 years ...

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Do you have Iron in your water ?   is it only your hot water that is effected, or does cold water produce the same ?

 

kdog - It only seems to be from the hot water feed. The cold water runs clear.

 

Do you use that certain "tap" only occasionally ?

Do you have iron OR copper water pipes ?

Have you drained some water out of the water heater lower ""tap" every 6 months ?

A 6yr or 8 yr water heater used to last 20 years ...

Now, with the help of computers, the manufactures have found a way to make them last only the 6yrs or 8 years ...

 

RegUS_PatOff - I hadn't filled the tub for a few months. However, it used to run clear even after not being filled for a few years.

 

My home is about 6 years old, and I have PEX water pipes running through our walls and ceiling. I don't have much (or any) iron or copper piping.

 

The last time I drained the WH from the bottom (about 2 years ago), it was completely clear - but also, a pain in the rear to totally turn off the WH again. I haven't redrained it since, because I wasn't sure I'll be able to turn it off a second time.

 

I just opened up the lower WH drain pipe, and there was a lot of brown water coming out. I drained about 10 gallons so far, and it is still pretty brown. I'm going to let the water heater refill/reheat a bit, and then drain some more.

 

So, I'm still wondering - Does this mean that I need to get a new water heater soon, or is this just normal gunky build-up?

 

AzJazz

Edited by AzJazz

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no need to turn any water OR power OFF ..

just need to drain a gallon or so till it runs clear ..

How old is the Water Heater  :woot:

May be time to start shopping around ..

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The house is about 6 years old.

 

I drained the tank almost entirely before it ran clear.

 

I then refilled the tank with cold water, and started draining again. It's coming out more brown now than it did at the start.

 

My uneducated guess: The inside of the tank has rusted out, and I'm knocking loose the chunks. :rolleyes:

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The tank should last longer than 6 years ..

unless there was damage to the liner inside the tank before it was installed ..

and/or depending on your water quality ..

I've heard there are some Water Heaters with Fiberglas tanks (electric only)

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The replacment Water Heater is being delivered tomorrow morning. Wish it didn't happen during such an expensive time of the year.

 

Oh, well ... we should be good for another 15 years after this (according to the warranty, anyways).

 

AzJazz

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I know you're already fixing the problem (I think) - but curious if you have and checked the thermal expansion tank on it? I bring that up because I found that the air bladder inside mine failed last summer, which left if full of black/brown gunk. However, it sounds like you have more volume than that would produce. Something to check anyway if you have one.

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One thing many folks overlook in water heaters is the protective anode rod. It is made of magnesium or aluminum (in less expensive models) and is found on the top of the tank...large hex bolt. It runs about 3/4 of the way down the tank and serves to corrode and protect the steel tank. Once the sacrificial metal is used up then the steel starts to corrode. On average, depending on the water, they last 2 or three years. I was not really aware of this until I installed a new Stiebel Eltron water heater and talked to their engineer. It's time to replace the one in that one so I'll be ordering one soon. As long as your anode isn't used up then your tank is protected and you should only get sludge from the water source itself. Once the anode is gone then you will start to corrode the tank and get the brown rusty stuff in the bottom. There are different types of replacement anodes available from regular straight to segmented to pellets and even active electric ones for difficult water situations. Beware that the aluminum ones will expand during the galvanic corrosion process and you will have to wait until enough of it is used up before you can actually remove it through the hole...perfectly normal.

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