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Do You Have Rust-Colored Water? What Does that Mean? What is it Trying to Tell You?

Friday, February 6th, 2015

When a water faucet is turned on, you expect to see clear running water, but sometimes instead of crystal clear water flowing freely, rust-colored water is produced.

Other times, what was once clear water has now turned red or yellow after standing. Whenever a visual indication of a water problem appears, it’s time to call a professional plumber to investigate and repair the problem.


Rusty pipes are a common issue for homeowners. As faucets are turned on and off, causing the pressure inside the pipes to change repeatedly, it can cause loosened rust to dislodge from the pipe. This discolored water then makes its way through the water supply line into the bathroom and kitchen sinks, bathtubs, showers, and laundry room.

Galvanized pipes are also major culprits for dispensing rust-colored water. In this case, replacing galvanized pipes with copper plumbing remedies the problem.

Water Heater

Whether you have a gas or electric water heater, over time, nature takes its course especially if your home is fitted with a steel water heater. To protect the steel water heater, a coating of porcelain enamel lines the inside to keep corrosion at bay. Over time, it’s only natural for the enamel to wear out. When this happens, the steel will start to corrode, creating flakes and chips that end up settling on the bottom of the water heater. Eventually, the flakes degrade into fine rusty particles resulting in rusty-colored water. Also, the lifespan of a water heater usually runs for about 10 years. At this time, the water heater may begin to leak, which causes the rust sediment to make its way through the water line.

Anode Rod

Another part of the water heater that can cause rusty water is the anode rod. The rod is made of metal such as zinc, magnesium, or aluminum. Its purpose is to protect the steel lining through electrolysis which is a chemical reaction that causes the rod to corrode. Over time, the anode rod will become thoroughly coated in corrosion and it won’t do the job it’s designed to do. Anode rods should be replaced on a regular basis.

Well Water

Two common culprits associated with well water are iron and manganese. The three basic types or iron are ferric iron, ferrous iron, and iron bacteria. Ferric iron has a rusty red appearance coming from faucets while ferrous iron causes standing water to change to a rust or yellow color. Examples of both can be seen on sinks, showers, and bathtubs where a standing water turns red or yellow. Iron bacteria feeds on the iron found in fittings, pipes, and water. It creates slime which can become dislodged creating discolored water.

For answers to your questions, contact the Pink Plumber today.

Image source: Flickr

Water Heater Maintenance: What You Should Know

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Something that should occur every year is water heater maintenance. As with any appliance, things can break down or go wrong with your water heater. With scheduled maintenance from a reliable plumbing service, you can keep your water heater in top working condition.

Water heaters are one of the hardest-working appliances in the home. Throughout the year, this appliance is responsible for supplying water to your sinks, showers, and bathtubs. Because the appliance is on-call 24 hours a day, water heater maintenance is necessary to ensure that the heater keeps running and you never get stranded without hot water.

What Can Go Wrong with a Water Heater

Gallons of water are pumped into a water heater all year, and this water includes extra particles that remain in the tank. Over time, these pieces of sediment and minerals make their way to the bottom of the heater where they settle.

As the layer of sediment builds, the efficiency of your water heater diminishes. If the grime remains inside the tank, it forces the water heater to work harder and longer, which results in higher energy bills and less money in your bank account.

Unchecked sediment layers can also lead to rust, which will eat away at the tank. When this happens, a new water heater is required.

Draining a Water Heater

All water heaters come with instructions for proper maintenance. Sometimes, instructions are misplaced, and you don’t know what to do to keep your equipment running efficiently. While it’s possible for homeowners with plumbing experience to drain the tank on their own, the job is typically best left to professional plumbers who are experienced in working with both electric and gas water heaters.

Additional Maintenance Tips

Another annual maintenance task is resetting the water heater for warmer weather. With temperatures soaring outside, the heater’s gas valve, or thermostat for electric tanks, should be turned down to regulate the temperature. This protects the water heater from overheating, and it also helps reduce your energy bill.

An often-forgotten maintenance task is checking the anode rod located inside the tank. This small wire, usually made of magnesium or aluminum, prevents corrosion inside the tank. Over time, it will rust, which makes it ineffective and limits the life of the tank. An experienced plumber can remove, check, and replace the rod, if necessary. If you hire a plumber to come in for yearly maintenance, make sure the anode rod check is included. With expert service and maintenance, your water heater can last for many years.

For answers to your questions, contact the Pink Plumber today.

Image source: Flickr